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Saturday, February 17, 2018

A. W. Tozer Quotes

A. W. Tozer Quotes

Created for Eternity

"Having made peace through the blood of the Cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself...whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" Colossians 1:20

Men and women without God are helpless and hopeless human beings. We do will to remember that sin is to the human nature what cancer is to the human body!

Who can argue with the fact that sin has ruined us?

Our feverish activity is only one sign of what is wrong with us - sin has plunged us into the depths and so marked us with morality that we have become brother to the clay - but God never meant it to be so.

Men and women may argue and make excuses, but it does not change the fact that in our human society we are completely surrounded by three marks of the ancient curse: Everything is recent, temporal, and transient! That is why the Holy Spirit whispers faithfully, God Almighty come to live among us and to save - actually to give us eternity!

This we know: When we turn our faces toward the Eternal One, asking, "God have mercy on me, a sinner," we are finally being what God intended us to be in the first place!

Almighty God and Eternal Father, help me to journey through the coming year with a new set of eyes. Enable me to see life from Your lofty, eternal perspective. Amen
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Man Has Lost God

The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search and struggle throughout his lifetime. He does not really know what he is doing here. He does know where he is going.

The sad commentary is that everything is he doing is being done on borrowed time, borrowed money and borrowed strength - and he already knows that in the end he will surely die! It boils down to the bewildered confession of many humans that they have lost God somewhere along the way.

Man, made more like God than any other creature, has become less like God than any other creature. Created to reflect the glory of God, he has retreated sullenly into his cave - reflecting only his own sinfulness.

Certainly it is a tragedy above all tragedies in this world that love has gone from man's heart. Beyond that, light has gone from his mind. Having lost God, he blindly stumbled on through this dark world to find only a grave at the end!

Dear Lord, thank You for the hope I have found in Christ. And thank You for giving meaning and purpose to my life. Help me to glorify You today. Amen
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Saviour and Lord

"For by grace are ye saved through faith...it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8)

God chose His only begotten Son as the channel for His grace and truth, for John witnesses that "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

The Law was given by Moses - but that was all that Moses could do. He could only "command" righteousness. In contrast, only Jesus Christ produces righteousness.

All that Moses could do was to forbid us to sin. In contrast, Jesus Christ came to save us from sin.

Moses could not save anyone - but Jesus Christ is both Saviour and Lord.

Grace came through Jesus Christ before Mary wept in the manger stall in Bethlehem. It was the grace of God in Christ that saved the human race from extinction when our first parents sinned in the Garden.

It is plain in history that God forgave Israel time and time again. It was the grace of God in Christ prior to the Incarnation that made God say: "I have risen early in the morning and stretched out my hands to us!"

Dear Lord, I want to be a reflection of Your grace and truth in the lives of my family, friends and coworkers today. Amen
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Our Charter Is From God


"Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18)


While we are right to thank God in appreciation for all of the great and good men in the history of the Christian church, we actually "follow" none of them. Our charter goes farther back and is from a higher source. They were rightly looked upon as leaders, but they were all servants of God, even as you and I are.

Luther sowed. Wesley watered. Finney reaped - but they were only servants of the living God.

In our local assemblies, we are part of the church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and perpetuated by the mystery of the new birth. Therefore, our assembly is that of Christian believers gathered unto a Name to worship and adore the Presence. So, in that sense, the strain is gone. The strain and pressure to abide by traditional religious forms all begin to pale in importance  as we function in faith as the people of God who glorify His Name and honor His Presence!

If all of this is true - and everything within me witnesses that it is - we may insist that God is able to do for us all that He did in the days of the apostles. There has been no revocation of our charter!

Dear Lord, thank You for the people in my life who have helped to shape me spiritually. And thank You that You alone are still the Source of new life. Amen

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 4

Favorite Pastor Quotes 4



GRACE!

(John Mason's Spiritual Sayings)

*The goodness of God satisfies our emptiness,
  the mercy of God satisfies our sinfulness, and
  the grace of God satisfies our unworthiness.
 
*What sin is there, which grace cannot pardon?
  What heart is there, which grace cannot soften?
  What soul is there, which grace cannot save?
 
*The more God's justice was magnified in His Son--
  the more was His grace magnified in the sinner.
 
*God humbled His holy Son--to exalt His saving grace.
 
*God's faithfulness performed what His grace promised.
  Grace drew the covenant--faithfulness keeps it.
  Grace called us--faithfulness will not cast us off.
 
*Abusers of God's grace--are treasurers up of His wrath!
 
*There is grace in the desire for grace
  --as there is sin in the desire for sin.
 
*Though God in grace has done great things for you--yet consider what in justice He might have done to you.
 
*While we carry a sense of grace in our conscience to comfort us
  --let us carry a sense of sin in our memory to humble us.
 
*We can never thank God enough for His patience--which has kept us so long out of Hell;
  nor for His grace--which so earnestly invites us to Heaven.
 
*All who are elect--are vessels of grace;
  all who are regenerate--are patterns of grace;
  all who are saved--are monuments of grace;
  all the work of Heaven--is to sing the loud praises of grace.
 
*It melts the heart to think that God is as full of grace--as I am as full of sin!
  He is as free to forgive--as I am to offend.
  He has daily grace--for my daily sins.
 
*The heart of man is such a barren soil that no good can grow--there unless almighty grace plants it.
 Grace is an immortal seed, cast into an immortal soil, which brings forth immortal fruit!
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In wondrous contrast--and yet with consistent harmony!

(Frederick Marsh)

In the floral kingdom, the flowers have many hues. A number of different colored flowers in a bouquet will enhance the beauty of each other by their contrast.

Just so, in the cross of Christ, the attributes of God are brought out in wondrous contrast--and yet with consistent harmony. There we see . . .
  His name glorified,
  His love manifested,
  His majesty upheld,
  His justice satisfied,
  His truth vindicated,
  His law magnified, and
  His righteousness displayed in the putting away of our sins!

"He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."Romans 3:26 

"Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other!" Psalm 85:10
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Thread for a Web Begun
J. R. Miller

There is a secret of victorious living which, if people knew it, would make all life easier for them. It may be stated thus—that as we take up any duty and go forward with it, we shall receive the strength we need to do it. There are several Divine promises that give this assurance. One reads, "As your days—so shall your strength be." Deuteronomy 33:25. This seems to mean that the help which God gives, varies according to the necessity of the particular day.
When we have abundance of ordinary human strength, we do not need so much special Divine help, and God then gives less. Really, it is always God's strength that we have, whether it is what we call natural, or whether it comes in a supernatural way. When we have human friends about us, with sweet companionship, we do not need so much the revealing of the Divine presence and the companionship of the unseen Friend; but when we lose the human aide, then we need the Divine more deeply; and in the loneliness, God makes Himself known to us as never before. So it is in all our experiences. God fits His blessing--to our days.
When we are faint--He increases strength.
When we are sorrowful--He gives comfort.
When we are in danger--He grants protection.
When we are weary--He gives rest.
"As your days--so shall your strength be."
Another of Christ's promises reads, "My grace is sufficient for you." Every word of this assurance shines with radiant light.

"My grace is sufficient for you." It is Christ's grace that is sufficient. We know that He has all Divine fullness, and therefore we are sure that no human need can ever exhaust His power to give help!

"My grace is sufficient for you." It is Christ's grace that is sufficient. If it were anything else but grace, it might not give us such comfort. Grace is undeserved favor, goodness shown to the unworthy. We deserve nothing, for we are sinners. But it is Christ's grace which is sufficient, and so we can claim it.

"My grace is sufficient for you."
 It is present tense--IS sufficient. Christ is always speaking personally to the one who is in any need, and saying, "My grace IS sufficient for you."

"My grace is sufficient for you." The word "sufficient" is one whose meaning expands and amplifies with the measure of the need. No necessity is so small as not to be included; and none is so great as to go beyond the capacity of the blessing that is promised.

"My grace is sufficient for you." The grace is sufficient for each of His redeemed children--"for you" the promise runs.
There are Divine words, also, which imply that the supply of blessing that we receive—will depend upon ourselves. God's people in ancient times were commanded to cross the Jordan, the promise being that the stream would divide for them. Yet the waters would not have parted for them—if they had not gone forward in obedience and faith. As a matter of fact, it was only when the feet of the priests, walking in advance, were wetted in the rushing floods—that the stream began to sink away. When Jesus was ready to send forth His disciples to bear His gospel, His command was, "Go into all the world." Then came the promise, "And lo, I am with you all the days." The promise is very precious—but we cannot separate it from the command. We cannot have this blessed presence—unless we are, in our own way, to the measure of our own ability, seeking to make disciples of all nations. It is when we go out in His name—that He will be with us.
This is the unvarying law of spiritual blessing and good. Life lies before us, with its burdens, its duties, its responsibilities, its struggles, its perplexities. It does not come to us all in one piece. God breaks our years—into months and weeks and days, and never gives us more than just a little at a time—never more than we can bear or do for the day. Then if we take up the present duty or burden, we shall always have strength to do it. If we have enough of our own natural strength—and that is God's strength too—He does not need to give us special strength; for why should anything so precious as strength be wasted? But if we do not have strength of our own sufficient for the work or struggle, we need not falter—but should go on, just as if we had omnipotence in our arm; for the promise is that if we honor God by obeying Him, though the task be impossible to our ability, He will honor us by giving us all the help we need. The river will surely open when He has bidden us to cross it—if only we move on as if there were no river. The bread will surely be given when we enter the wilderness, following the Divine leading—if only we go on as if we had abundance of provision.
But we must not forget that the promised blessing depends upon our faith and obedience. If we do not begin the task that seems impossible, if we wait to receive the help before we will begin it—the help will never come. If we do not begin our march toward the river, waiting until it opens—it will not open at all. If we do not enter upon the struggle, waiting for strength to be given for the battle before we accept it—we shall never get the strength. An old proverb says, "Get your spindle and your distaff ready, and God will send the flax." Yes—but He will not send the flax—unless we get the spindle and distaff ready. We must do our part, thus proving our faith—or God will not do what He has promised, for His promise is conditional.
Another old proverb says, "For a web begun—God sends the thread." We must take up the scant bundle of threads we have, and begin our weaving, confident that the Lord will provide threads as we go on—enough to finish the web. He will never put His threads into folded, waiting hands.
There is a whole sermon in these lines. There are thousands of good people who do almost nothing with their life—because they are waiting for God to send the thread—before they will begin to weave the web of duty which He bids them to weave. They say, "I want to be useful; I want to do good; but God has not given me anything to work with." Now, the truth is, that God has given them enough to begin with, and that is all He will give at first. There were only five barley loaves, and there were five thousand hungry people. What were these among so many? But for the web begun—God sent the thread that day. There was only a little meal in a barrel and a little oil in a cruse, and there were years of famine yet to be passed through. But again for the web begun—God sent the thread.
The teaching is for us, and it is one of the most practical lessons we can learn. Put your hands to the tasks that are surely yours, never asking whether you are able to do them or not, and not waiting for God to provide all the strength or all the material you will need, before you begin to do them. Whatever is your duty must be done, no matter how far beyond your strength it may be. It is yours to begin; it is God's duty to help you through—and He will, if you honor Him by trusting Him.
Those who live lives of great usefulness—have always begun with the little they had. Ofttimes it was a very small capacity for helping others; but they began in a quiet way, doing what they could. Then as they used the gift they had—it grew in their hands, until they filled a large sphere of usefulness, touching many lives with the blessing of their helpfulness. For a web begun—God sent the thread.
The same law of human diligence and Divine blessing prevails in the building up of character. Ten lepers cried to Jesus for healing. He answered, bidding them go and show themselves to the priest. This was what the law required lepers to do, after they had been cured, when the priest would give them a certificate of health and cleanness, permitting them to return again to society. These lepers were not cured. Their bodies showed no mark of healing. But they promptly obeyed the Master's word, and "as they went—they were cleansed."
There are those who long for a beautiful life, for a transformed character—but it seems to them, they never can attain to such renewal, they are so full of faults and blemishes. But if they begin to follow Christ, starting with the little fragment of Christ-likeness which their hands can pick up—God will help them and they will grow at last into rich beauty of soul.
Just so, get the victory over the one temptation of the hour—and that will be the first thread in a web of complete victoriousness! Get one little line of loveliness into your disposition—and that will be the beginning of a spirit which at last will include "whatever things are lovely." For a web begun—God will send the thread.
There is a beautiful Eastern fable of a child walking beside the sea, who saw a bright spangle lying in the sand. She stooped down and picked it up, and found that it was attached to a fine thread of gold. As she drew this out of the sand there were other bright spangles on it. She drew up the gold thread, and wound it about her neck and around her head and her arms and body, until from head to foot she was covered with the bright threads of gold and sparkled with the brilliance of the silver spangles.
So it is when we lift out of God's Word an ornament of beauty to put into our life. We find that other fragments of loveliness, all bound together on the golden chain of love, and are attached to the one we have taken up! Then as we draw up the chain and entwine it about our neck, and weave it into a web to make a garment for our soul—we find that it is endless! Infinite as God Himself, is the abundance of the lovely things that we may draw out of the treasury of His grace—to deck our life with beauty. "For a web begun—God sends the thread."
This same law applies in the learning of all life's lessons. The Divine teaching is never lacking—but we must ever begin the lesson with the little we know. We must take the one step that is plain to us—and then God will make plain the next step for us, and the next, and the next. We must not demand to know all the way—before we will set out. We must trust Christ and go on—even in the dark. We must never falter when there seems to be no path; as we go on—it will open. As we do the will of God—we shall know the teaching. When we begin the web—God will send the threads to weave into the beautiful ending!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 3

Favorite Pastor Quotes 3


The Family Influence Good or Bad


Proverbs 22:6 tells us, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." What a great responsibility this places on parents. Records of royal lineage (1 Kings 15-16) illustrate that one's level of submission to God is often mirrored in the offspring's life.
Now, it's true that children eventually grow and make their own decisions. There are godly parents who are heartbroken by their kids' poor choices. Similarly, some from backgrounds full of sinful bondage become righteous people of integrity.
As mothers and fathers, we are given a momentous task: to model and teach how to live according to God's Word. Thankfully, we don't have to rely on ourselves for wisdom. Good parenting involves prayerful self-evaluation, godly counsel, and thoughtful course corrections.
Start by considering how you'd answer the following questions if your children were to walk in your way: What place will Jesus, the Word of God, and the church have in their lives? Will they seek God's direction as the ultimate guide for decisions? Will they develop strong godly relationships? Will they know how to handle money wisely? Will they do their best in their vocation? As you seek answers, ask God to reveal truth, since self-examination can be difficult.
In prayerfully considering your impact as a parent, expect to see positives and negatives. The goal isn't self-condemnation, so keep in mind 1) there's no perfect parent and 2) it's never too late. Even if the kids are grown, you can ask forgiveness, share what you've learned, and model a godly life starting now.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~
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The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. (1 Corinthians 2:15 ESV)

We have to continually ask the question: "Is Christ everything in this matter, or am I wanting my own way? Am I allowing my own feelings, desires and likes to dominate or is Christ everything? Is Christ in all here, so far as it is within my power, in the energy of the Holy Spirit, for it to be so?" That has to be reduced to the minutia of daily life. We have to get away when we are upset, annoyed, provoked, irritated, and fight that battle out and say: "Lord, You have to be everything in this matter: it does not matter how my interests are affected." And from those details of everyday life and experience out to the wider ranges, and up to the place where we may be the Lord’s responsible servant, the Word and the Spirit have to govern; and the Word and the Spirit have one object: Christ – everything and in all.
Recognizing that, we see that this further thing is necessary, that we are a truly spiritual people. It is very often difficult to define what is meant by spirituality, or a spiritual people. It is one of those things better experienced than explained. But for the moment it can be put quite simply and quite safely and soundly in this way, that a spiritual people is a people who are governed by the Word and the Holy Spirit to this end: that in everything within and without, Christ is All and in all. That is true spirituality.

~T. Austin-Sparks~
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We live on an enchanted ground, and are surrounded with snares!

(John Newton's Letters)

My dear Madam,
We all hope, by-and-bye, to have new bodies which are not subject to illness. In the mean time, if the Lord is pleased to sanctify the infirmities to which our present mortal frame is subject--we shall have cause to praise Him, no less for the bitter than the sweet. 

I am convinced in my judgment, that a cross or a pinch somewhere or other, is so necessary to us--that we cannot go on well for a considerable time without one. We live on an enchanted ground, and are surrounded with snares! If we are not quickened by trials--we are very prone to sink into spiritual formality or carelessness. It is a shame it should be so--but so it is, that a long course of prosperity always makes us spiritually drowsy!

Trials therefore are medicines--which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes, because we need them. He proportions thefrequency and the weight of them--to what our case requires. 

Many of His people are sharply exercised by poverty, which is a continual trial every day, and all the year round. Others have trials in their families. Those who have comfortable firesides, and a competence for this world--often suffer by sickness, either in their own persons, or in the persons of those they love. 

But any, or all of these crosses, are mercies--if the Lord works by them to prevent us from cleaving to the world, from backsliding in heart or life, and to keep us nearer to Himself. 

Let us trust our Physician--as He will surely do us good. And let us thank Him for all His prescriptions, for without them our soul-sickness would quickly grow upon us!

I sympathize with Miss K. in her trials--yet I know she will profit by them. I hope her illness will find relief--but it is better to have astiff neck with the grace of God--than to be stiff-necked in the sense in which many young people are, who can move their heads freely enough. I hope it is a mercy that she bears the yoke awhile in her youth. When the affliction has answered the good end for which it was sent--the Lord can easily remove it.
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...The Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (Colossians 2:19)

What is the believer? In God's sight the believer is one in whom Christ is implanted, and God never looks at Christ in a limited way. He always looks at Him in an absolute way, and when Christ is implanted at the beginning of our life it is not as though God implanted Him in a fragmentary way. God's thought was that the end should be bound up with the beginning, and that Christ should be All and in all. That is why conversion is never an end in itself. It is only the first step toward the full end of God. It defines the nature of the believer in God's sight, that it is of Christ. You cannot make that. No decision cards can accomplish that. You can never make men and women Christians by inviting them to make certain decisions, to assent mentally to certain propositions of Christian doctrine, though perfectly true as to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. There has to be something which constitutes in that individual, right at the very center of the being, a living union with Christ, and a deposit of Christ. Anything other than that is a false conversion. It is the depositing of Christ at the very center of the being, with a view to His spreading to the very circumference, that is the nature of a believer....
You see the pathetic hopelessness of trying to propagate anything by organized means and methods which really is all of God. It simply has to grow, it simply has to be. Ah, but when it is so it is mighty, it is indestructible, it is incorruptible. Nothing can stand in the way of Christ. It is that which rouses hell and the energies of the Devil. He does not mind all the other: doctrine, work, profession. That may often serve his ends as a great deception and misrepresentation; but bring Christ in, bring Christ through, realize Christ, and then you meet every force in this universe which is antagonistic to Christ.

~T. Austin-Sparks~
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Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!
(J.C. Ryle)

"Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!" Hebrews 13:9
Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.
There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error--and their 'earnestness' makes many think they must be right.
There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge--and many imagine that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.
There is a general tendency to free thought in these latter days--many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.
There is a wide-spread desire to appear tolerant and liberal-minded--many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.
There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers--they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.
There is a morbid craving in the public mind for the more sensational and showy--men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.
There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly and earnestly--and a determination to forget that Satan is often "transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 2:14
There is a wide-spread 'gullibility' among professing Christians--every heretic who tells his story plausibly, is sure to be believed. Anyone who questions him, is called a bigot and a narrow-minded man.
All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing man to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, "Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!" 
An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a Church! A Bible-reading laity may save a Church from ruin.
Let us read the Bible regularly, daily, and with fervent prayer, and become familiar with its contents.
Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing--which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.
Let our rule of faith, our touchstone of all teaching--be the written Word of God!

"
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word--it is because there is no light in them!" Isaiah 8:20

Monday, January 22, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes 2

Favorite Pastor Quotes 2


Revelation 3:19
Be zealous.
If you would see souls converted, if you would hear the cry that "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord"; if you would place crowns upon the head of the Saviour, and His throne lifted high, then be filled with zeal. For, under God, the way of the world's conversion must be by the zeal of the church. Every grace shall do exploits, but this shall be first; prudence, knowledge, patience, and courage will follow in their places, but zeal must lead the van. It is not the extent of your knowledge, though that is useful; it is not the extent of your talent, though that is not to be despised; it is your zeal that shall do great exploits. This zeal is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: it draws its vital force from the continued operations of the Holy Ghost in the soul. If our inner life dwindles, if our heart beats slowly before God, we shall not know zeal; but if all be strong and vigorous within, then we cannot but feel a loving anxiety to see the kingdom of Christ come, and His will done on earth, even as it is in heaven. A deep sense of gratitude will nourish Christian zeal. Looking to the hole of the pit whence we were digged, we find abundant reason why we should spend and be spent for God. And zeal is also stimulated by the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of hell, and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of heaven, and it cannot but bestir itself. It feels that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord. And it is ever strengthened by the remembrance of Christ's example. He was clothed with zeal as with a cloak. How swift the chariot-wheels of duty went with Him! He knew no loitering by the way. Let us prove that we are His disciples by manifesting the same spirit of zeal.

~Charles Spurgeon~
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Today's Reading2 Samuel 12Luke 16
Today's Thoughts: Faithful with Little, Given Much
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?” >Luke 16:10-12
There is an ice cream man who has come to sell ice cream in my neighborhood for at least 8 years. His van is beat up with bald tires, poor paint, bumps and bruises on the exterior, well-worn and torn up seats inside, and a very loud stereo blasting the ice cream theme song. The music sings to “Do your ears hang low? Do they travel to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?” The song plays over and over, very loudly. And I can hear that song from blocks away. The ice cream man can barely speak English but has a great countenance and has smiled for 8 years, with the facial wrinkles to prove it.
My heart has broken for this man. I have told my children to go and buy ice cream to support him. It seems like a hard job for not too much in return, but his attitude is so good and he is so faithful to do his job well. Well, the other evening I went for a walk. I heard that familiar sound down the block. As I was walking by, to my surprise, the ice cream man got a brand new truck! It was the same man, same products, same advertisements on the side and the same song but a new truck. I was so happy for him.
God spoke to my heart while walking past the truck and explained something to me. When we receive the Holy Spirit in power, God uses the same person with the same personality and same body to be empowered in a whole new way. This man was faithful with little, so he has been given much (Luke 16:10). We too will receive more and more opportunities to be used by God in the power of the Holy Spirit if we are faithful with the smaller tasks He has given us. By being faithful in the little tasks, He can trust us with bigger ones. The choices we make in every day living matter to God. Are we smiling? Are we content? Are we faithful? Same person, same product, same advertisements but with a new power and passion that comes from a faithful heart. God is so good. But how we choose to live the every day job is up to us.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~
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Today's Reading2 Samuel 9Luke 15:11-32
Today's Thoughts: Ask Your Father
"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' " “My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” >Luke 15:28-31
I was thinking about the difference between the prodigal son versus his brother. One of the biggest differences between the two was in their ability to ask. The prodigal son asked for his share of the inheritance. His father graciously gave it to him. Not long after that, this younger son left his father’s house and “squandered the wealth in wild living” (as quoted in the NIV). The older
son kept faithfully working and obeying. When the younger son came home with a heart of repentance, the older son was angry because he felt as if he had been mistreated. But really, their father would have been just as fair. One asked and the other didn’t.
Without concentrating on the poor choices that the younger son made, I have been meditating on the relationship of two boys, living under the same roof, and their dad. What gave one the ability to ask? We see the same thing occur in Christianity today. Some of us have learned to ask our Father for more blessings and fruits, willing to take more risks. While others are obedient but angry that nothing extra or miraculous is done for them.
Which are you?  Many of us do not pray this way: “Lord, I know that I don’t deserve one thing for I am a sinner and Jesus has done everything for me already. But I ask for your blessings and for more of the Holy Spirit to do bigger and greater things. Not because of any works of righteousness do I ask, but because of Your mercy. Use me, empower me and fill me to be poured out as a blessing on others as You bless me. I want more Lord and You told me to ask.”
But when you learn to pray this way, miracles happen.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~
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How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (Galatians 3:3 NLT)
You know all that the Letter to the Galatians is about, and you know the two prominent words – Liberty – "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 4:1 – A.V.) – and sonship. Not servanthood, nor slavery, but sonship; the liberty of sons. They are the two great words of that Letter, but what are the grave bands there in Galatia? They are the grave bands of tradition, of legalism, and all such things. You know, dear friends, it is very easy to get tied up with these grave clothes!

The persistent peril through the ages of Christianity is to crystallize itself into something set, something fixed. You have some light, some revelation, something of the immensity of truth, just a fragment of it, and it is not long before you begin to form that into a set system and make it the limit, saying that this is what people must believe, they must come within this horizon, and they must behave like this. It becomes a system again: 'You must... you must not!', and there is no difference between that and the Old Testament 'Thou shalt... thou shalt not!' Christianity has fallen into that peril, and is continually doing it, circumscribing the great revelation, making Christ smaller than He is, crystallizing truth into something fixed and set: 'This is how...' and the meaning of that is: 'This is the ultimate.' Now you notice that when the Spirit did come, as we have the record in the Book of the Acts, the one thing that these old Jewish disciples experienced was a marvelous emancipation from that bondage of Judaism; and how the Holy Spirit was working all along against any fixed barriers!

~T. Austin-Sparks~
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 We have no cause to apologize to the world if we have been born again, changed and transformed through the miracle of supernatural grace and thus endued with the only living and eternal hope which has ever come into this sad and hope less world ! " 

~A. W. Tozer~
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“Meekness is often confused with lowliness or humility, but they are by no means identical.
Humility is the opposite of pride and self-sufficiency, whereas meekness is the opposite of stubbornness and selfwill.
Meekness is pliability and is the fruit of a broken heart. Meekness is the opposite of being determined to have my own way; it is an attitude of yieldedness—desiring God to work his will in and through me. Where there is true meekness (which the world, in its blindness, regards as weakness), its possessor approaches the Word with the desire to be moulded by its holy teachings, so that our characters may be formed thereby, and all our affairs, both temperal and eternal, be directed by its precepts.”

~ Arthur Pink~

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Favorite Pastor Quotes

Favorite Pastor Quotes

Preserving grace before regeneration

(J.C. Philpot, "Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers")

"To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ." Jude 1

What a mercy it is for God's people, that before they have a 'vital union' with Christ, before they are grafted into Him experimentally--they have an 'eternal union' with Him before all worlds. It is by virtue of this eternal union, that they come into the world . . .
   at such a time,
   at such a place,
   from such parents,
   under such circumstances
--just as God has appointed. 

It is by virtue of this eternal union, that all the circumstances of their lives are ordained. By virtue of this eternal union, they are preserved in Christ before they are effectually called. 

They cannot die--until God has brought about a vital union with Christ!

Whatever sickness they may pass through, whatever injuries they may be exposed to, whatever perils assault them on sea or land--die they will not, die they cannot--until God's purposes are executed in bringing them into a vital union with the Son of His love. 

Thus, this eternal union watched over every circumstance of their birth, watched over their childhood, watched over their manhood--watched over them until the appointed time and spot, when "the God of all grace," according to His eternal purpose, was pleased to quicken their souls, and thus bring about an experimental union with the Lord of life and glory!

______________________________


   ~  ~  ~  ~
Nothing so hardens the heart of man--as a barren familiarity with sacred things.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Sicknesses, losses, crosses, anxieties and disappointments--are absolutely needful to keep us humble, watchful and spiritually-minded. They are as needful as the pruning knife to the vine--and the refiner's furnace to the gold.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Surely it is better to enter into eternal life with a few--than to go to Hell with a great company!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Doctrine is useless--if it is not accompanied by a holy life! It is worse than useless--it does positive harm. Something of 'the image of Christ' must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The love of Christ towards His people--is a deep well which has no bottom!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Let us daily strive to copy our Savior's humility.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Imagination is the hotbed where sin is too often hatched.
Guard your thoughts--and there will be little fear about your actions.
   ~  ~  ~  ~

The eye of God! Think of that. Everywhere, in every house, in every field, in every room, in every company, alone or in a crowd--the eye of God is always upon you!
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   ~  ~  ~  ~
Blessed are those who live like pilgrims and strangers in this life--their best things are all to come!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The surest mark of true conversion, is humility.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
When I speak of a man growing in grace, I mean simply that . . .
  his sense of sin is becoming deeper,
  his faith is becoming stronger,
  his hope is becoming brighter,
  his love is becoming more extensive, and
  his spiritual-mindedness is becoming more marked.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The Christian who keeps his heart diligently in little things--shall be kept from great falls.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Fathers and mothers--do not forget that children learn more by the eye than they do by the ear.
Imitation is a far stronger principle with children, than memory.
What they see has a much stronger effect on their minds--than what they are told.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Let us read the Bible reverently and diligently--with an honest determination to believe and practice all that we find in it.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Every fresh act of sin . . .
  lessens fear and remorse,
  hardens our hearts,
  blunts the edge of our conscience,
  and increases our evil inclination!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
We may love money without having it--just as we may have money without loving it.
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   ~  ~  ~  ~
To be Christian, will cost a man his love of ease!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The tree falls with a great crash, but the secret decay which accounts for it--is often not discovered until it is down on the ground. Just so, men fall in private--long before they fall in public!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Growth in grace is one way to be happy in our religion.
God has wisely linked together our comfort--and our increase in holiness.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The children of God all have a cross to bear.
A suffering Savior generally has suffering disciples.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
We know nothing of humility by nature--for we are all born proud!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Naked we came upon earth--and naked we depart.
Of all our possessions--we can carry nothing with us.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
There is more to be learned at the foot of the Cross--than anywhere else in the world!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
People will never set their faces decidedly towards Heaven, and live like pilgrims--until they really feel that they are in danger of Hell.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Let us be real, honest, and sincere in our Christianity.
We cannot deceive an all-seeing God!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The best of men--are men at best!
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   ~  ~  ~  ~
To be a Christian--it will cost a man his sins!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
There is no such thing as 'chance', 'luck', or 'accident' in the Christian journey through this world.
Everything is arranged and appointed by God. All things are working together for the believer's good.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
The standard of the world, and the standard of the Lord Jesus--are widely different.
They are more than different--they are flatly contradictory one to the other.
Never be satisfied with the world's standard of Christianity!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Hell is truth known too late!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
A tree may always be known by its fruit.
Just so, a true Christian may always be discovered by their habits, tastes and affections.
   ~  ~  ~  ~
Christ is never fully valued--until sin is clearly seen. We must know the depth
and malignity of our disease--in order to appreciate the great Physician!
   ~  ~  ~  ~
That Bible is read best--which is practiced most!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Job Experience # 9

A Job Experience # 9

"Again...satan smote Job..." continued -

3. "Surely He hath born our griefs, and carried out sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:4, 5). More than any other passage of scripture, Isaiah 52:13-15 and Isaiah 53 reveal the details of the innermost workings of the Cross of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And it is even more wonderful when we realize that Isaiah was used to record these innermost details over 600 years before Christ was crucified. This portion of scripture is very remarkable, for it is written in the past, present, and future tense, for example: - He was wounded for our transgressions - and with His stripes we are healed - He shall see the travail of His soul. In other words, all the work accomplished through the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is "from everlasting to everlasting" - the Cross is always a present-accomplishment from eternity past throughout eternity future.

Therefore, the greatest and most important battle in all the battles of the ages was being fought through and upon the Cross of Christ. Through the Cross: "God disarmed the principalities and powers ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Christ and in the Cross" (Col. 2:15). The religious leaders of that day thought they put Jesus on the Cross! Rome thought they ordered the crucifixion of Jesus the Nazarene! And satan and all his evil host thought they were crucifying the Christ of God. But, beloved, the Word of God says: "...it pleased the Lord (the Lord purposed) to bruise (to crush) Him..." The Cross of Christ always was, and is, and ever shall be, the most important factor in the Full Purpose of God in Christ: "...when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His see, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities" (Isa. 53:10, 11).

Isaiah 53:4 says, "Yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted..."; and the context of this scripture indicates that we are mostly ignorant of, and probably never will fully understand, the Fullness of the Atoning Work of the Cross. But, beloved, we can by faith believe it! We can rejoice in it! We can walk and live in the reality of it! And we can spend eternity learning of the Fullness of the Atoning Work of the Cross of Christ.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities,
The chastening of our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall upon Him (Isa. 53?4-6)

And so, after considering these examples of the word, "smote", we see that when the Holy Spirit states that "satan...smote Job", He is emphasizing the importance of the warfare that is taking place in the unseen realm between God and his enemy. A warfare that will result in God's End through His Way.

"You have heard of the endurance of Job"

"And Much Time Having Elapsed..."

Thus, satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with loathsome and painful sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And Job took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself, and he sat down among the ashes, an unclean place without the city.

Then, much time having elapsed, his wife said to him, "Are you still holding fast to your integrity? How long wilt thou persist saying, "Behold I will wait yet a little longer in hope and expectation of my deliverance?" Renounce God, and die."

The majority who interpret this portion of scripture are very hard on the wife of Job. They seem to forget that up to this point Job's wife had suffered through the same calamities that satan had brought upon Job: Along with Job, she had suffered the loss of their home and lands; and most grievous and painful of all, her mother's heart had been broken by the death of the children. And then, for what seemed like an unendurable length of time, she had watched her husband suffer pain, grief, and affliction. The Septuagint Bible seems to catch the essence of her grief and sorrow as it speaks of what must have been in her heart: "...those sons and daughters, whom I brought forth with pangs and sorrow, and for whom I toiled in vain, are vanished from the earth; and (Job) thou thyself sittest among the putrefaction of worms, all night long in the open air, while I am wandering about or working for wages, from place to place and from house to house, wishing for the setting of the sun, that I may rest from the sorrows I endure...."

No wonder Job's wife broke under the strain of the calamities that befell them; no wonder she could not endure such sufferings; on the contrary, we believe that it was only as Job depended on God's "tender mercy" (James 5:11) that Job endured until God had His End through His Way.

So then, because of the great stress that Job's wife was under, we do not believe that we can be critical or judge her. We know that she allowed herself to be used by satan to discourage Job when she entreated her husband to "Renounce God and die". We know that she spoke without understanding and wisdom, but still we cannot judge or be critical of her.

Remember! even the Apostle Peter allowed himself to be used by satan, to speak against the Cross of Christ (Matt. 16:21-36). Remember! Christ rebuked Peter, and said unto him: "Get thee behind Me, satan...".

Beloved, if most of us will be honest before God, we have all allowed the enemy to use us, knowingly or unknowingly, to come against or speak against our brethren, at one time or another; and we have done this even when they are undergoing deep stress and trouble. Now, if we are to be counted among the faithful, we believe that at such times as this, we must be willing by God's grace to make up the difference for those who are breaking under their stressful circumstances. Job did this for his wife - listen as he giver her a word of faith and a word of wisdom upon which they can stand:

Whereupon he looking steadfastly at her said, "Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh... Like one of the women without understanding hast thou spoken... What?... If we have received good things at the hand of the Lord, shall we not bear up under afflictions?" In all these things which befell him, Job transgressed not with his lips against God (Job 2:10).

Furthermore, we know that God showed Job's wife His compassion; for when the Lord "turned the captivity of Job", He gave Job twice as much as Job had had before. And the Lord gave him seven sons and three daughters, which means Job's wife came into the good of all that God gave Job, for Job could not have had these children by himself: "Job endured, and his wife came into her portion of God's End. Beloved, when God's full End is accomplished in each and every one of His children's lives, would it not be wonderful to find that God had used us, even in a small way, to make up the difference for those who broke under the strain of the unseen warfare?!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 10)