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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Most Significant Voice

"To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation" (Hebrews 3:15).

God is speaking to mankind with more than one voice, but it must be said that the clearest, most distinct and most easily distinguished voice is that of the Holy Spirit. The call and reproof and conviction by the Holy Spirit give grave and serious meaning to all other voices calling men home.

If it were not for the presence of the Holy Spirit speaking through the consciences of men and women, no other voice would have any significance. For the Holy Spirit, the divine Comforter, came to confirm Christ's words and Christ's work and Christ's person.

The Holy Spirit ... lived in the human Christ for three and a half years, the Spirit who wept in His tears, suffered in His agonies, spoke in His words of wisdom and love, took the little children in His arms, healed the sick and raised the dead.

The Holy Spirit is God's purifying messenger to us, bringing the water and the fire that will make us white as snow. Let us trust Him, let us obey Him, let us receive Him.

~A. W. Tozer~

Many Tribulations - Wondrous Fragrance Flows

Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).
The best things of life come out of wounding. Wheat is crushed before it becomes bread. Incense must be cast upon the fire before its odors are set free. The ground must be broken with the sharp plough before it is ready to receive the seed. It is the broken heart that pleases God.
The sweetest joys in life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world.
Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweetbriar rose.
At dewy morn or twilight's close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange wild rose.
"But when the rain-drops on it beat,
Ah, then, its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet.
Ofttimes with loving tenderness,
Its soft green leaves I gently press,
In sweet caress.
A still more wondrous fragrance flows
The more my fingers close
And crush the rose.
Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so
Its perfume when tempests blow,
The sweeter flow.
And should it be Thy blessed will,
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.
And while its dying fragrance flows
I'll whisper low, "He loves and knows
His crushed briar rose."
If you aspire to be a son of consolation; if you would partake of the priestly gift of sympathy; if you would pour something beyond commonplace consolation into a tempted heart; if you would pass through the intercourse of daily life with the delicate tact that never inflicts pain; you must be content to pay the price of a costly education--like Him, you must suffer.
--F. W. Robertson
~L. B. Cowman~

Friday, August 30, 2013

Not Here To Fool Around

"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and judgment" (John 16:8).

The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also called the Spirit of Truth, has not come into this world to fool around. He will be found wherever the Lord's people meet, and in confirming the Word and the Person of Jesus Christ, He will demand moral action!

It is for that reason that when a man goes to a gospel meeting he never knows when the last shred of excuse will be stripped from his naked, trembling conscience forever. Men may joke and play - even about sacred and spiritual matters - but he Spirit of God is in dead earnest!

God is still speaking in this lost world and one of His voices is the presence of the Holy Spirit, convicting a lost human race of such weighty matters as sin, righteousness and judgment. While the Holy Spirit continues in His ministries, we know that this lost world is not yet a forsaken world.

The very fact that the Holy Spirit has left the love and joy of heaven and made His residence for nearly 2,000 years in this uncongenial world, places His sacrifice alongside that of Jesus Christ in His incarnation and redemption.

~W. W. Tozer~

All Things Work Together for Good

Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above (John 19:11).
Nothing that is not God's will can come into the life of one who trusts and obeys God. This fact is enough to make our life one of ceaseless thanksgiving and joy. For "God's will is the one hopeful, glad, and glorious thing in the world"; and it is working in the omnipotence for us all the time, with nothing to prevent it if we are surrendered and believing.
One who was passing through deep waters of affliction wrote to a friend:
"Is it not a glorious thing to know that, no difference how unjust a thing may be, or how absolutely it may seem to be from Satan, by the time it reaches us it is God's will for us, and will work for good to us?
For all things work together for good to us who love God. And even of the betrayal, Christ said, "The cup which my Father gave me, shall I not drink it?"
We live charmed lives if we are living in the center of God's will. All the attacks that Satan, through others' sin, can hurl against us are not only powerless to harm us, but are turned into blessings on the way.
--H. W. S.
In the center of the circle
Of the Will of God I stand:
There can come no second causes,
All must come from His dear hand.
All is well! for 'tis my Father
Who my life hath planned.
Shall I pass through waves of sorrow?
Then I know it will be best;
Though I cannot tell the reason,
I can trust, and so am blest.
God is Love, and God is faithful,
So in perfect Peace I rest.
With the shade and with the sunshine,
With the joy and with the pain,
Lord, I trust Thee! both are needed,
Each Thy wayward child to train,
Earthly loss, did we but know it,

Often means our heavenly gain.
~L. B. Cowman~

Thursday, August 29, 2013

God's Mind in Human Words

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible will never be a living Book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe. To jump from a dead, impersonal world to a dogmatic Bible is too much for most people. They may admit that they should accept the Bible as the Word of God, and they may try to think of it as such, but they find it impossible to believe that the words there on the page are actually for them.

The facts  are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word. The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God's continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words.

The Spirit guides us by the Scriptures, by their general principles and teachings and by bringing to us special passages from the Word, either impressing them on our hearts through the law of mental suggestion or by various ways fitted to emphasize a passage as a divine message to our hearts.

~A. W. Tozer~

Soldiers for Christ



Today's passage is from Paul's letter to Timothy. The apostle encourages the young man—and, by extension, every believer—to face difficulty as a good soldier. The military term "soldier" implies that we are in a battle. And in fact, the combat started before Adam and Eve's lifetime. 

We see the first evidence when almighty God, who had created all the celestial beings, nevertheless allowed Satan and other angels (thereafter known as "demons") to rebel against Him. They established their own kingdom and waged war with the Lord.

Later we see this strife extend to all humankind. In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve to violate God's command by eating forbidden fruit. Her disobedience corrupted mankind's innocence, and ever since, all human beings have been born with a nature bent away from the Lord—and with a profound need for a Savior.

Tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus modeled how to be victorious in spiritual conflict: by means of Scripture. God's Word gives us everything we need to win—from offensive and defensive weapons (Eph. 6:10-17) to the proper perspective on our adversaries' real identity: "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (v. 12).

When we see ungodliness in our society, the Enemy may at times seem to be winning. Yet we who are saved have assurance that we belong to Him who is greater—and who will have the final victory (1 John 4:4; John 16:33). View daily battles biblically and look to God, who is mightier than all evil.

~Charles Stanley~

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Purity of Truth Determined by Morals

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever thing are true ... think on these things" (Philippians 4:8)

The light has shone upon men and nations, and (God be praised) it has shone with sufficient clarity to enable millions to travel home in its glow; but no believer, however pure his heart or however obedient his life, has ever been able to receive it as it shines from the Throne unmodified by his own mental stuff.

As a lump of clay when grasped by the human hand remains clay but cannot escape the imprint of the hand, so the truth of God when grasped by the human mind remains truth but bears upon it the image of the mind that grasps it.

Truth cannot enter a passive mind. It must be received into the mind by an active mental response, and the act of receiving it tends to alter it to a greater or less degree.

Of course I refer her to theological and religious truth. How pure this truth is in any place at any given time is revealed by the moral standards of those who hold the truth. Spiritual truth (by which I mean the disclosures of the Holy Spirit to the human spirit) is always the same.

Wherever the Holy Spirit still comes, He will always be found witnessing to Jesus and honoring the Son of God.

~A. W. Tozer~

Heaven on Earth


 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.


What does it mean when we say that God is sovereign? It means that God is ultimately in control. Nothing happens without His permission.

While it is true that God is sovereign, it is also true that God allows us to exercise our free will. God actually respects the free will of mankind. Some people think that mankind will solve all its problems. They are foolish enough to believe that a politician can fix things . . . or technology . . . or psychology . . . or a focus on ecology. But it isn't politics or psychology or technology or ecology that will fix it. It is only theology, the study of God.

We need to turn to God. One day the Lord will right all the wrongs in our universe. He will take this sin-sick world and turn it right side up. Today it is upside down. Everything is topsy-turvy. What once was perceived as good is now viewed as bad. What was once thought of as bad is now being elevated to a position of good.

But one day it will be made right. God will right all of the wrongs. God won't abandon His creation; He will restore it. Christ has not yet established His kingdom on this earth, but one day he will return to our planet and bring it back to its Eden-like state. Known as the Millennium, it will last for one thousand years.

In his book called Heaven, my friend Randy Alcorn writes, "We won't go to heaven and leave earth behind. Rather, God will bring heaven and earth together into the same dimension, with no wall of separation, no armed angels to guard heaven's perfection from sinful mankind."

A new world is coming. One day, heaven will come to earth.


~Greg Laurie~

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wormy Fruit?

"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge" (Psalm 75:6-7).

God may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to a point where he does not need to succeed to be happy. The man who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it.

God will allow His servant to succeed when he has learned that success does not make him dearer to God nor more valuable in the total scheme of things. We cannot buy God's favor with crowds or converts or new missionaries sent out or Bibles distributed. All these things can be accomplished without the help of the Holy Spirit.

Our great honor lies in being just what Jesus was and is. What greater glory could come to any man?

Oh, to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer;
This is my constant longing and prayer.
Gladly I'll forfeit all of earth's treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art!
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

~A. W. Tozer~

Unconquerable Love!

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
Observe, I entreat you, how calamitous a circumstance is here supposed, and how heroic a faith is expressed. It is really as if he said, "Though I should be reduced to so great extremity as not to know where to find my necessary food, though I should look around about me on an empty house and a desolate field, and see the marks of the Divine scourge where I had once seen the fruits of God's bounty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord."
Methinks these words are worthy of being written as with a diamond on a rock forever. Oh, that by Divine grace they might be deeply engraven on each of our hearts! Concise as the form of speaking in the text is, it evidently implies or expresses the following particulars: That in the day of his distress he would fly to God; that he would maintain a holy composure of spirit under this dark dispensation, nay, that in the midst of all he would indulge in a sacred joy in God, and a cheerful expectation from Him.
Heroic confidence! Illustrious faith! Unconquerable love!
--Doddridge
Last night I heard a robin singing in the rain,
And the raindrop's patter made a sweet refrain,
Making all the sweeter the music of the strain.
So, I thought, when trouble comes, as trouble will,
Why should I stop singing? Just beyond the hill
It may be that sunshine floods the green world still.
He who faces the trouble with a heart of cheer
Makes the burden lighter. If there falls a tear,
Sweeter is the cadence in the song we hear.
I have learned your lesson, bird with dappled wing,
Listening to your music with its lilt of spring

When the storm-cloud darkens, then's the TIME to sing.
~L. B. Cowman~

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Habit of Holy Thought

"The carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).

Every normal person can determine what he will think about. Of course the troubled or tempted man may find his thoughts somewhat difficult to control and even while he is concentrating upon a worthy object, wild and fugitive thoughts may play over his mind like heat lightening on a summer evening. These are likely to be more bothersome than harmful and in the long run do not make much difference one way or another.

The best way to control our thoughts is to offer the mind to God in complete surrender. The Holy Spirit will accept it and take control of it immediately. Then it will be relatively easy to think on spiritual things, especially if we train our thought by long periods of daily prayer. Long practice in the art of mental prayer (that is, talking to God inwardly as we work or relax) will help to form the habit of holy thought.

This is what the Holy Spirit brings to us, the vision of the Lord, power to see divine things as God see them. The Spirit also thinks in us by giving us divine instincts, intuitions and enablements.

~A. W. Tozer~

Overcoming Obstacles



The Lord has a beautiful plan for each believer’s life. But to thwart God’s purposes, Satan sprinkles obstacles in our path.

There are many types of hindrances, such as a difficult boss, contrary family members, and financial trouble. Anything that blocks a desired goal can cause anxiety and great frustration. But remember that no obstacle can touch you without God’s consent.

Consider Joshua’s army, which was no match for Jericho’s military. And the great wall protecting that city was an impossible barrier to cross. Yet God had promised the Israelites the land, and Joshua believed. He wasn’t fazed by what seemed unconquerable. Instead, he acknowledged the Lord’s power and sought His guidance.

Before Joshua even realized that God was at work, the Lord was preparing the city for destruction by instilling fear into kings throughout the region. Heaven’s directions included an unlikely battle plan, but because Joshua obeyed, God’s people triumphed.

Waiting can be difficult. And after a while, we might even begin to wonder if God will do anything at all—then it is easy to quit. But, as was true with Joshua, God has gone before us and is preparing the way. No matter how He chooses to handle the problem, His solution is always in our best interest.

Whenever you face an obstacle, you may experience great heartache. But even in the midst of pain, you can have full confidence in God. The most important part of each day is the time you spend alone with the Lord. He will encourage you with His love and give direction.

~Charles Stanley~

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Practice the Presence

"I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" (Psalm 16:8).

The scriptural way to see things is to set the Lord always before us, put Christ in the center of our vision, and if satan is lurking around he will appear on the margin only and be seen as but a shadow on the edge of the brightness. It is always wrong to reverse this - to set satan in the focus of our vision and push God out to the margin. Nothing but tragedy can come of such inversion.

The best way to keep the enemy out is to keep Christ in. The sheep need not be terrified by the wolf; they have but to stay close to the shepherd.

The instructed Christian will practice the presence of God and never allow himself to become devil-conscious.

Brother Lawrence wouldn't pick up a straw from the ground but for the love of God. When he was dying he said, "...When I die I won't change my occupation. I have just been worshiping God for 40 years on earth, and when I get to heaven I'll just keep right on doing what I am doing."

~A. W. Tozer~


I Press On

One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on. (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

The Lord desires us to go on. Sometimes going on means loneliness in going on where others cannot go with us. That means a price is bound up with obedience. It may mean a big break, a big change. It is the challenge of whether we are adjustable before the Lord. Our adjustability is the proof of our utterness for the Lord. That proof being there, the Lord is able to bring us on into all His thought. Let us remember always that we shall never get to a place while we are here where there is not some higher level and some greater fullness of Christ. There will always be yet another step, and perhaps another after that, higher on. Let us have our hearts set upon reaching all. The Lord will so graduate things as to make the challenge not too severe. He takes us a step at a time, and He does not want us to take six steps at a bound, or to contemplate six steps at a time. He shows us our next step, and that is all we have to be concerned about now. The other steps will come at the right time. Every step prepares us for the next.

Very often our lives are like mountain climbing. You see from below to a certain height, and that seems to be the top, and you make for it. And when you get to it, you see a little further on that there is another top. You think that must be the very top, and so you make for it, and when you get to it there is something still further. You never do seem to get to the top! But we shall arrive at last. The Lord hides the other things and says: "Now, that is your next step; obey that and fuller revelation will come after that." Those of us who look back and see how terrible a thing it would have been if the Lord had shown us at one time all that to which we have been brought, know that if we had seen it all at one time, we could not have gone on. We see that He brought us by stages, and today we are not ungrateful for the price paid, in view of the measure of Christ which we enjoy and the greater fullness of revelation. Let us ask the Lord to put into us the spirit of His servant: “Not that I have already obtained it... but one thing I do... I press on....

By T. Austin-Sparks

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another Nature

"And you ... hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable" (Colossians 1:21-22).

For the moral unlikeness between man and God the Bible has a word, alienation, and the Holy Spirit presents a frightful picture of this alienation as it works itself out in human character.

Fallen human nature is precisely opposite to the nature of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. Because there is no moral likeness there is no communion, hence the sense of physical distance, the feeling that God is far away in space.

The new birth makes us partakers of the divine nature. There the work of undoing the dissimilarity between us and God begins. From there it progresses by the sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit till God is satisfied.

The only remedy for human nature is to destroy it and receive instead the divine nature. God does not improve man. He crucifies the natural life with Christ and creates the new man in Christ Jesus.

~A. W. Tozer~

Talk About Jesus


How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"  But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.  For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. - Romans 10:14-17

There are a lot of misconceptions about evangelism.  First, evangelism means to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  It is as easy as sharing your story (or testimony) of how Jesus Christ changed your life.  No one can argue with your own personal story, and you do not need to know any Scripture verses to share your story.

How do I witness or tell someone else about Jesus?  Well, there are three things that everyone loves to talk about: themselves, their work and their kids.  I start asking tons of questions about each of these three things, to let them talk. After they have shared about themselves, they usually ask me something about myself. Before answering, I pray silently to the Lord for the right sentence to direct the conversation to Christ. I want to use all that the person has shared in a way to lead the conversation to the Lord. God has always honored my desire to witness. He has always given me the words and I have seen the fruit. I have seen many people (complete strangers) come to Christ in a variety of places, from hospital beds to airplanes, and even on the phone to an operator in another state who was helping me make a hotel reservation!

People need Jesus. I believe that so firmly that I share Jesus with everyone I can. Jesus wants people to come to Him. We are the bridge between Jesus and the lost (through the Holy Spirit). A long time ago, I learned that it is better to say the WRONG thing than to say NOTHING at all. The Holy Spirit will use anything to minister to a heart, but the words have to be spoken for Him to use them. The Holy Spirit needs two things from each of us: a face and a voice. Paul said, "faith comes from hearing the message" and how will anyone hear without someone telling them? (Romans 10:17)

Tell the world about Jesus, starting with one person at a time. Be sure you ask them, "Do you want to pray with me right now to come to know Jesus?" You will be shocked by how many say, "Yes, I do."  And remember, God blesses obedience, not results.  Be obedient to share the gospel and leave the results to God.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dying to Live

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey ...? (Romans 6:16).

For all God's good will toward us He is unable to grant us our heart's desires till all our desires have been reduced to one. When we have dealt with our carnal ambitions; when we have trodden upon the lion and adder of the flesh, have trampled the dragon of self-love under our feet and have truly reckoned ourselves to have died unto sin, then and only then can God raise us to newness of life and fill us with His blessed Holy Spirit.

It is easy to learn the doctrine of personal revival and victorious living; it is quite another thing to take our cross and plod on to the dark and bitter hill of self-renunciation. Here many are called and few are chosen.

The meaning of self-denial is not an infliction of personal torment nor penance, but it is simply the giving up of the very principle of living for ourselves. It is completely changing the direction of our being and will, so that no longer in any sense do we act with reference to how anything will affect us, but our one thought is how it will affect God or others.

~A. W. Tozer~

Claim Victory!

You are my king, O God! Decree Jacob’s deliverance! (Ps 44:4)

Here is no foe to your growth in grace, no enemy in your Christian work, which was not included in your Savior’s conquests.

You need not be afraid of them. When you touch them, they will flee before you. God has promised to deliver them up before you. Only be strong and very courageous! Fear not, nor be dismayed! The Lord is with you, O mighty men of valor—mighty because one with the Mightiest. Claim victory!

Whenever your enemies close in upon you, claim victory! Whenever heart and flesh fail, look up and claim VICTORY!

Be sure that you have a share in that triumph which Jesus won, not for Himself alone, but for us all; remember that you were in Him when He won it, and claim victory!

Reckon that it is yours, and gather spoil. Neither the Anakim nor fenced cities need daunt or abash you. You are one of the conquering legion. Claim your share in the Savior’s victory.
—Joshua, by Meyer

We are children of the King. In which way do we most honor our Divine Sovereign, by failing to claim our rights and even doubting whether they belong to us, or by asserting our privilege as children of the Royal Family and demanding the rights which belong to our heirship?

~L. B. Cowman~

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seeing Things As They Are

"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him" (John 1:32).

John the Baptist possessed the right kind of vision, a true spiritual discernment. He could see things as they were.

The Holy Spirit came like a dove, descended like a dove, putting down His pink feet and disappearing into the heart of the Son of God.

I wonder out of all those crowds who saw the Holy Spirit come?

Only John the Baptist. I do not think anyone else had the kind of vision that was necessary to see Him.

John the Baptist was a man of vision in the midst of men who had no vision. He knew where he was in his times. The drift of the hour or the trend of the times in religion would never carry him away.

"To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill -
Oh, may it all my powers engage
To do my Master's will"

~A. W. Tozer~

The True Grace of God


Read Jude 1:4 which states,

For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Before we move away from this verse, I want to point out a phrase that I believe is very dangerous ground for the Church in America today.  It is the phrase,"Ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness."

Lewdness literally means unrestrained lust, wickedness, and immorality.  These people believed that once you were saved, you could live however you wanted. 

There are people in the Church today with this type of thinking.  They believe that if you are saved by grace, and good works do not merit salvation, then you can do whatever you want.   
        
You can sleep around, commit adultery, get drunk, the sky's the limit.  It's grace, baby!  Your works don't have anything to do with it.  You can live however you want!

One of the things that I have heard throughout the years is, "Hey, it doesn't matter.  It's grace.  God will forgive me, so I'm going to go ahead and do this anyway."

You do not want to live that way.  Believe me, something begins to break down inside of you, and you will pay the piper eventually.

If you are turning the grace of God into lewdness through immorality, or any other sin, I challenge you to stop today.  Confess your sin to God, turn from whatever it is that you have been doing, and ask God to help you live for Him.  If you do, you will experience the true grace of God, which teaches us that we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age (Titus 2:11-12).

~Bayless Conley~

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Bush With No Fire!

"True worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him" (John 4:23).

Truth is forever the same, but modes and emphases and interpretations vary. It is a cheering thought that Christ can adapt Himself to any race or age or people. He will give life and light to any man or woman anywhere in the world regardless of doctrinal emphasis or prevailing religious customs, provided that man or woman takes Him as He is and trusts Him without reservation.

The Spirit never bears witness to an argument about Christ, but He never fails to witness to a proclamation of Christ crucified, dead and buried, and now ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high.

The conclusion of the matter is that we should not assume that we have all the truth and that we are mistaken in nothing. Rather we should kneel in adoration before the pierced feet of Him who is the Truth and honor Him by humble obedience to His words.

The first [principle and condition of divine guidance] is a surrendered spirit. Next, there must be a readiness to obey. He will not give us light unless we mean to follow it.

~A. W. Tozer~

Our Only Hope


For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:24-25

Have you ever talked with someone who seemed to have no hope? They were beaten up, beaten down and hopeless. My heart breaks for those who have no hope in the future and have no idea how to take a step towards it. Maybe some of us know people who fit this description; maybe some of us have these same feelings ourselves. To a certain extent I think most people have times in life when it appears that all hope is lost. A sudden tragedy, a chronic illness, or just life in general can bring feelings of hopelessness.

But what is hope? To hope for something is to have an expectation and anticipation of getting it. In a way, hope is like faith because we cannot see hope; therefore, we must believe in what we cannot see. This is easier said than done, especially when we cannot see the sky for the clouds. What can we do in times like these? Our only “hope” is to turn to God’s Word and ask Him for help. Romans 8:25 is a good verse to pray back to the Lord in asking Him to help us with our hope. A sample prayer might be:

Dear Lord, I am struggling with hopelessness and I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need Your word to give me hope and I need Your presence to lift me up today. Your word says I am to hope for what I do not see. I do not see (__________) but I pray for the perseverance to eagerly wait for it. Help me to believe in the hope that only You can give so that I may see Your hand upon my life today. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for giving me hope. In Jesus name, Amen.

Try writing your own personal prayer today. Ask the Lord to help you find hope in Him. Explore other verses that speak to your heart and pray them back to God. He is listening and ready to help.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Godhead Never Works Separately

"We will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23)

What we have in the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit is Deity present among us. He is not God's messenger only; He is God. He is God in contact with His believers, doing in them and among them a saving and renewing work.

The Persons of the Godhead never work separately. We dare not think of them in such a way as to "divide the substance." Every act of God is done by all three Persons. God is never anywhere present in one Person without the other two. He cannot divide Himself.

Where the Spirit is, there also is the Father and the Son. "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23). For the accomplishment of some specific work one Person may for the time be more prominent than the others are, but never is He alone. God is altogether present wherever He is present at all.

Jesus is the epitome of love, kindliness, geniality, warm attractiveness and sweetness. And that is exactly what the Holy Spirit is, for He is the Spirit of the Father and the Son.

~A. W. Tozer~

Hold On To Hope


Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Faith creates hope, so where faith is conceived hope is birthed. Yes, hope is the daughter of faith. Those who profess to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior possess hope. Hard times try to hinder hope’s comforting company, but it is unhindered where faith in God is the focus. Those who hold on to hope are happy. Where faith peers hope makes clear. Where there is a wall, hope finds a door. Where there is darkness, hope looks for a light. Hope expects Christ to come through.

What is hope? It is confidence in Jesus Christ, period. Confidence He is faithful. Faithful to follow through with His promise to provide us peace in the middle of our turmoil. Faithful to answer our prayers in His most productive process. Faithful to give our children what they need as long as they look to Him. Faithful to facilitate financial resources when we steward well what we already have. He is faithful by His restorative grace to heal relationships severed by sin. Hope bursts forth in possibilities when we embrace the promises fulfilled by the Lord’s faithfulness. 

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. Job 11:18

Since your security is in your Savior Jesus who has conquered sin, sorrow and death, hope is your wise weapon. Your Heavenly Father holds you in the palm of His hand, therefore nothing can reach you lest your divine protector gives permission. The Holy Spirit is your guide, thus you have a trusted leader who directs your path. “Your hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.” Your two-handed grasp of God includes His double fisted hold on you!

When hope is deferred avoid rejecting God and giving up. Wait on the Lord and hope in Him. He helps you when you feel helpless. He empowers you when you feel powerless. He encourages you when you feel discouraged. He gives joy when you feel joyless. Hope never disappoints. It gives life and a reason to live. If you let go of hope, your gracious Lord doesn’t let go of you. Like Mount Everest, your hope is unmovable, so hold unswervingly to your living hope: Jesus!

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to hope in You when all seems hopeless.

Related Readings: Psalm 33:22; Proverbs 13:12; Lamentations 3:21-29; Romans 4:18; 1 John 3:3

~Wisdom Hunters~

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Godhead of the Spirit

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter ... even the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16-17)

In her sacred hymnody the Church has freely acknowledged the Godhead of the Spirit and in her inspired song she has worshiped Him with joyous abandon. Some of our hymns to the Spirit have become so familiar that we tend to miss their true meaning.

In the poetical works of Fredrick Faber I have found a hymn to the Holy Spirit which I would rank among the finest ever written:

"Fountain of Love! Thyself true God!
Who through eternal days
From Father and from Son hast flowed
In uncreated ways!

I dread Thee, Unbegotten Love!
True God! sole Fount of Grace!
And now before Thy blessed throne
My sinful self abase.

O Light! O Love! O very God
I dare no longer gaze
Upon Thy wondrous attributes
And their mysterious ways."

The Holy Spirit is a Being dwelling in another mode of existence. He nevertheless exists as surely as you exist!

~A. W. Tozer~

The Lord Your God Proveth You

The Lord your God proveth you. Deuteronomy 13:3

How much happens to us for this reason! God proves us - not that He may learn aught of us which He did not know before, but that He may reveal us to ourselves. We need to know ourselves, that we may be prompted to know and use His infinite resources, and that, in the great consciousness of our frailty and weakness, we may be led to avail ourselves of His grace.
God proves us by opportunities of Christian service. - We think we are fitted for some great sphere, and chafe because it is withheld: but the reason is not far to seek. We have been tested in some very little service, as a class in the Sunday-school, and have been found careless and unpunctual; is it likely that we shall be entrusted with the greater?
God proves us by the money with which He entrusts us. - Money resembles the counters with which children play. It greatly tests us. It is described as the unrighteous mammon, and as not being our true riches; but it is entrusted to us that we may be proved, before God entrusts us with the real treasures of His Kingdom. Be wary how you use money; on this may turn the responsibilities of the eternal world of which we now know nothing.
God proves us by our actions with regard to doubtful things. - Not in the things which are clearly right or wrong, but in those which lie in the debatable ground of the twilight, is our true character tested. What you are in matters which must be viewed in relation to others is all-important, as the true gauge of character. By currents of opinion, by winds of doctrine, and by the many voices that are speaking in the world, the Lord your God proveth you.

~F. B. Meyer~

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Holy Spirit is God

"I will put my spirit within you ... and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:27)

How shall we think of the Holy Spirit? The Bible declares that He is God. Every quality belonging to Almighty God is freely attributed to the Holy Spirit. All that God is, the Spirit is declared to be. The Spirit of God is one with and equal to God just as the spirit of a man is equal to and one with the man.

The historic Church when she formulated her "rule of faith" boldly wrote into her confession her belief in the Godhead of the Holy Spirit. The Apostles' Creed witnesses to faith in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit and makes no difference between the three. The fathers who composed the Nicene Creed testified in a passage of great beauty to their faith in the deity of the Spirit.

"And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified".

All that the Son is the Holy Spirit is, and all that the Father is the Holy Spirit is, and the Holy Spirit is in His Church.

~A. W. Tozer~

Failing to Listen to God



Listening to God is not a onetime event. We must continually keep His Word before us, or we'll begin to listen to the wrong voices.

In Genesis 2:16-17, the Lord gave a command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Eve began to listen to another voice and did not hold firmly to her Creator's words. All that Satan had to do was plant a single doubt about God's integrity and offer Eve one appealing advantage of doing things her own way—and she fell for it. He mentioned wisdom, but using her own reasoning, Eve added two more benefits to the temptation: the fruit is good for food and a delight to the eyes.

The schemes of the Enemy have not changed. He still whispers lies and twists truth to convince us that a) God cannot be trusted and b) His ways are not the best. In every temptation, there is a deception about the character and motive of God, plus an attractive promise of a better way.
The world is filled with voices that vie for our attention and influence our thoughts and actions. Throughout the day, consider the messages that are sent your way through the media and people. Consciously begin to compare them to what Scripture says about God and His ways.
Remembering what God says in the Bible is our safeguard against deception and temptation. Daily devotions won't protect us if they're quickly forgotten during the day. Follow Christ's example: be ready with truth in your mind and on your tongue whenever temptation strikes (Matt. 4:1-11).

~Charles Stanley~

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Knowing or Knowing About

"For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Timothy 1:12)

In religion more than in any other field of human experience a sharp distinction must always be made between knowing about and knowing. The distinction is the same as between knowing about food and actually eating it. A man can remain spiritually dead while knowing all the historic facts of Christianity.

"This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). We have but to introduce one extra word into this verse to see how vast is the difference between knowing about and knowing. "This is life eternal, that they might know "about" thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

That one word makes all the difference between life and death.

We dare not conclude that because we learn about the Spirit we for that reason actually know Him. Knowing Him comes only by a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit Himself.

The Spirit is an imperative necessity. Only the Eternal Spirit can do eternal deeds.

~A. W. Tozer~

Refined by Fire



God is always at work in our lives. Even during seasons of adversity, He wants to accomplish something powerful and good. How should this knowledge affect our response? Today's passage teaches us to choose to rejoice during difficult times. This doesn't mean we have to be happy about the hardship itself. Instead, joy comes from drawing close to the Lord and believing steadfastly that through His redemptive power, He is growing and preparing us. If your usual response to trials is anxiety, anger, or depression, the idea of having joy in the midst of a negative situation might not seem logical. However, if you look beneath the surface, you will discover that this biblical directive makes sense for several reasons.

Often, our natural reaction to pain is to run in the opposite direction, and as fast as possible. However, God wants to teach us endurance--much like a long-distance runner builds up strength in training--so that we can fully benefit from what He is doing in our hearts. He uses trials as a refining fire to purify us like gold and bring us to greater spiritual maturity. As we realize that we are actually being made more complete through our adversities, we'll begin to face challenging times with confidence that He always has our best interest in mind.


While a worldly viewpoint sees hope and joy in the midst of dark times as naïve, a spiritual perspective discerns that we're really progressing on a journey toward life at its fullest. We can be filled with supernatural joy, knowing that the Lord is making us into world-changing spiritual warriors.

~Charles Stanley~

Friday, August 16, 2013

Defeating the Devil's Strategies



All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. Then the key question is, What we will do next? Sadly, many believers who stumble give up a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure can also be a chance for a new beginning of living in Christ's strength.
In pride, Peter thought his faith was the strongest of all the disciples' and swore that even if the others left Jesus, he never would (Mark 14:29). Yet when the time of testing came, he denied even knowing Christ--and did so three times (Matt. 26:69-75). Satan hoped the disciple would be so wounded by his own disloyalty that his faith would be undermined by shame, condemnation, and despair.

Likewise, when the Enemy sifts believers today, his goal is for us to become shelved and ineffective for God's kingdom. That's why he goes after our strengths, especially the areas in which we proudly consider ourselves invincible. But if we're willing, the Lord can use our failures to do spiritual housecleaning, as He did in Peter's life. After the resurrection, Jesus met with the disciple personally and restored him, preparing him to become a great leader in the early church. He made it clear that Peter's potential to serve was defined, not by failure, but by his unwavering love for Christ.


Peter laid down his pride, received the healing Jesus offered, and put on courage with the Holy Spirit's help. He then risked his life fearlessly to further the gospel, and many came to Christ through his example. Failure was the catalyst that grew in him a stronger, more authentic faith.

~Charles Stanley~

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

See You on Friday - August 16, 2013


I won't be online today - Thursday, August 15, 2013. My youngest brother and sister-in-law are down for a brief visit. Want to spend the entire day with them. See you on Friday, August 16, 2013 for the usual postings. God bless each and every one of you!

Walk in the Spirit

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them ... who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1)

The idea of the Spirit held by the average church member is so vague as to be nearly nonexistent. When he thinks of the matter at all he is likely to try to imagine a nebulous substance like a wisp of invisible smoke which is said to be present in churches and to hover over good people when they are dying.

Now, how should we think of the Holy Spirit? A full answer might well run to a dozen volumes. We can at best only point to the "gracious unction from above" and hope that the reader's own desire may provide the necessary stimulus to urge him on to know the blessed Third Person for himself.

If I read aright the record of Christian experience through the years, those who most enjoyed the power of the Holy Spirit have had the least to say about Him by way of attempted definition. The Bible saints who walked in the Spirit never tried to explain Him.

We will never understand the Holy Spirit so long as we terminate our though upon Him. The Scripture always lead us on beyond every subjective experience to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil" (Isaiah 1:16)

In post-biblical times many who were filled and possessed by the Holy Spirit were by the limitations of their literary gifts prevented from telling us much about Him. They had no gifts for self-analysis but lived from within in uncritical simplicity.

To them the Spirit was One to be loved and fellowshipped the same as the Lord Jesus Himself. They would have been lost completely in any metaphysical discussion of the nature of the Spirit, but they had no trouble in claiming the power of  the  Spirit for holy living and fruitful service.

This is as it should be.

Personal experience must always be first in real life. Knowledge by acquaintance is always better than mere knowledge by description, and the first does not presuppose the second nor require it.

Happy is the man who will not allow himself to be diverted and distracted, but having emptied and cleansed his heart, will stand waiting ... for Christ to descend, fill and ever remain as the glorious indweller of the soul.

~A. W. Tozer~

Reconciling Love and War



One area of confusion about war is the apparent discrepancy between Jesus’ words and God’s approval of battle in the Old Testament. Can such dissimilar teachings be reconciled? How can the God who told Israel to destroy the Canaanites be the same one who said, “Love your enemies,do good to those who hate you” (v. 27)?

To clarify this issue, we must distinguish between commands issued to nations and instructions given to individuals. The Lord has bestowed certain responsibilities upon governments. He calls them ministers of God for good and entrusts them with avenging evil (Rom. 13:4). But to individuals, He says, “Never take your own revenge” (12:19).

People are killed in war, but this isn’t the same as murder. A soldier on the battlefield carries out his duties under the authority of his government (Rom. 13:1-2). Murder, on the other hand, is an individual’s vengeful response to anger or jealousy and is motivated by a desire to destroy another person.

When governments avenge wrong, innocent people are protected, but when individuals seek their own revenge, they destroy themselves and others. In Luke, Jesus was speaking about personal conflicts, not national wars. He knows that loving our enemies is the only way to protect ourselves from bitterness.

Would we prefer to turn the responsibilities around—are we quick to fight personal battles, but slow to affirm the avenging of evil nationally? Sometimes the only way for a country to have peace is to go to war, but we’ll never experience inner peace if we battle with individuals who wrong us.

~Charles Stanley~

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Our Character 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"

~A. W. Tozer~