Google+ Followers

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Think Like God Thinks

"Search me, O God ... try me, and know my thoughts" (Psalm 139:23)

If God knows that your intention is to worship Him with every part of your being, He has promised to cooperate with you. On His side is the love and grace, the promises and the atonement, the constant help and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

On your side there is determination, seeking, yielding, believing. Your heart becomes a chamber, a sanctuary, a shrine in which there may be continuous, unbroken fellowship and communion with God. Your worship rises to God moment by moment!

We have all found that God will not well in spiteful and proud and selfish thoughts. He treasures our pure and loving thoughts, our meek and charitable and kindly thoughts. They are the thoughts like His own!

As God dwells in your thoughts, you will be worshiping - and God will be accepting. He will be smelling the incense of your high intentions even when the cares of life are intense and there is activity all around you.

This leaves us no argument. We know what God wants us to be. He wants us to be worshipers!

Lord, I worship You this morning. I look forward to our fellowship throughout the busy activities of this day. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

My Redeemer Liveth


Job 19:25
I know that my Redeemer liveth.
 
The marrow of Job's comfort lies in that little word "My"-"My Redeemer," and in the fact that the Redeemer lives. Oh! to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a property in Him before we can enjoy Him. What is gold in the mine to me? Men are beggars in Peru, and beg their bread in California. It is gold in my purse which will satisfy my necessities, by purchasing the bread I need. So a Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, of what avail were such? Rest not content until by faith you can say "Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and He is mine." It may be you hold Him with a feeble hand; you half think it presumption to say, "He lives as my Redeemer;" yet, remember if you have but faith as a grain of mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it. But there is also another word here, expressive of Job's strong confidence, "I know." To say, "I hope so, I trust so" is comfortable; and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say, "I know." Ifs, buts, and perhapses, are sure murderers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: even the night is light about me. Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming and advent of Christ, could say, "I know," we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption. Let us see that our evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, May 30, 2014

We Are Not Orphans

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Psalm 37:23)

I once wrote in an editorial that Christian believers are not orphans in this world, making the point that the divine Shepherd goes before us and that we travel an appointed way.

A reader wrote to question my allusion to our traveling an "appointed" way, asking: "I was brought up a Methodist. In you comments, do you mean this to be foreordination: That is what the Presbyterian believe. Just what did that mean?"

I replied that I had not meant to go down that deep into doctrine - that I had not been thinking of foreordination, predestination or the eternal decrees.

"I was just satisfied that if a consecrated Christian will put himself in the hands of God, even the accidents may be turned into blessings," I told him.

Anyway, I am sure the Methodist brother can go to sleep at night knowing that he does not have to become a Presbyterian to be certain that God is looking after him!

Dear Lord, in these quiet moments this morning, prepare my mind and heart for the encounters You're arranged for me today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Christ Came to Save

"For God sent his Son into the world to condemn the world" (John 3:17)

Millions who have rejected the Christian gospel have generally been too busy and too involved to ask themselves a simple question: "What really is God's intention toward me?"

They could have found the plain and simple answer given by the apostle John: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17).

This is a gravely significant message from the heart of God Himself! Yet, even in the full light it provides, people are indifferent. Upon our eyes there seems to have fallen a strange dimness; within our ears, a strange dullness. It is a wonder, and a terrible responsibility, that we should have this message in our possession and be so little stirred about it!

I confess that it is very hard for me to accept the fact that it is now very rare for anyone to come into the house of God, silently confessing: "Dear Lord, I am ready and willing to hear what you will speak to me today!"

Dear Lord,how grateful I am that You do not condemn, but by Your Spirit You do convict. Help me to hear and act upon Your promptings today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

The God Who Forgives



Jesus Christ gave His followers a pattern for prayer that includes seeking forgiveness daily. The invitation to regular repentance is not a means of renewing our salvation, but rather a maintenance plan for our fellowship with the Lord. When we trust Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven forever. The stains from our past, present, and future wrongs are wiped from our record; however, we're a fallen people so we do continue to commit sin.

With the exception of Jesus Christ, no person is perfect. Sin is simply a fact of human life. The Lord's payment for our transgressions means that we can look forward to an eternity spent in God's presence instead of getting the punishment we deserve. On this side of heaven, though, we still have to contend with our tendency to do wrong--and we must also deal with the consequences. The Lord's admonition to seek daily forgiveness is a reminder to confess our sins and turn away from them because we are forgiven.

God's grace is not a license to sin; instead, it's a reason to pursue righteousness. Bad attitudes, thoughtless actions, and unkind speech do not fit who we are as children of light. We're new creatures in Christ, bought for a price and set free to live as partakers of His grace.
Salvation makes a way for us to enter God's presence, while regular confession and repentance keep the pathway well maintained and free of obstruction (1 John 1:9). The so-called "sinner's prayer" need be said only once, but a saint will tap into God's forgiveness every day of his or her life.

~Dr. Charles Stanley~

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Who Will Come to Jesus?

"Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:37)

God's invitation to men is broad but not unqualified. The words "whosoever will may come" throw the door open, indeed, but the church is carrying the gospel invitation far beyond its proper bounds, turning it into something more human and less divine than that found in the sacred Scriptures.

What we tend to overlook is that the word "whosoever" never stands by itself. Always its meaning is modified by the word "believe" or "will" or "come."

According to the teachings of Christ no one will or can come and believe unless that has been done within him a prevenient work of God enabling him to do so.

In the sixth chapter of John, Jesus teaches us that no one can come of himself; he must first be drawn by the Father. "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profited nothing," Jesus said (6:63).

Before any man or woman can be saved, he or she must feel a consuming spiritual hunger. Where a hungry heart is found, we may be sure that God was there first - "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you" (John 15:16).

Heavenly Father, I pray today for evangelists and missionaries around the world who are representing You in teeming cities and remote areas. Through them, I ask that You will draw many people to Yourself who have never heard the gospel message. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Who Hears the Call of God?

"Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6:68)

Who can deny that there are certain persons who, though still unconverted, nevertheless differ from the crowd, marked out of God, stricken with an interior wound and susceptible to the call of God?

In the prayer of Jesus in John 17:11, He said: "Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me." Surely no man is ever the same after God has laid His hand upon him. He will have certain marks, perhaps some not easy to detect.

First might be a deep reverence for divine things. A sense of the sacred must be present or there can be no receptivity to God and truth.

Another mark is great moral sensitivity. When God begins to work in a man to bring him to salvation, He makes him acutely sensitive to evil.

Another mark of the Spirit's working is a mighty moral discontent. It does take a work of God in a man to sour him on the world and to turn him against himself; yet until this has happened he is psychologically unable to repent and believe!

Lord, I pray that Your Spirit will continue to make me sensitive to the "divine things" at work in this immoral world so that I may make a difference for Christ among my network of relationships. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Standing Firm


Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  1 Corinthians 16:13

A couple of months ago, I shared my faith with my neighbor. The conversation went well (from my point of view). The next thing I knew she hosted a luncheon and invited all the neighbors but me. After hearing about the event I felt sad and discouraged. I thought about what I had said to her and wondered if I had offended her. As I prayed, the Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me that persecution comes in various forms. I am responsible to speak as the Lord leads me; but I cannot always expect the outcome to be as positive as I would like. The Lord softened my heart to pray for her and to ask for another chance to speak to her again, not in anger for being left out of the party, but in simple love for her.

It is not always easy to be strong in the Lord and to stand firm and not give up. Are you standing firm? We have to learn to praise God and share Him and talk about Him, especially when times are calm. Today we have the Holy Spirit and we have free speech. If we cannot stand firm for Him now when times are easy, how will we handle persecution leading to death when times become tough? God will protect you in His way with His results. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. Do not allow your pain, pressures, problems or even persecution to separate you from pleasing Him.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Christ Is Not Divided

"Jesus answered ... If a man love me, he will keep my words" (John 14:23)

Much of our full gospel literature and much of our preaching tend to perpetuate a misunderstanding of what the Bible says about obedience and Christian discipleship.

I think the following is a fair statement of what I was taught in my early Christian experience and before I began to pray an study and anguish over the whole matter:

"We are saved by accepting Christ as our Saviour."
"We are sanctified by accepting Christ as our Lord."
"We may do the first without doing the second."

What a tragedy that in our day we often hear the gospel appeal made in this way:

"Come to Jesus! You do not have to obey anyone. You do not have to give up anything. Just come to Him and believe in Him as Saviour!"

The fact that we hear this everywhere does not make it right! To urge men and women to believe in a divided Christ is bad teaching - for no one can receive a half or a third or a quarter of the Divine Person of Christ!

Heavenly Father, You are a wonderful Saviour and Lord deserving my full obedience to all of Your teachings. Forgive me, Lord, for the times that I've obeyed only a portion of Your Word. Show me the areas in my life in which I am weak. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Truth is a Person

"Then said Jesus ... And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32)

Let me say boldly that it is not the difficulty of discovering truth, but the unwillingness to obey it, that makes it so rare among men.

Our Lord said, "I am ... the Truth" (John 14:6). And again He said, "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Truth, therefore, is not hard to find for the very reason that it is seeking us!

So we learn that Truth is not a thing for which we must search, but a person to whom we must hearken! In the New Testament, multitudes came to Jesus for physical help, but only rarely did one seek Him out to learn the Truth. The whole picture in the Gospels is one of a seeking Saviour, not one of seeking men.

The Truth was hunting for those who would receive it, and relatively few did, for "many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).

Thank You for this truth, Lord, that You came "to seek and to save that which was lost." I don't want to keep this truth tucked in my back pocket. Give me an opportunity to share Your good news with someone today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

It Takes Time

And he shall bring it to pass (Ps. 37:5).

I once thought that after I prayed that it was my duty to do everything that I could do to bring the answer to pass. He taught me a better way, and showed that my self-effort always hindered His working, and that when I prayed and definitely believed Him for anything, He wanted me to wait in the spirit of praise, and only do what He bade me. It seems so unsafe to just sit still, and do nothing but trust the Lord; and the temptation to take the battle into our own hands is often tremendous.
 
We all know how impossible it is to rescue a drowning man who tries to help his rescuer, and it is equally impossible for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that He will not, but He cannot. Our interference hinders His working.
--C.H.P.
 
Spiritual forces cannot work while earthly forces are active.
 
It takes God time to answer prayer. We often fail to give God a chance in this respect. It takes time for God to paint a rose. It takes time for God to grow an oak. It takes time for God to make bread from wheat fields. He takes the earth. He pulverizes. He softens. He enriches. He wets with showers and dews. He warms with life. He gives the blade, the stock, the amber grain, and then at last the bread for the hungry.
 
All this takes time. Therefore we sow, and till, and wait, and trust, until all God's purpose has been wrought out. We give God a chance in this matter of time. We need to learn this same lesson in our prayer life. It takes God time to answer prayer.

~L. B. Cowman~

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Both Lord and Christ

"God hath made the same Jesus ... both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36)

No Christian believer should ever forget what the Bible says about the Person and the offices of the eternal Son, the Christ of God.

"God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). Jesus means "Saviour"; "Lord" means Sovereign; Christ means Anointed One.

The apostle Peter did not proclaim Jesus only as Saviour - he preached to them Jesus as Lord and Christ the Saviour, never dividing His Person or His offices.

Remember, also, the declaration of Paul: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus ... thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:().

Three times in the passage to the Roman Christians telling how to be saved, Paul calls Jesus "Lord." He says that faith in the Lord Jesus plus confession of that faith to the world brings salvation to us!

Sovereign Lord, You are the One I choose to serve. Help me to meditate on this truth as I journey through some mundane tasks today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Jesus Said He Was God

"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8)

The more we study the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when He lived on earth among us, the more certain we are about who He is.

Some critics have scoffed: "Jesus did not claim to be God, He only said He was the Son of Man."

It is true that Jesus used the term "Son of Man" frequently. But He testified boldly, even among those who were His sworn enemies, that He was God. He said with great forcefulness that He had come from the Father in heaven and that He was equal with the Father.

Bible-believing Christians stand together on this. They may differ about the mode of baptism, church polity or the return of the Lord. But they agree on the deity of the eternal Son, Jesus Christ is of one substance with the Father - begotten, not created (Nicene Creed).

In our defense of this truth, we must be very careful and bold - belligerent, if need be!

Christ is the brightness of God's glory and the express image of God's Person!

Lord Jesus, the only hope the world has is that You are One with the Father. You are God Almighty! You are our Messiah! I worship You today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

What Is Your True Purpose?



What do you live for each day? A pay raise? Retirement? Then perhaps you've discovered the reality that basing aspirations on getting ahead in this world typically ends in disappointment. People with a misguided sense of direction often wonder why they feel unfulfilled.

Maybe you've already realized a goal of saving for the future or moving up the corporate ladder. You give to charity and volunteer at church, but somehow still feel a sense of insignificance or aimlessness. If so, there is a truth you need to hear: God gives each of us life for a very specific reason: to serve Him. Nobody finds inner peace without reconciling this fact. Our society teaches us that pleasure, prosperity, position, and popularity will make us happy--but living in the service of self always leaves an emptiness no earthly reward can fill.

Besides, worldly philosophy won't stand the test of time. Few of us are going to live even 100 years. So whatever we'll become in this life, we're in the process of becoming that right now. Consider David: he was anointed king long before actually assuming the role (1 Sam. 16:12). He spent many years serving the purpose of God in insignificant places while developing into a great man. As his story shows, discovering God's purpose for your life is the surest path to success.


Our heavenly Father's purpose for our lives comes from His heart of love--which is perfect. None of us can foretell the great things He has in store for us, but we can trust His plan completely. Surrender to Him today and say, "Not my will, Lord, but Yours be done."

~Dr. Charles Stanley~

Monday, May 26, 2014

God Reveals Himself

"I saw also the Lord ... Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone" (Isaiah 6:1, 5)

I often wonder how so many people can live with a continuing hope that they will in some way be able to commune with God through their intellectual capacities. When will they realize that if the could possibly "discover" God they realize that with the intellect, they would be equal to God?

Isaiah is a dramatic example of God's revelation of Himself to mankind. Isaiah could have tried for a million years to reach God by means of his intellect. But brainpower is not the means by which we find God!

Brethren, it is true that all of us would still be far from God if He had not graciously and in love revealed Himself to us. In the space of a short second of time, the Lord who loves us can reveal Himself to the willing spirit of a man or woman. It is only then that an Isaiah, or any one of us, can say with humble assurance, "I know Him!"

A committed Christian, then, should have upon him an element that is beyond psychology - beyond all natural laws and into spiritual laws!

Lord, thank You for what we can know about You through the various encounters we read in the Bible. Lord, I want to be prepared in my heart to hear Your voice when You speak. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Sharing God's Nature

"Precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4)

Our heavenly Father disciplines us for our own good, "that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10). God's motives are always loving!

I have known people who seemed to be terrified by God's loving desire that we should reflect His own holiness and goodness, for holiness is Godlikeness - likeness to God!

God encourages every Christian believer to follow after holiness. We know who we are and we know who God i. He does not ask us to be God and He does not ask us to produce the holiness that only He Himself knows. Only God is holy absolutely: All other beings can be holy only in relative degrees.

Actually, it is amazing and wonderful that God should promise us the privilege of sharing in His nature. He remembers we were made of dust. So He tells us what is in His being as He thinks of us: "It is My desire that you grow in grace and in the knowledge of Me. I want you to  be more like Jesus, My eternal Son, every day you live!"

Lord, thank You for allowing us to share in Your divine nature. I want to become even more like You, but I need Your Spirit's help and encouragement. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Do Not Fear


Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:7, 9


Fear is a natural emotion that can be good when used for protection but debilitating when allowed to control us. Fear can hinder our judgment and potentially prevent us from moving forward to receive all that God has for us. We too are fearful of many things, from losing control to the unpredictability of our future.  God was very straightforward and serious when counseling Joshua about fear.

Courage means "to show oneself strong" or "to be alert." Other words associated with courage are "agile, quick and energetic." We tend to associate those words as personality types, not godly traits. If God commands us to be strong and courageous, then He desires for all His children to have such traits. He also gives us the same promises He gave to Joshua. Three times, the Lord told Joshua to be strong and of good courage. He then commanded Joshua to obey, while promising him that He would go with him wherever he goes. And Joshua did.
God tells us the same thing and He has given us the same promises. Hebrews 13:5 says "I will never leave you nor forsake you." The Lord has also given us His Holy Spirit that lives within us – meaning that wherever we go God goes too.And He tells us that all authority has been given to us through Jesus. What excuse do we have? Are we as apt to be "agile, quick and energetic" as we saw Joshua to be? We have no excuse to not receive all that God has promised us as His children. We have no excuse to not fully believe His Word and study His Word and live out His will. God told Joshua to be strong and courageous in taking the inheritance as well as in living according to God's ways. It takes courage to live for God and strength to uphold His commands. Both strength and courage are needed, to have both His inheritance and obedience.

What is stopping you? If it is fear, ask Him to give you courage. If it is apathy, ask Him to motivate you to be diligent. Tell the Lord that you want all He has purposed in His heart for you. Tell Him that you do not want anything to separate you from His will, including yourself. Tell Him to help your unbelief and empower you to push forward. And remember, do not be afraid for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Our God: All Sufficient

"In the Beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1)

Have we modern men and women never given thought or meditation concerning the eternal nature of God? Who are we to imagine that we are "bailing out" the living God when we drop a $10 bill in the Sunday offering plate?

Let us thank God for the reality of His causeless existence. Our God only is all-sufficient, uncreated, unborn, the living and eternal and self-existent God!

I refer often to the great worshiping heart of Frederick William Faber, who in these words celebrated his vision of God's eternal self-existence:

Father! the sweetest, dearest Name,
That men or angels know!
Fountain of life, that had no fount
From which itself could flow.

Thy vastness is not young or old,
Thy life hath never grown;
No time can measure out Thy days,
No space can make Thy throne!

Dear Heavenly Father, my daily problems must seem so trivial to You, the eternal God. Yet you invite Your children to bring their cares and concerns to You. Praise be to God!

~A. W. Tozer~

The Responsibility of A Father

My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

God has assumed the responsibility of a Father, and has taken up those responsibilities to meet them in and through His Son. The enlargement of that in Christian utterance is found in Philippians 4:19. This means Christ recognized, Christ known, God in Christ, and that on the ground of our utter separation unto Him. But note: it is God’s gift. He says that it was not Moses that gave the manna in the wilderness, but His Father. Then it is not the result of man’s labors, it is the issue of God’s grace. Are you laboring for spiritual growth? How we have striven and strained to increase our spiritual measure and our spiritual stature. What a burden we have taken upon us in relation to the maintenance of our own spiritual life! We have almost assumed the whole responsibility for our spiritual life, and made it as though it depended upon our labors in prayer, our labors in the Word of God, our labors in the Lord’s service, our effort, our stress.

No one will think that we have made little of prayer or the Word. No one will think that we have said you must have no care whatever for your spiritual life, but there is such a difference between assuming responsibility for ourselves and recognizing that God has assumed that responsibility. And because God has assumed the responsibility we should cooperate with God. There is all the difference between trying to work for our justification, and working because we are justified; between trying to work for our perfection, and working because our perfection is secured in Christ. The difference is not merely technical, it is practical, and of immense value. Sometimes it is necessary for the Lord to say to us: "Look here, you are making far too much of your own praying, far too much of your own business in the Scriptures, you are unconsciously coming to think that everything depends upon how much and how fervently you pray." And then you go out and talk to other people about your prayer life as a kind of setting up against their own. You do not mean it, but the implication is that this is what accounts for your growth, and it is going to count for other people’s growth. That must not be a cause but a result. 'The cause, the secret, the spring of everything is Myself, and sometimes you will just have to cease straining, and rest back in Me, in loving trust. Learn to do that a little more, and then you will pray better, and I shall be able to do something more!'

~T. Austin-Sparks~

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Divine Voice Calls

"And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9)

There is a divine voice that continues to call. It is the voice of the Creator God, and it is entreating us. Just as the shepherd went everywhere searching for his sheep, just as the woman in the parable went everywhere searching for her coin, so there is a divine search with many variations of the voice that entreats us, calling us back.

If we were not lost, there would be no Father's voice calling us to return, calling us back. So, I say again that we have not been given up.

Think of the Genesis account: Adam fleeing from the face of God, hiding among the trees of the garden. It was then that the sound of God's gentle voice was heard, saying "[Adam,] where are you?"

I would remind you that His seeking voice has never died out. The echo of that voice is sounding throughout the widening years. It has never ceased to echo and reecho from peak to peak, from generation to generation, from race to race, and continent to continent, and off to islands and back to the continent again. Throughout all of man's years, "Adam, where are you?' has been the faithful call.

I pray earnestly, O God, that I may not be found among those with hardened hearts, no longer able to hear Your voice. Please speak to me today .... I'm listening. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

A Heart for God A Vision for the World



I sometimes like to walk through a cemetery and read the epitaphs on the tombstones. It's interesting to see what words are used to sum up a person's life. This may seem like a morbid pastime, but it's actually a great way to reassess our own lives. We're each going to leave a testimony of some kind when we die. Have you ever wondered what your loved ones will write on your gravestone? What words do you want inscribed there?

In our passage today, the apostle Paul tells us God's evaluation of David: He described him as "a man after My heart, who will do all My will" (v. 22). What an awesome testimony of a life well lived! The Lord wasn't describing a perfect man, but one whose life was centered on God's interests and desires.

David's many psalms attest to the fact that his relationship with the Lord was the most important aspect of his life. His passion was to obey God and carry out His will. However, that doesn't mean he was always obedient. Who can forget his failure with Bathsheba? But even when he sinned by committing adultery and murder, his heart was still bent toward God. The conviction he felt and his humble repentance afterward proved that his relationship with the Lord was still his top priority.

If God was writing a summary of your life, how would He describe you? Does your heart align with His, or have you let it follow the pleasures and pursuits of this world? Unless we diligently pursue our relationship with the Lord, we will drift away from Him. Maybe it's time for a course correction.

~Dr. Charles Stanley~

Friday, May 23, 2014

Christ Will Rule

"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:23)

I am not surprised that I still meet people who do not believe that Jesus Christ is going to return to earth. In fact, some of them, armed with their own Bibles and interpretations, are insistent on setting me "straight."

One gentleman has written saying that I have it all wrong, and that Paul did not mean what I had said he meant, as I applied Paul's statement to everyday life.

I took time to write a reply: "When it comes to saying what he meant, Paul's batting average has been pretty good up to now. So, I will string along with what Paul plainly, clearly said."

I did not figure I needed someone to straighten me out- particularly someone who had decided the Bible does not mean what it says.

No one is going to argue me out of my faith in what God has revealed and what God has said. As far as I am concerned, it is a fact that Jesus is coming again! The question I do raise is this: Are we prepared spiritually for His coming? Are we tolerating conditions in our midst that will cause us embarrassment when He does come?

Dear Lord, grant me courage to live today - indeed, every day of my life - as though You were coming back this afternoon. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

A Believing Remnant

"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5)

What is God trying to do with His believing people? - the Bible calls us a remnant according to grace, believers taken out of the great, teeming swarm of so-called religious people in today's world.

I am inclined to join others in wondering if the Lord is postponing His coming because He is trying to get His Bride ready.

For years it has been the popular idea in evangelical Christianity that the whole body of believers in Christ would rise like a flock of frightened birds when the Lord comes. But A. B. Simpson and William MacArthur and others in the past generation said, "Oh no! The Lord will take with Him those who are prepared and ready for His coming!"

I do not presume to give an answer satisfying to everyone in our churches. But I know that many Christians are too smug about this, saying in effect: "I am converted to Christ through grace, so I can live as I please!"

Of some things we cannot be dogmatic; but we know this for sure - God has no halfway house between heaven and hell where He takes us to fumigate us!

Dear Lord, today I pray for my pastor and my local church. Help us as a congregation not to be surprised on the day of Your return! Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Pray with Persistence


And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him atmidnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you'? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Luke 11:5-10


God tells us over and over in the Bible to pray. There are many reasons and advantages to praying: we develop a relationship with God, we know that God hears us, we can hear back from God, we can receive peace and we may receive what we want. God loves us and wants for us to tell Him all of our desires. The parable of Luke 11 gives us a different slant on prayer. Jesus is telling us “how” to pray, not “why” to pray. The key point in these verses is to be persistent in prayer and diligent to keep praying.

When my oldest child was a newborn, he would sleep all day. I would look at him and think such nice thoughts. I would have thoughts of unconditional love and dedication to commit my life to raising him. But as soon as all the lights were out in the house, he would wake me up by crying and screaming. My thoughts were not as nice then. I was tired from labor and my body did not want to get up to address his cries in a dark, quiet house leaving my soft, warm bed. If he had not screamed, I might have slept right through his cries. But because of his persistence, I got up and tried my hardest to meet his needs the fastest and easiest way possible. It was not always because I had a sacrificial love that I got up to meet his need, but often because of my need to get back to sleep. That is Jesus’ point in Luke 11.

We all have those newborn cries and screams within us. The Lord tells us that He hears our prayers and will answer them according to His will and what is best for us. But sometimes we need to know the depths of our own desires, and we need to cry out to the Lord with an enduring persistence.  Keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking…the key is persistence. When we see God answer those prayers, our faith is increased to continue praying for other things as well. Through persistence, we are rewarded. 

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ministry of the Church

"The house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15)

Not all of the pooled efforts of any church can make a Christian out of a lost man!

The Christian life begins with the individual; a soul has a saving encounter with God, and the new life is born.

All else being equal, every individual Christian will find in the communion of a local church the most perfect atmosphere form the fullest development of his spiritual life. There he will also find the best arena for the largest exercise of those gifts and powers with which God may have endowed him.

Unfortunately, the word "church" has taken on meanings which it did not originally have. The meaning of the word for the true Christian was fixed by our Lord and His apostles, and no man and no angel has authority to change it!

The universal Church is the Body of Christ, the Bride of the Lamb, the habitation of God through the Spirit, the pillar and the ground of the Truth.

Without doubt the most important body on earth is the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood!

Heavenly Father, equip and empower Your Church to fight the plague of evil rampant in our generation. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~


We Get Around It

"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:14)

The lordship of Jesus is not quite forgotten among Christians, but it has been relegated to our hymnbook, where all responsibility toward it may be comfortably discharged in a  glow of pleasant religious emotion.

The idea that the Man of Christ Jesus has absolute and final authority over all its members in every detail of their lives is simply not accepted as true by the rank and file of evangelical Christians.

To avoid the necessity of either obeying or rejecting the plain instructions of our Lord in the New Testament, we take refuge in a liberal interpretation of them. We find ways to avoid the sharp point of obedience, comfort carnality and make the words of Christ of none effect. And the essence of it all is that "Christ simply could not have meant what He said." Dare we admit that His teachings are accepted even theoretically only after they have been weakened by "interpretation"? Dare we confess that even in our public worship, the influence of the Lord is very small? We sing of Him and preach about Him, but He must not interfere!

Dear Lord, I have to admit that there have been times when I have conveniently ignored the clear instructions of Your Word. Help me to give someone a cup of cold water - in Your Name - today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

The Cross The Believer's Victory



From a worldly perspective, Christ's death signaled His defeat. After all, dying in agony on a cross hardly seems like the path to victory. But it was! And He did it all for us. Because Jesus triumphed over death, we can be victorious in life. Just consider what He won for us by sacrificing Himself on the cross.

Our Eternal Salvation: The cross was the means of our salvation. Without it, we'd have no hope of heaven. If Christ hadn't died in our place, we'd have to stand before God and receive the just punishment for every sin we've ever committed.

Power over Sin: Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sin; He also brought us present victory over it. When He was crucified, our old sinful nature died with Him (Rom. 6:6). The power of the "flesh" was broken, and Jesus now lives His triumphant life through us. That means we are no longer enslaved to sin and can choose obedience to God.

Defeat of Satan: At the crucifixion, the list of decrees against us was nailed to the cross, and the Devil lost his power over our lives (Col. 2:13-15). None of his accusations can stick, because God holds nothing against us anymore. And now every time we yield to the Spirit within us, Satan is defeated once again.

Christ met all our needs on the cross. By making us a part of His family, He gave us a sense of belonging. When He died in our place, He affirmed our value. And by coming to live His life through each believer, He gives us the ability to live a victorious, obedient life.

~Dr. Charles Stanley~

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Journey of the Heart

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31)

I object to the charge that A"Tozer preaches experience". I preach Christ, the Saviour - that is my calling! But I am positive about the validity, the reality and the value of genuine Christian experience. We can talk to Jesus just as we talk to our other friends.

As a boy, I was not a Christian. I did not have the privilege of growing up in a home where Christ was known and loved. God spoke to me through a street preacher who quoted the words of Jesus, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28).

That invitation let me know that Jesus is still calling "Come now!" I went home and up into the attic. There in earnest prayer I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ. My feet had taken me home and into the attic. But it was my heart that went to Jesus! Within my heart I consented to go to Jesus. I have bee a Christian ever since that moment.

Dear Jesus, I want to thank You for saving me through Your difficult journey to the Cross. Give me grace and strength to honor Your sacrifice through my life this week. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

The Greatest Act of Love



What do you think about when you see a depiction of Christ on the cross? Most of us are overwhelmed by the physical and emotional suffering that He endured—the scourging, beating, thorns, nails, mocking, and shame. We are horrified at the cruelty of the Romans and the hard hearts of the Jewish rulers.

But during the crucifixion, far more was happening than the eye could see. God was carrying out His plan to rescue mankind, providing everything we need for salvation:

1. Redemption.Jesus paid the full price of the debt we owed for transgression: death. His payment set us free from bondage to sin.

2. Forgiveness. God could now release us from the punishment we deserved.

3. Propitiation. Christ’s payment satisfied the Father by fulfilling His demand for justice while letting Him forgive us.

4. Justification.On the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Lord now declares believers not guilty. Although we will still sin in this earthly life, our standing before God is one of righteousness. This is a legal declaration that can never be reversed.

5. Reconciliation. The sin barrier that separated us from the Father was removed by Christ’s death on our behalf. We’re now God’s children—we have open access to Him and fellowship with Him.

The crucifixion was the only way to rescue lost humanity. If there had been any other way, the cross would have been a grotesque display of divine cruelty. But because so much was at stake, it can truly be called the greatest act of love by both the Father and the Son.

~Dr. Charles Stanley~

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spiritual Readiness

"The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer" (1 Peter 4:7)

When the Bible says that God is calling a special people out of the nations to bear the name of His Eternal Son, I believe it - and His name is Jesus!

Our pious forefathers believed in spiritual preparation, and they said so. They saw themselves as a bride being prepared to meet the Bridegroom. They regarded this earth as the dressing room to outfit themselves for heaven.

The evangelical church has come through a period when nearly everyone has believed that there is just one prerequisite to readiness: being born again. We have made being born again almost like receiving a pass to a special event - when Jesus returns, we whip out the pass to prove our readiness.

Frankly, I do not think it will be like that. I do not believe that all professed believers are automatically ready to meet the Lord. Our Saviour Himself was joined by Peter and John and Paul in warning and pleading that we should live and watch and pray, so to be ready for Jesus coming.

Dear Lord, help me to "act out" my faith today with seriousness and passion. Enable me to give spiritual guidance and encouragement to someone who is hurting. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Bringing Us to Glory

"For it became him ... bringing many sons unto glory" (Hebrews 2:10)

As Christian believers (I am assuming you are a believer), you and I know how we have been changed and regenerated and assured of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning death. On the other hand, where this good news of salvation by faith is not known, religion becomes an actual bondage. If Christianity is known only as a religious institution, it may well become merely a legalistic system of religion, and the hope of eternal life becomes a delusion.

I have said this much about reality and assurance to counter the shock you may feel when I add that God wants to fully prepare you in your daily Christian life so that you will be ready indeed for heaven! Many of us have been in God's household for a long time. Remember that God has been trying to do something special within our beings day after day, year and after year.

Why? Because His purpose is to bring many sons - and daughters too - unto glory!

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life - even when I ignore You. Today I want to be especially attuned to Your holy presence in each of my activities. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Everlasting Mercy


And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. John 10:28-29 


During my sophomore year of college, I took a class on religious literature. We studied a variety of poetry, sermons and even the Psalms. One piece of literature I remember most was written by Jonathan Edwards called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." The professor told us that Edwards did not preach this sermon from memory but held his hand-written notes inches away from his glasses, straining to see the words in a dimly lit church. The intensity of the message moved the listeners so much that they crawled up the center aisle with hearts of repentance and remorse, longing to be saved. Jonathan Edwards is still known and quoted for the message he delivered that day.

I have seen a lot of play on words with Edwards' title like, "Sinners in the hands of a loving God." But the remix is not nearly as powerful or life changing as the original. We are all sinners held in God's hands. This God we serve is known as a consuming fire, all powerful and holy. If not for His mercy, we would all be consumed. If we understood who we really are, we could not get out of bed in the morning. God's mercy allows us to handle our own thoughts. We try to justify ourselves as we compare the extent of our sins with others. But the Book of Romans says that only Jesus can justify us. It is Jesus' justification that covers our sins, forgives our sins and blesses us despite our ability and extent to commit sin. Many Christians are walking around thinking that they have crucified their flesh, and that they are living a Spirit-filled life. They feel good about themselves because they do not think they are committing any of the top sins (murder, adultery, stealing). But they have no power; they just have their own rationalizations. God knows better because God sees the heart. If we really understood our sinfulness, we would be flat on our faces every day begging for forgiveness, understanding that God has every right to be angry.

We serve an awesome God. Praise God that He desires for us to live in hope and not in condemnation. His mercy surrounds us and His love blankets us. God wants to give us life in abundance. He does not desire for any to be destroyed. God desires to hold us up, not to push us down. If you are having thoughts that bring you away from God, that is condemnation. If you are having thoughts that are leading you towards the Lord—to be forgiven and restored—that is conviction.

God wants to show you His loving kindness and mercy. Turn to Jesus to be saved from your sins. Being in His hands is the safest place of all.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Monday, May 19, 2014

The First Love

"I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love" (Revelation 2:4)

In Revelation 2:2-3, eight signs are mentioned showing the zeal and activity of the Church at Ephesus. But there was one bad sign, and the Lord said: "Except thou repent, I will come unto thee, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place." And what was this sign? "Thou hast left thy first love."

We find the same lack in the Church of the present day. There is zeal for the truth, there is continuous and persevering labor, but that which the Lord values most is wanting, the tender, fervent love to Himself.

This is a thought of great significance - a church or a community or a Christian may be an example in every good work, and yet - the tender love to the Lord Jesus in the inner chamber is missing.

There is no personal daily fellowship with Christ, and all the manifold activities with which people satisfy themselves are as nought in the yes of the Master Himself.

Dear brother and sister, this book speaks of the fellowship of love with Christ in the inner chamber. Everything depends on this. Christ came from heaven to love us with the love wherewith the Father loved Him. He suffered and died to win our hearts for this love. His love can be satisfied with nothing less than a deep, personal love on our part.

Christ considers this of the first importance. Let us do so too. Many ministers and missionaries and Christian workers confess with shame that in spite of all their zeal in the Lord's work, their prayer life is defective because they have left their first love. I pray you, write this down on a piece of paper and remember it continually - The love of Jesus must be ALL - in the inner chamber, in all my work, in my daily life.

Lord Jesus, I pray that Thou wilt be my ALL, in the inner chamber, in all my work, in my daily life. Amen

~Andrew Murray~

Confession of Sin

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)

Too often the confession of sin is superficial, and often it is quite neglected. Few Christians realize how necessary it is to be in earnest about the matter or feel that an honest confession of sin gives power to live the life of victory over sin. In fellowship with the Lord Jesus we need to confess with a sincere heart every sin that may be a hindrance in our Christian lives.

Listen to what David says, "I acknowledged my sin unto Thee; I said, I will confess my transgression, and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance" (Psalm 32:5-7). David speaks of a time when he was unwilling to confess his sin. "When I kept silence, Thy hand was heavy upon me." But when he had confessed his sin, a wonderful change came.

Confession means not only that I confess my sin with shame but that I hand it over to God, trusting Him to take it away. Such a confession implies that I am wholly unable to get rid of my guilt, but by an act of faith I reckon on God to deliver me. This deliverance means, in the first place, that I know my sins are forgiven, and secondly, that Christ undertakes to cleanse me from the sin and keep me from its power.

O Christian, if you are seeking to have fellowship with Jesus, do not fear to confess each sin in the confident assurance that there is deliverance. Let there be a mutual understanding between the Lord Jesus and yourself that you will confess each sin and obtain forgiveness. Then you will know your Lord as Jesus who saves His people from their sin.

Dear Father, I believe that there is great power in the confession of sin, for the burden of sin is born by our Lord and Saviour. Amen

~Andrew Murray~

Thoughtful Living



Are you living thoughtfully and intentionally—or automatically? It’s so easy to get up each morning, do our work, enjoy some relaxation or entertainment, and fall into bed each night without giving any thought to God’s involvement in our lives. But to be ignorant of how He has blessed, guided, protected, and warned us is a foolish way to live. Just consider the benefits of keeping our spiritual eyes and ears open throughout the day.

Those who are aware of the Lord’s presence during their daily activities enjoy the peace of knowing that He is always in control and working to accomplish His good purposes. Every day’s experiences with Him teach them to know and love Him more.

When we learn to see God’s footprints in our days, we will become aware of the scope of His involvement in our lives. Maybe He strengthened you for a task or opened a door of opportunity. Perhaps He guided your decisions or helped you respond in a godly way to a difficult person.
If our ears are open to the Lord’s warnings and instructions, we won’t repeat the same mistakes again and again. But those who are deaf to His voice will continue in unhealthy thought patterns, negative emotions, and foolish responses.

Each night before you go to sleep, take some time to reflect on the day’s activities. The Lord is constantly with you, guarding and guiding your way. He wants you to see Him in everything and understand life from His perspective as you rely on His wisdom and power to face any challenge. 

~Dr. Charles Stanley~

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Majesty - And Meekness

"I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works" ( Psalm 145:5)

When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: "He is thy Lord - worship thou Him!"

They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair. They said that He was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a mysterious being, and yet they noted His meekness.

The meekness was His humanity. The majesty was His deity. You find them everlastingly united in Him. So meek that He nursed at His mother's breast, cried like any baby and needed all the human care that every child needs.

But He was also God, and in His majesty He stood before Herod and before Pilate. When He returns, coming down from the sky, it will be in His majesty, the majesty of God; yet it will be in the majesty of the Man who is God!

This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Before His foes He stands in majesty. Before His friends, He stands in meekness!

Dear Lord, You are both my King and my Friend. Lead me through this day, O King, and pick me up when I stumble, dear Friend. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Guidance Is By the Holy Spirit

"Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5)

We can always trust the moving and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and experiences, but we cannot always trust our human leanings and our fleshly and carnal desires. That calls for another word of balance. We know that the emotional life is a proper and noble part of our total personality. But by its very nature, it is of secondary importance, for religion lies in the will, and so does righteousness.

God never intended that such a being as mankind should become the mere plaything of his or her feelings. The only good that God recognizes is the willed good. The only valid holiness is a willed holiness. That is why I am always a little suspicious of the overly bubbly Christian who talks too much about himself or herself - and not enough about Jesus. That is also why I am more than a little concerned about the professing Christian whose experience does not seem to have resulted in a true inner longing to be more like Jesus every day in thought, word and deed!

Dear Lord, today I want to be more like You in everything I do - what I say to my family and colleagues, how I react in difficult situations, and what I think about in my free time. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~