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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Spirit is Emotion

"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us" (1 John 4:12)

Another quality of the indwelling Fire is "emotion." What God is in His unique essence cannot be discovered by the mind nor uttered by the lips, but those qualities in God which may be termed rational, and so received by the intellect, have been freely set forth in the sacred Scriptures.

They do not tell us what God is, but they do tell us what God is like, and the sum of them constitute a mental picture of the Divine Being seen, as it were, afar off and through a glass darkly.

Now the Bible teaches that there is something in God which is like emotion. He experiences something which is like our love, something that is like our grief, that is like our joy. And we need not fear to go along with this conception of what God is like. God has said certain things about Himself, and these furnish all the grounds we require.

Once the seeking heart finds God in personal experience there will be no further problem about loving Him. To know Him is to love Him and to know Him better is to love Him more.

~A. W. Tozer~


Emotional On A High Plane

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love" (Zephaniah 3:17)

This is but one verse among thousands which serve to form our rational picture of what is like, and they tell us plainly that God feeds something like our love, like our joy, and what He feels makes Him act very much as we would in a similar situation; He rejoices over His loved ones with joy and singing.

Here is emotion on as high a plane as it can ever be sen, emotion flowing out of the heart of God Himself. Feeling, then, is not the degenerate son of unbelief that is often painted by some of our Bible teachers. Our ability to feel is one of the marks of our divine origin. We need not be ashamed of either tears or laughter. The Christian stoic who has crushed his feelings is only two-thirds of a man; an important third part has been repudiated.

The language of those who love God is that of rejoicing: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God."

Spirit-filled souls are ablaze for God. They have love with a love that glows. They believe with a faith that binds. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They rejoice with a joy that radiates.

~A. W. Tozer~

I Will Not Fear

I Will Not Fear

So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6

I have noticed recently that my dog has developed an unusual kind of fear. He hesitates at times as he walks over thresholds. He scopes out the door frame and the floor in front of him, especially when he is going outside. It all started when something jumped at him one day when he was going out the back door. To be honest, I think it was a small insect that startled him (yes, he is a big baby.). I watch him now as he cautiously looks at the ground, suspicious of danger lurking about. The other day, he stopped in front of a twig. I think he is becoming neurotic about this fear thing. I wonder if the Lord looks at us and how we fear things and thinks we are also a little neurotic at times.

My dog has no ability to understand and cannot be reasoned with, regardless of how much I try. After all, he is a dog; but what about us? God has not only created us in His image, but also He has given us His Holy Spirit who lives within us. But fear has a way of creeping into our lives and before we know it, we fear situations, circumstances or people that are no real threat to us at all. Sometimes we are startled or caught off guard in a situation, and moments of fear can be a normal response. The problem lies in allowing the fear to remain.  It can then take over, control the situation and even enter other areas of our life. Fear will keep us in a place of bondage, instead of freedom.

As I watch my dog tiptoe over a twig, I am reminded of how silly some of my fears look to God. What about your fears? Have you thought about the things or even the people who bring fear to your life? Maybe it is time to step back and really look at the cause of the fear. When and where did it begin? Has it gotten blown out of proportion? Are you hindered or even crippled by it? If so, please know that the Lord wants to set you free, beginning today. Ask the Lord to help you pray through it. Take a bold stand and say, ”Enough!” Life is too short and Jesus wants to give you freedom, liberty and victory. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”(2 Timothy 1:7) 

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Gracious Invasion

"If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth ... Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief" (Mark 9:23-24)

The Holy Spirit, when He effects His gracious invasion of the believing heart, must win that heart to glad and voluntary obedience to the hole will of God. The cure must be wrought from within; no outward conformity will do.

Until the will is sanctified the man is still a rebel just as an outlaw is still an outlaw at heart even though he may be yielding grudging obedience to the sheriff who is taking him to prison. The Holy Spirit achieves this inward cure by merging the will of the redeemed man with His own. This is not accomplished at one stroke.

There must be, it is true, some kind of overall surrender of the will to Christ before any work of grace can be done, but the full emergence of every part of life with the life of God in the Spirit is likely to be a longer process than we in our creature impatience would wish.

No sin is so sweet that the sanctified person is not willing and resolved to forsake. he takes up the Cross at the hazard of everything.

~A. W. Tozer~


Willing the Will of God

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God" (John 7:17)

The most advanced soul may be shocked and chagrined to discover some private area within his life where he had been, unknown to himself, acting as lord and proprietor of that which he thought he had given to God. It is the work of the in-living Spirit to point out these moral discrepancies and correct them. He does not ..."break" the human will, but He does invade it and bring it gently to a joyous union with the will of God.

To will the will of God is to do more than give unprotesting consent to it; it is rather to choose God's will with positive determination. As the work of God advances, the Christian finds himself free to choose whatever he will, and he gladly chooses the will of God as his highest conceivable good. Such a man has found life's highest goal. He has been placed beyond the little disappointments that plague the rest of men. Whatever happens to him is the will of God for him and that is just what he most ardently desires.

Can you renounce everything which is inconsistent with the glory of God and the highest good of your fellowmen? Are these the natural breathings of your heart, "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done?" 

~A. W. Tozer~

Turn Away from the Lovely Enchantress!

Turn away from the lovely enchantress!

"Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you--for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world." 1 John 2:15-16

Such is the world that assails the Christian, and which he must overcome--or perish eternally! "For everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1 John 5:4. The whole current of Scripture commands runs against the love of the world. In every possible form, it is forbidden.

Worldliness is the most thronged road to everlasting ruin!

Worldliness does not merely consist in an intense love of money, and an excessive eagerness to be rich--but in a supreme regard to that which is visible and temporal, whether these relate to the quiet scenes of domestic comfort, or to those elegancies, splendors, and accumulations of wealth, which lead a man to seek his highest bliss in these!

The world is a foe which attacks us in various places!

In the shop--by all the temptations incident to trade and wealth. 

In the halls of politics and public business--by all the enticements to pride and ambition. 

In the places of amusement--by all the soft blandishments of pleasure.
In the haunts of vice--by all the gratifications of the flesh.

In the walks of science and literature--by all the delights of intellectual gratification. 

In the social circle--by all the enjoyments of friendship. 

Oh, how many are the scenes where the world meets man and subdues him!

Sometimes the world approaches the believer with a smiling face, making promises and offering caresses, like the serpent to our first mother in the garden; or like Satan to our Lord when he said, "All these things will I give you--if you will fall down and worship me!" How difficult is it on such occasions toturn away from the lovely enchantress, to keep the eye steadily fixed on heavenly glories--and instead of greedily quaffing the cup of poisoned sweets, to dash it to the ground!

If immorality slays its thousands--the world slays its tens of thousands! 

"Supreme love of the world" will as certainly lead its possessor to the bottomless pit--as the love of open vice!

Worldliness, I repeat, and repeat with emphasis, is . . .

  the smoothest,
  the most polished,
  the most fashionable,
  the most respectable
path to the bottomless pit!

The Christian is aware of his danger from the strength, subtlety, and ever-present activity of this enemy of his soul.

Victory over the world is subordination . . .
  of the creature to the Creator;
  of earth to heaven;
  of temporal blessings to spiritual ones;
  of time to eternity.
Victory over the world is the formation of an unearthly, spiritual, divine, and heavenly mind-set and character!

"It was the sight of Thy dear cross,
 First weaned my soul from earthly things;
 And taught me to esteem as dross,
 The mirth of fools and pomp of kings!"
How all the splendor of earthly things pales before that infinitely more resplendent object--Jesus!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Spirit Is a Volitional Flame

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

The Spirit is also a "volitional" flame. Here as elsewhere the imagery is inadequate to express all the truth, and unless care is taken we may easily gain a wrong impression from its use. For fire as we see and know it every day is a "thing", not a person, and for that reason it has no will of its own.

But the Holy Spirit is a Person, having those attributes of personality of which volition is one. He does not, upon entering the human soul, void any of His attributes, nor does He surrender them in part or in full to the soul which He enters. Remember, the Holy Spirit is Lord.

Now it hardly need be said that the Sovereign Lord will never abandon the prerogatives of His Godhead. Wherever He is He must continue to act like Himself. When He enters the human heart He will be there what He has always been, Lord in His own right.

The yielding up of the soul to the disposal of Christ, is an act of the mind which cannot be separated from living faith.

~A. W. Tozer~


Disease of the Heart

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15)

The deep disease of the human heart is a will broken loose from its center, like a planet which has left its central sun and started to revolve around some strange body from outer space which may have moved in close enough to draw it away. When satan said, "I will," he broke loose from his normal center, and the disease with which he has infected the human race is the disease with which he has infected the human race is the disease of disobedience and revolt. Any inadequate scheme of redemption must take into account this revolt and must undertake to restore again the human will to its proper place in the will of God.

The spirit of the world is incompatible with the spirit of the gospel. It is the spirit of pride, and not humility - of self-indulgence rather than self-denial. Riches, honors and pleasure form the great object of pursuit with the men of the world. This spirit the Christian has mortified.

Not I but Christ be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I but Christ be seen, be known, be heard;
Not I but Christ in every look and action;
Not I but Christ in every thought and word.

~A. W. Tozer~



Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites." - Judges 6:13

This past weekend we hosted a radio talk show. We were told to pick whatever topic the Lord put on our hearts and then spend the hour discussing it with our audience. The Lord impressed upon us the message of miracles. How does God work miracles in our lives today? Does He do the same kinds of miracles as He did in the Bible? We asked these types of questions and discussed the answers. We pray that we shed some light on God’s desire to perform miracles in our lives everyday. We need to recognize miracles and give glory to the Lord when things happen that we tend to call “just a God thing.”

I gave an illustration that seemed to strike a cord with people. I talked about missing a freeway exit. I kind of spaced out and perked up past my exit. I got off the exit, turned around, and then missed the street I was to take. After missing both exits, I said, “Ok, Lord, You must have a reason for this. I thank You for whatever reason that may be.” I did not know what was going on but I knew it was not a coincidence. Someone called in and gave a story of getting off on an exit that they had not planned to get off on. When they returned to the freeway, an automobile matching their description almost exactly had just been totaled in an accident. This person knew the hand of God had just saved them. Miracle or coincidence? We believe that God is working in our lives on a daily basis, some things we see clearly, others we may never know about.

We need to believe in miracles because we need to be encouraged and have hope that our God is with us, protecting us, and doing supernatural wonders in our lives. We do not need an explanation for all that happens. Just give glory to the Lord and watch what He does in your life. Gideon would soon learn of God’s miraculous power as the Lord would use him to win the battle against the Midianites. Sometimes, we need to just ask and believe. God will respond.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Monday, December 28, 2015

In Praise of Virtue

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1)

We naturally shy away from superlatives and from comparisons which praise one virtue at the expense of another, yet I wonder whether there is on earth anything as exquisitely lovely as a brilliant mind aglow with the love of God?

Such a mind sheds a mild and healing ray which can actually be "felt" by those who come near it.Virtue goes forth from it and blesses those who merely touch the hem of its garment. One has, for instance, but to read "The Celestial Country" by Bernard of Chuny to understand what I mean. There is a sensitive and shining intellect warm with the fire of the inliving Spirit writes with a vast and tender sympathy of those longings for immortality.

This same feeling of near inspiration is experienced also in the letters of Samuel Rutherford, in the "Te Deum", in many of the hymns of Watts and Wesley and occasionally in a work of some lesser-known whose limited gifts may have been for one joyous moment made incandescent by the fire of the indwelling Spirit.

Those who love the divine character necessarily desire to promote the divine glory.

~A. W. Tozer~


Doctrine Without Love

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18)

The blight of the Pharisee's heart in olden times was doctrine without love. With the teachings of the Pharisees Christ had little quarrel, but with the pharisaic spirit He carried on unceasing warfare to the end.

It was religion that put Christ on the Cross, religion without the indwelling Spirit. An unblessed soul filled with the letter of truth may actually be worse off than a pagan kneeling before a fetish.

We are safe only when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, only when our intellects are indwelt by the loving Fire that came at Pentecost. For the Holy Spirit is not a luxury, not something added now and again to produce a deluxe type of Christian once in a generation.

No, He is for every child of God a vital necessity, and that He fill and indwell His people is more than a languid hope. It is rather an inescapable imperative.

They that walk in the King's holy way must have pure hearts, gentle tongues, loving ways, happy faces and restful lives.

~A. W. Tozer~

The Power of a Discerning Spirit

The Power of a Discerning Spirit

In a world filled with endless sources of information and opinions, believers need to develop a discerning spirit. Otherwise, how will we know what is true? Much of what we see and hear is based on a worldly perspective that is influenced by Satan, the Father of Lies. Deception is found even in the religious realm: cults mix lies with enough truth to make some people consider them legitimate Christian institutions.

The only way believers can guard against deception is to ground themselves in God's Word. The more time you spend filling your mind with the Lord's thoughts, the more discerning you will be. However, just knowing biblical truth isn't enough. You must put what you learn into practice so that it becomes more than head knowledge.

The goal is to let God's Word become such an integral part of your thinking that it guides all your decisions. Even if the situation you're facing isn't specifically addressed in the Bible, scriptural principles provide the needed wisdom for every choice. In addition, the Holy Spirit was given to each believer as a Helper, whose job is to guide you into all the truth (John 14:2616:13). However, your responsibility is to put God's Word into your mind so that He can bring it to your remembrance. If you neglect the Word, you'll lack discernment.

What are you allowing into your mind? Is Scripture high in your priorities? Unless you're careful, worldly thinking will overpower spiritual discernment. It's difficult to keep God's perspective in the forefront if you spend two or three hours in front of the television and only ten minutes in the Bible.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Holy Spirit Is A Spiritual Flame

"For the good that I would do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Romans 7:19)

The Holy Spirit is also a "spiritual flame." He alone can raise our worship to true spiritual levels. For we might as well know once for all that morality and ethics, however lofty, are still not Christianity.

The faith of Christ undertakes to raise the soul to actual communion with God, to introduce into our religious experiences a supre-rational element as far above mere goodness as the heavens are above the earth.

The joy of the first Christians was not the joy of logic working on facts. They did not reason, "Christ is risen from the dead; therefore we ought to be glad." Their gladness was as great a miracle as the resurrection itself; indeed there were and are organically related. The moral happiness of the Creator had taken residence in the breasts of redeemed creatures and the could not but be glad.

The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.

~A. W. Tozer~


The Spirit Is Intellectual

"They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11)

The flame of the Spirit is also "intellectual." Reason, say the theologians, is one of the divine attributes. There need be no incompatibility between the deepest experience of the Spirit and the highest attainments of the human intellect.

It is only required that the Christian intellect be fully surrendered to God and there need be no limit to its activities beyond those imposed upon it by its own strength and size.

How cold and deadly is the unblessed intellect. A superior brain without the saving essence of godliness may turn against the human race and drench the world with blood, or worse, it may loose ideas into the earth which will continue to curse mankind for centuries after it has turned to dust again.

But a Spirit-filled mind is a joy to God and a delight to all men of good will.

God's method is first to fill the man with the facts of salvation and then send the baptism of fire upon him... God's order is facts and fire.

~A. W. Tozer~

The Universal Principle!

The universal principle!

(George Everard, "The Right Principle!")

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do--do it all for the glory of God!" 1 Corinthians 10:31

This same principle is applicable in all common actions and every day affairs. No single moment of our lives, no single action--ought to be taken outside of the sphere of this rule.
Our rising up and lying down,
the disposal of our time,
the spending of our money,
our social gatherings,
our conversations,
our recreations,
the way of conducting the affairs of our household,
the books we read,
buying and selling,
business transactions of various kinds--
all these, and a multitude of other suchlike matters, are all to be ordered under the daily guidance of this same principle. We are to do all to glorify Him who is . . .
  our Creator,
  our Savior
  our Preserver,
  our most loving Father.

Reader, beware of neglecting to exercise this universal principle in little things. Great occasions for serving God occur but seldom; lesser ones arise every moment. Little things are not to be despised. "He who despises little things, shall fall little by little." Little omissions of duty, little acts of disobedience, as they may seem to us--may prove a great hindrance along our path. A few grains of dust, or a small insect in the eye, will often cause great pain and annoyance. A little stone in a horse's foot will make it stumble again and again.

The Christian will find much the same thing from the indulgence of apparently trivial sins. They will . . .
  harass the mind,
  destroy the peace and comfort which he might enjoy,
  prove a stumbling-block to him as he endeavors to run the heavenly race.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiness Is a Moral Flame

"God has saved us, and called us with an holy calling ... according to hi own purpose and grace" (2 Timothy 1:9)

One of the most telling blows which the enemy ever struck at the life of the Church was to create in her a fear of the Holy Spirit. No one who mingles with Christians in these times will deny that such a fear exists. Few there are who without restraint will open their whole heart to the blessed Comforter. He has been and is so widely misunderstood that the very mention of His name in some circles is enough to frighten many people into resistance. Perhaps we may help to destroy its power over us if we examine that fire which is the symbol of the Spirit's Person and presence.

The Holy Spirit is first of all a "moral flame." It is not an accident of language that He is called the Holy Spirit, for whatever else the word "holy" may mean it does undoubtedly carry with it the idea of moral purity. And the Spirit, being God, must be absolutely and infinitely pure. With Him there are not (as with men) grades and degrees of holiness. He is holiness itself, the sum and essence of all that is unspeakably pure.

Holiness is Christ, our Sanctification, enthroned as Life of our life. It is Christ, the Holy One, in us, living, speaking, walking.

~A. W. Tozer~


Be Ye Holy

"Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep" (James 4:8-9)

Whoever would be filled and indwelt by the Spirit should first judge his life for any hidden iniquities; he should courageously expel from his heart everything which is out of accord with the character of God as revealed by the Holy Scriptures.

At the base of all true Christian experience must be a sound and sane morality. No joys are valid, no delights legitimate where sin is allowed to live in life or conduct. No transgression of pure righteousness dare excuse itself on the ground of superior religious experience.

To seek high emotional stares while living in sin is to throw our whole life open to self-deception and the judgment of God. "Be ye holy" is not a mere motto to be framed and hung on the wall. It is a serious commandment from the Lord of the whole earth.

The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy. The holy heart alone can be the habitation of the Holy Spirit.

~A. W. Tozer~

The Name to Use (and other devotionals)

The Name to Use 

"If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it"   (John 14:14).

What a wide promise! Anything! Whether large or small, all my needs are covered by that word anything. Come, my soul, be free at the mercy seat, and hear thy LORD saying to thee, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." What a wise promise! We are always to ask in the name of Jesus. While this encourages us, it also honors Him. This is a constant plea. Occasionally every other plea is darkened, especially such as we could draw from our own relation to God or our experience of His grace; but at such times the name of Jesus is as mighty at the throne as ever, and we may plead it with full assurance. What an instructive prayer! I may not ask for anything to which I cannot put Christ's hand and seal. I dare not use my LORD's name to a selfish or willful petition. I may only use my LORD's name to prayers which He would Himself pray if He were in my case. It is a high privilege to be authorized to ask in the name of Jesus as if Jesus Himself asked; but our love to Him will never allow us to set that name where He would not have set it. Am I asking for that which Jesus approves? Dare I put His seal to my prayer? Then I have that which I seek of the Father.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Deuteronomy 32:9
The Lord's portion is His people.
How are they His? By His own sovereign choice. He chose them, and set His love upon them. This He did altogether apart from any goodness in them at the time, or any goodness which He foresaw in them. He had mercy on whom He would have mercy, and ordained a chosen company unto eternal life; thus, therefore, are they His by His unconstrained election. They are not only His by choice, but by purchase. He has bought and paid for them to the utmost farthing, hence about His title there can be no dispute. Not with corruptible things, as with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord's portion has been fully redeemed. There is no mortgage on His estate; no suits can be raised by opposing claimants, the price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord's freehold for ever. See the blood-mark upon all the chosen, invisible to human eye, but known to Christ, for "the Lord knoweth them that are His"; He forgetteth none of those whom He has redeemed from among men; He counts the sheep for whom He laid down His life, and remembers well the Church for which He gave Himself. They are also His by conquest. What a battle He had in us before we would be won! How long He laid siege to our hearts! How often He sent us terms of capitulation! but we barred our gates, and fenced our walls against Him. Do we not remember that glorious hour when He carried our hearts by storm? When He placed His cross against the wall, and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of His omnipotent mercy? Yes, we are, indeed, the conquered captives of His omnipotent love. Thus chosen, purchased, and subdued, the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: we rejoice that we never can be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do His will, and to show forth His glory.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Psalm 68:28
Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
It is our wisdom, as well as our necessity, to beseech God continually to strengthen that which He has wrought in us. It is because of their neglect in this, that many Christians may blame themselves for those trials and afflictions of spirit which arise from unbelief. It is true that Satan seeks to flood the fair garden of the heart and make it a scene of desolation, but it is also true that many Christians leave open the sluice-gates themselves, and let in the dreadful deluge through carelessness and want of prayer to their strong Helper. We often forget that the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also. The lamp which was burning in the temple was never allowed to go out, but it had to be daily replenished with fresh oil; in like manner, our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil of grace, and we can only obtain this from God Himself. Foolish virgins we shall prove, if we do not secure the needed sustenance for our lamps. He who built the world upholds it, or it would fall in one tremendous crash; He who made us Christians must maintain us by His Spirit, or our ruin will be speedy and final. Let us, then, evening by evening, go to our Lord for the grace and strength we need. We have a strong argument to plead, for it is His own work of grace which we ask Him to strengthen-"that which Thou hast wrought for us." Think you He will fail to protect and sustain that? Only let your faith take hold of His strength, and all the powers of darkness, led on by the master fiend of hell, cannot cast a cloud or shadow over your joy and peace. Why faint when you may be strong? Why suffer defeat when you may conquer? Oh! take your wavering faith and drooping graces to Him who can revive and replenish them, and earnestly pray, "Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us."

~Charles Spurgeon~

Lamentations 3:24
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul.

It is not "The Lord is partly my portion," nor "The Lord is in my portion"; but He Himself makes up the sum total of my soul's inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Jehovah Himself. He has chosen us for His portion, and we have chosen Him for ours. It is true that the Lord must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we shall never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love, we can sing-

"Lov'd of my God for Him again
With love intense I burn;
Chosen of Him ere time began,
I choose Him in return."

The Lord is our all-sufficient portion. God fills Himself; and if God is all-sufficient in Himself, He must be all-sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man's desires. When he dreams that he is satisfied, anon he wakes to the perception that there is somewhat yet beyond, and straightway the horse-leech in his heart cries, "Give, give." But all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion, so that we ask, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee." Well may we "delight ourselves in the Lord" who makes us to drink of the river of His pleasures. Our faith stretches her wings and mounts like an eagle into the heaven of divine love as to her proper dwelling-place. "The lines have fallen to us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage." Let us rejoice in the Lord always; let us show to the world that we are a happy and a blessed people, and thus induce them to exclaim, "We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."

~Charles Spurgeon~

Isaiah 33:17
Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.
The more you know about Christ the less will you be satisfied with superficial views of Him; and the more deeply you study His transactions in the eternal covenant, His engagements on your behalf as the eternal Surety, and the fulness of His grace which shines in all His offices, the more truly will you see the King in His beauty. Be much in such outlooks. Long more and more to see Jesus. Meditation and contemplation are often like windows of agate, and gates of carbuncle, through which we behold the Redeemer. Meditation puts the telescope to the eye, and enables us to see Jesus after a better sort than we could have seen Him if we had lived in the days of His flesh. Would that our conversation were more in heaven, and that we were more taken up with the person, the work, the beauty of our incarnate Lord. More meditation, and the beauty of the King would flash upon us with more resplendence. Beloved, it is very probable that we shall have such a sight of our glorious King as we never had before, when we come to die. Many saints in dying have looked up from amidst the stormy waters, and have seen Jesus walking on the waves of the sea, and heard Him say, "It is I, be not afraid." Ah, yes! when the tenement begins to shake, and the clay falls away, we see Christ through the rifts, and between the rafters the sunlight of heaven comes streaming in. But if we want to see face to face the "King in His beauty" we must go to heaven for the sight, or the King must come here in person. O that He would come on the wings of the wind! He is our Husband, and we are widowed by His absence; He is our Brother dear and fair, and we are lonely without Him. Thick veils and clouds hang between our souls and their true life: when shall the day break and the shadows flee away? Oh, long-expected day, begin!

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, December 25, 2015

People of the Fire

"He that cometh after me is mightier than I ... he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire" (Matthew 3:11)

With the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the same imagery (fire) was continued. "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them" (Acts 2:3). That which came upon the disciples in that upper room was nothing less than God Himself.

To their mortal eyes He appeared as fire, and may we not safely conclude that those Scripture-taught believers knew at once what it meant? The God who had appeared to them as fire throughout all their long history was now dwelling in them as fire. He had moved from without to the interior of their lives. The Shekinah that had once blazed over the mercy seat now blazed on their foreheads as an external emblem of the fire that had invaded their natures.

This was Deity giving Himself to ransomed men. The flame was the seal of a new union. They were now men and women of the fire.

A new heart comes with regeneration, the pure heart by the baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire. We are born into one and baptized into the other.

~A. W. Tozer~


Back Into the Heart of God

"...for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are ... And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's" (1 Corinthians 3:17, 23)

Deity indwelling men! That, I say, is Christianity, and no man has experienced rightly the power of Christian belief until he has known this for himself as a living reality. Everything else is preliminary to this.

Incarnation, atonement, justification, regeneration - what are these but acts of God preparatory to the work of invading and the act of indwelling the redeemed human soul? Man, who moved out of the heart of God by sin, now moves back into the heart of God by redemption. God, who moved out of the heart of man because of sin, now enters again His ancient dwelling to drive out His enemies and once more make the place of His feet glorious.

Regeneration is like building a house and having the work done well. Sanctification is having the owner come and dwell in the house and fill it with gladness and life and beauty.

Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What power from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God's will my home.

~A. W. Tozer~

Joseph Teaches Us To Respond to Disappointment?

Joseph Teaches Us to Respond to Disappointment?

by Charles Stanley

To find examples of wise, godly reactions to disappointment, you’re more likely to turn to Psalms than to Matthew. But the very first chapter in the New Testament tells the story of an upright man’s reaction to painful and disheartening news.

Joseph—Jesus’ earthly father—was a righteous person. A godly man wants a wife who shares his desire to honor and obey the Lord, and Scripture indicates that Mary was exactly that sort of woman (Luke 1:45–55). So imagine how stunned Joseph must have been when Mary returned from a long visit with her relative Elizabeth and told him that she was pregnant. Moreover, she was claiming no man had touched her.

Any way Joseph looked at the situation, it appeared grim. And yet Matthew 1:20 says that he “considered”—in other words, he sought a wise, righteous response. God entered Joseph’s life in a dramatic way to confirm Mary’s story and put a stop to his “quiet annulment” plans.

The Lord turned Joseph’s mourning into joy. Mary had told the truth—strange and startling as it was. The couple would bear the intense public censure of an early pregnancy, but Joseph stopped thinking about what others would say. God had blessed work for him: to raise the Messiah alongside a faithful woman.

Followers of Christ should seek a godly response to disappointments they face. Since the Lord always has a plan, the wisest reaction is to anticipate the good He can do and await His timing. God certainly blessed Joseph for his willingness to “seek first His kingdom” (Matthew 6:33).

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Silence and Self-Examination

"Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah" (Psalm 4:4)

I should like to suggest that we Bible-believing Christians announce a moratorium on religious activity and set our house in order preparatory to the coming of an afflatus from above.

So carnal is the body of Christians which compose the conservative wing of the Church, so shockingly irreverent are our public services in some quarters, so degraded are our religious tastes in still others that the need for power could scarcely have been greater at any time in history. I believe we should profit immensely were we to declare a period of silence and self-examination during which each one of us searched his own heart and sought to meet every condition for a real baptism of power from on high.

More spiritual progress can be made in one short moment of speechless silence in the awesome presence of God than in years of mere study. The exposure may be brief, but the results are permanent.

Jesus calls us o'er the tumult
Of our life's wild, restless sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, "Christian, follow Me."

~A. W. Tozer~


Only the Spirit

"Receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately ... he received sight forthwith" (Acts 9:17-18)

We may be sure of one thing, that for our deep trouble there is no cure apart from a visitation, yes, an invasion of power from above.

Only the Spirit Himself can show us what is wrong with us and only the Spirit can prescribe the cure.

Only the Spirit can show us the Father and the Son.

Only the inworking of the Spirit's power can discover to us the solemn majesty and the heart ravishing mystery of the Triune God.

This is what the Holy Spirit brings to us, the vision of the Lord, power to see divine things as God sees them. Not only does He give knowledge of the truth, but He gives the realization of it. Not only does He reveal to us the promises, but He enables us to appropriate them. The Spirit also things in us by giving us divine instincts, intuitions and enablements.

~A. W. Tozer~

A Blessing for Others

A Blessing For Others

And Laban said to him, "Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake." Then he said, "Name me your wages, and I will give it." So Jacob said to him, "You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me. For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amountthe Lord has blessed you since my comingAnd now, when shall I also provide for my own house?" - Genesis 30:27-30

Jacob had two wives and eleven children and he wanted to return to his own land. The time had come for him to leave his father-in-law, Laban, but Laban was not ready to let Jacob go. Both men acknowledged the blessings upon Laban’s house as being from the Lord. Jacob lived with and worked for Laban for over 20 years and both men prospered greatly, but the blessings came to Laban because the Lord’s hand was upon Jacob.

The same should be true of the Christian today. Because we know the Lord Jesus, our lives should bring blessings to others. The blessings come in many ways, such as recognizable calmness in our presence and stability. Many times, others do not want to admit that their blessings are a result of the Christian’s convictions and prayers. The unbeliever’s pride causes them to take the glory for themselves. But as Christians, our lives do bless others. In time, God will get the glory as the fruit of our lives, as well as the testimony of our mouths, will clearly point to His intervention

Are others blessed because of you? Even if you are the only Christian in your family, God’s hand is on you and your home will be covered with your prayers. Continue to pray for your family and seek the Lord’s blessings over those who do not yet know Him. Press on to not grow weary in doing good. Wherever we go, we bring the Lord’s presence because His Holy Spirit lives within us. We need to acknowledge the Lord’s blessings not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those around us. Let your light shine to those around you and give God the glory for all things.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Establishing the Direction

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen" (2 Peter 3:18)

Once the Holy Spirit's work in our heart begins, grace, forgiveness, cleansing take on a form of almost bodily clearness.

Prayer loses its unmeaning quality and becomes a sweet conversation with Someone actually there. Love for God and for the children of God take possession of the soul. We feel ourselves near to heaven and it is now the earth and the world that begin to seem unreal.

Then the whole life changes to suit the new reality and the change is permanent. Slight fluctuations there may be like the rise and dip of the line on a graph, but the established direction is upward and the ground taken is held.

This is not all, but it will give a fair idea of what is meant when the New Testament speaks of "Power", and perhaps by contrast we may learn how little of the power we enjoy.

In every thing that belongs to the excellence of real religion, the true believer is in a state of progression. He seeks and strives, he wrestles and fights. He is ever aiming at the prize. His obedience, though not perfect, is habitual.

~A. W. Tozer~


Power - The Great Need

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal" (1 Corinthians 12:7)

I think that there can be no doubt that the need above all other needs in the Church of God at this moment is the power of the Holy Spirit. More education, better organization, finer equipment, more advanced methods - all are unavailing.

It is like bringing a better respirator after the patient is dead. Good as these are they can never give life. "It is the spirit that quickeneth" (John 6:63). Good as they are they can never bring power. "Power belongeth unto God" (Psalm 62:11).

Protestantism is on the wrong road when it tries to win merely by means of a "united front." It is not organizational unity we need most; the great need is power.

The power of God is at our disposal, waiting for us to call it into action by meeting the conditions which are plainly laid down. God is ready to send down floods of blessings upon us as we begin to obey His plain instructions.

There is no divine incoming until there is the human emptying. How it is possible to fill us until we are first emptied? Emptied first, filled afterward is the order.

~T. W. Tozer~

Trust In God, and Do The Right!

Trust in God, and do the right!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!")

"The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people, and took food and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God!" Nehemiah 5:15

Obey God at all hazards. 
A Christian has no other alternative. 
There is one plan to adopt--one safe course to follow.  
Set your mind against all wrong practices. 
Whatever others may say or do, whatever reproach or trouble or loss it may bring to you--walk steadfastly along the highway of truth, justice, and equity. And as you endeavor to do so, be persuaded that God is on your side, that He will stand by you and befriend you, and that for any present sacrifices you may have to make, He will honor you.

It is the truest wisdom as well as your plain duty to please God rather than man, and in all things to keep the precepts of His Word.

Trust in God, and do the right!
Let this ever be the rule you follow.
It will save you from many a snare. 
It will make your course plain and clear.

This was the principle that guided Nehemiah. He was a man of prayer, and trusted God in everything. Moreover, he stood out manfully and boldly against the evils of his day. He determined to act in everything as before God. Whatever evil others did, he acted in a different spirit. He said, "But I did not do so, because of the fear of God!"

The same principle guided the three Hebrew youths of whom we read in the book of Daniel. They trusted in God, and did the right. Though threatened with a cruel death, they would not flinch. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king: O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up!" Daniel 3:16-18

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pressure On the Heart

"Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart ... Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good" (2 Chronicles 19:9, 11)

Now how does this power operate? At its purest it is an unmediated force directly applied by the Spirit of God to the spirit of man.

The wrestler achieves his ends by the pressure of his physical body upon the body of his opponent; the teacher the pressure of ideas upon the mind of the student; the moralist by the pressure of duty upon the conscience of the disciple. So the Holy Spirit performs His blessed work by direct contact with the human spirit.

The Spirit of God may use a song, a sermon, a good deed, a text or the mystery and majesty of nature, but always the final work will be done by the pressure of the inliving Spirit upon the human heart.

The Spirit's first work is to cleanse us, to separate us, to sanctify us, to dedicate us wholly to God. Then as the property of God, He takes possession of us for God and uses us for His service and glory alone.

~A. W. Tozer~


A Volatile Essence

"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth" (John 3:8)

One meaning of the word "power" is "ability to do." There precisely is the wonder of the Spirit's work in the Church and in the hearts of Christians, His sure ability to make spiritual things real to the soul.

This power can go straight to its object with piercing directness; it can diffuse itself through the mind like an infinitely fine volatile essence securing ends above and beyond the limits of the intellect.

Reality is its subject matter, reality in heaven and upon earth. it does not create objects which are not there but reveals objects already present and hidden from the soul.

In actual human experience this is likely to be first felt in a heightened sense of the presence of Christ. he is felt to be a real Person and to be intimately, ravishingly near. Then all other spiritual objects begin to stand out clearly before the mind.

The Holy Spirit creates in us a new life and a new set of spiritual senses altogether, through which we discern, understand, and enter into the life of God and the Spiritual realm.

~A. W. Tozer~