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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy and/Or Holy

"Every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself" (Romans 14:11-12)

One may easily deceive himself by cultivating a religious joy without a corresponding righteous life. No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he shall be.

For those who take this whole thing seriously I have a suggestion. Go to God and have an understanding. Tell Him that it is your desire to be holy at any cost and then ask Him never to give you more happiness than holiness. When your holiness becomes tarnished, let your joy become dim. And ask Him to make you holy whether you are happy or no.

Be assured that in the end you will be as happy as you are holy; but for the time being let your whole ambition be to serve God and be Christlike.

The end of the Christian in the exercise of grace is the glory of God, and not merely his own present or future happiness.

~A. W. Tozer~


Dig Out of the Old Wells

"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3)

Friend, we must dig out the old wells! We must recognize our dryness of spirit, our coldness of heart. We must make the decision to renew our desire for God, for the outpouring of His Spirit and for the seasons of rejoicing as we become more like Jesus.

Many a congregation has been renewed and blessed  when believers have been willing to reopen the Bible wells of reconciliation and confession. When Christians are harboring hard feelings against each other, they need to be reconciled. They need to confess and ask forgiveness.

I refer here to actual sins and faults. There are people in continual bondage to mere trifles and inconsequential matters. God has given us the Holy Spirit to be our promoter and our guide. And He has given us good sense as well to go along with our conscience.

We try to substitute praying for obeying; and it simply will not work. Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience.

~A. W. Tozer~

And They Follow Me (and other devotionals)

John 10:27
And they follow me.
We should follow our Lord as unhesitatingly as sheep follow their shepherd, for He has a right to lead us wherever He pleases. We are not our own, we are bought with a price-let us recognize the rights of the redeeming blood. The soldier follows his captain, the servant obeys his master, much more must we follow our Redeemer, to whom we are a purchased possession. We are not true to our profession of being Christians, if we question the bidding of our Leader and Commander. Submission is our duty, cavilling is our folly. Often might our Lord say to us as to Peter, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me." Wherever Jesus may lead us, He goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go. With such a companion, who will dread the perils of the road? The journey may be long, but His everlasting arms will carry us to the end. The presence of Jesus is the assurance of eternal salvation, because He lives, we shall live also. We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which He leads us all end in glory and immortality. It is true they may not be smooth paths-they may be covered with sharp flinty trials, but they lead to the "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant." Let us put full trust in our Leader, since we know that, come prosperity or adversity, sickness or health, popularity or contempt, His purpose shall be worked out, and that purpose shall be pure, unmingled good to every heir of mercy. We shall find it sweet to go up the bleak side of the hill with Christ; and when rain and snow blow into our faces, His dear love will make us far more blest than those who sit at home and warm their hands at the world's fire. To the top of Amana, to the dens of lions, or to the hills of leopards, we will follow our Beloved. Precious Jesus, draw us, and we will run after Thee.

~Charles Spureeon~


The Reason for Singing 

"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, He will joy over thee with singing"   (Zephaniah 3:17).

What a Word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His church; therefore may His people shout for joy. We not only have His presence, but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. "He will save." He is always saving: He takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger, for He is mighty to save. Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same, He saves, He finds rest in loving, He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing but simply said, "It is very good"; but when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song; Think of it, and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride. She is to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O LORD Jesus, by Thine immeasurable love to us teach us to love Thee, to rejoice in Thee, and to sing unto Thee our life-psalm.

~Charles Spurgeon~


Galatians 5:1
The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.
This "liberty" makes us free to heaven's charter-the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer, "When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee." You are free to that. Here is another: "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee"; you are free to that. You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace. This is thy Father's love-token; thou art free to it at all times. Thou art also free to the throne of grace. It is the believer's privilege to have access at all times to His heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread all before Him. It matters not how much we may have sinned, we may ask and expect pardon. It signifies nothing how poor we are, we may plead His promise that He will provide all things needful. We have permission to approach His throne at all times-in midnight's darkest hour, or in noontide's most burning heat. Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege. Thou art free to all that is treasured up in Christ-wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It matters not what thy need is, for there is fulness of supply in Christ, and it is there for thee. O what a "freedom" is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!

~Charles Spurgeon~


1 Samuel 1:27
For this child I prayed.
Devout souls delight to look upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to supplication, for they can see God's especial love in them. When we can name our blessings Samuel, that is, "asked of God," they will be as dear to us as her child was to Hannah. Peninnah had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer: Hannah's one heaven-given child was dearer far, because he was the fruit of earnest pleadings. How sweet was that water to Samson which he found at "the well of him that prayed!" Quassia cups turn all waters bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweetness into the draughts it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions fulfilled! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought of the Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of God's faithfulness and truth, and so be doubly precious. Have we petitioned for success in the Lord's work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes flying upon the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer speeds not, the blessings grow all the richer for the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found Him after having sought Him sorrowing. That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, "Of Thine own have I given unto Thee." Reader, is prayer your element or your weariness? Which?

~Charles Spurgeon~


Perfect Willingness 

"Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power"   (Psalm 110:3).

Blessed be the God of grace that it is so! He has a people whom He has chosen from of old to be His peculiar portion. These by nature have wills as stubborn as the rest of the froward sons of Adam; but when the day of His power comes and grace displays its omnipotence, they become willing to repent and to believe in Jesus. None are saved unwillingly, but the will is made sweetly to yield itself. What a wondrous power is this, which never violates the will and yet rules it! God does not break the lock, but He opens it by a master key which He alone can handle. Now are we willing to be, to do, or to suffer as the LORD wills. If at any time we grow rebellious, He has but to come to us with power, and straightway we run in the way of His commands with all our hearts. May this be a day of power with me as to some noble effort for the glory of God and the good of my fellowmen! LORD, I am willing; may I not hope that this is a day of Thy power? I am wholly at Thy disposal; willing, yea, eager, to be used of Thee for Thy holy purposes. O LORD, let me not have to cry, "To will is present with me, but how to perform that which I would, I find not"; but give me power as Thou givest me will.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Friday, October 30, 2015

Some Worrisome Characteristics

"I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye wee not able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 3:2)

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.

Then, I am always a little worried about the "hope-so" Christian who cannot tell me any of the details of his or her Christian experience.

And, finally, 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.

God wants us while we live to prove in our own experience all things that have been written in the Bible and to bind the Bible in a new and living edition of flesh and blood in our own lives.

~A. W. Tozer~


Happy With Only Him

"The Lord is my strength and song ... he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation ... and I will exalt him" (Exodus 15:2)

Being lonely in this world will only drive you to a closer communion with the God who has promised never to leave you or forsake you. He is altogether good and He is faithful. He  will never break His covenant or altar that which has gone from His mouth. He has promised to keep you as the apple of His eye. He has promised to watch over you as a mother watches over her child!

God's anxiety for you is real, and His pattern for you is plain. He says, "This is the sign of your pleasing My indwelling Spirit: you have been absorbed with Christ, you have made your thoughts a clean sanctuary for His holy habitation."

Build that invisible altar within. Let the Spirit of God produce the living, cleansing flame that marks your devotion to Christ, our Lord.

It is part of my belief that God wants to get us to a place where we would still be happy if we had only Him! We don't need God and something else. God does give us Himself and lets us have other things, too, but there is that inner loneliness until we reach the place where it is only God that we desire.

~A. W. Tozer~

God Knew Best

"Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (John 11:40).

Mary and Martha could not understand what their Lord was doing. Both of them said to Him, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Back of it all, we seem to read their thought: "Lord, we do not understand why you have stayed away so long. We do not understand how you could let death come to the man whom you loved. We do not understand how you could let sorrow and suffering ravage our lives when your presence might have stayed it all. Why did you not come? It is too late now, for already he has been dead four days!" And to it all Jesus had but one great truth: "You may not understand; but I tell you if you believe, you will see."

Abraham could not understand why God should ask the sacrifice of the boy; but he trusted. And he saw the glory of God in his restoration to his love. Moses could not understand why God should keep him forty years in the wilderness, but he trusted; and he saw when God called him to lead forth Israel from bondage.

Joseph could not understand the cruelty of his brethren, the false witness of a perfidious woman, and the long years of an unjust imprisonment; but he trusted, and he saw at last the glory of God in it all. Jacob could not understand the strange providence which permitted the same Joseph to be torn from his father's love, but he saw the glory of God when he looked into the face of that same Joseph as the viceroy of a great king, and the preserver of his own life and the lives of a great nation.

And so, perhaps in your life. You say, "I do not understand why God let my dear one be taken. I do not understand why affliction has been permitted to smite me. I do not understand the devious paths by which the Lord is leading me. I do not understand why plans and purposes that seemed good to my eyes should be baffled. I do not understand why blessings I so much need are so long delayed.

Friend, you do not have to understand all God's ways with you. God does not expect you to understand them. You do not expect your child to understand, only believe. Some day you will see the glory of God in the things which you do not understand.
--J. H. McC

"If we could push ajar the gates of life,
And stand within, and all God's working see,
We might interpret all this doubt and strife,
And for each mystery could find a key.
"But not today. Then be content, poor heart;
God's plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold.
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart--
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold.
"And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly know and understand,
I think that we shall say, 'God knew best."'

~L. B. Cowman~

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Taken Up with Christ

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery ... which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27)

If we would please the indwelling Spirit we must be all taken up with Christ. The Spirit's present work is to honor Him, and everything He does has this for its ultimate purpose. And we must make our thoughts a clean sanctuary for His holy habitation.

He dwells in our thoughts, and soiled thoughts are as repugnant to Him as soiled linen to a king. Above all we must have a cheerful faith that will keep on believing however radical the fluctuation in our emotional states may be.

The Spirit indwelt life is not a special deluxe edition of Christianity to be enjoyed by a certain rare and privileged few who happen to be made of finer and more sensitive stuff than the rest. Rather, it is the normal state for every redeemed man and woman the world over.

Is the glory of God the great end of your being? Is your love to God supreme? Does it rise superior to the attachments of flesh and sense? What, whom do you love more than the everlasting God? Supreme love to God is decisive evidence of the renewed heart.

~A. W. Tozer~


The Holy Spirit Is In the Details

"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:20)

God has given each of us an individual temperament and distinct characteristics. Therefore it is the office of the Holy Spirit to work out as He will the details in Christian experience. They will vary with the personality.

Certainly we can be sure of this: whenever a person truly meets God in faith and commitment to the gospel, he will have a consciousness and a sharp awareness of the details of that spiritual transaction. The experience may have been brief, but the results will be evident in the life of the person touched as long as he or she lives.

We can always trust the moving and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our experiences. On the other hand, we cannot always trust our human leanings and our fleshly and carnal desires.

Are you sure you want to be possessed by a spirit other than your own? even though that spirit be the pure Spirit of God ... even though He be wisdom personified, wisdom Himself? That Spirit, if He ever possesses you, will be the Lord of your life!

~A. W. Tozer~

What is the Best Posture for Prayer?

What is the Best Posture for Prayer?

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."

—Ephesians 6:18

I heard the story of three ministers debating the best posture for prayer.

One minister shared that he felt that the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a symbolic form of worship.

Another minister suggested that real prayer was conducted on one's knees. That was the only way to really pray.

The third said that they were both wrong. The only position in which to pray was to lie on the floor, flat on your face.

As they were talking, a telephone repairman had been working in the background, listening. Finally, he couldn't take it any longer. He blurted out, "For me, the most powerful prayer I ever prayed was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, 40 feet above the ground!"

Listen: the posture of prayer is not the most important thing.

The main thing is to pray!
  • You can pray in any position, at anytime, anywhere.
  • You can pray publically, privately, verbally, silently.
  • You can be kneeling, standing, sitting, lying down, or even driving.
  • You can pray with your eyes open or closed! (Ever make eye contact with someone while praying?)
Sometimes we think that perhaps the Lord will hear our prayers more readily if they are prayed in a church building. But that is not necessarily true.
  • Daniel prayed in a lion's den.
  • David prayed in a field.
  • Peter prayed on and under the water.
  • Jonah's prayer was heard from the belly of a whale!
It doesn't matter where you are . . . Just pray!

~Greg Laurie~

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Trinity Works Together

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God" (John 1:1-2)

Critics often have declared that the Bible contradicts itself in matters relating to the Trinity. For example, Genesis speaks of God's creating the heavens and the earth. The New Testament declares that the Word - God the Son - created all things. Still other references speak of the Holy Spirit's wok in creation. These are NOT contradictions. Father, Son and Spirit worked together in the miracles of creation, just as they worked together in the planning and effecting of human redemption. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are consubstantial ... one in substance and cannot be separated.

When Jesus was to launch His earthly ministry, He went to John at the Jordan River to be baptized. The record speaks of the Trinity's involvement. As Jesus stood on the bank of the river following His baptism, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove upon Him and the voice of God the Father was heard from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).

Praise God from whom all blessing flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

~A. W. Tozer~


A Pain Felt In Heaven

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost (Spirit)" (John 19:30)

The Father in Heaven so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. It was the love of the Father that sent the Son into our world to die for mankind. The Father and Son and Spirit were in perfect agreement that the eternal Son should die for the sins of the world. We are not wrong to believe - and proclaim - that while Mary's Son, Jesus, died alone, terribly alone, on that Cross, the loving heart of God the Father was as deeply pained with suffering as was the heart of the holy, dying Son.

We must ask our Lord to help us comprehend what it meant to the Trinity for the Son to die alone on the Cross. When the holy Father had to turn His back on the dying Son by the necessity of divine justice, I believe the pain for the Father was as great as the suffering of the Saviour as He bore our sins in His body. When the soldier drove that Roman spear into the side of Jesus, I believe it was felt in heaven.

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut His glories in,
When Christ, the Mighty Maker, died
For man, the creature's sin.

~A. W. Tozer~

If We See God In Everything

"It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good" (1 Sam. 3:18)

See God in everything, and God will calm and color all that thou dost see!" It may be that the circumstances of our sorrows will not be removed, their condition will remain unchanged; but if Christ, as Lord and Master of our life, is brought into our grief and gloom, "HE will compass us about with songs of deliverance." To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err, His power cannot fail, His love can never change; to know that even His direst dealings with us are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say, in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath, taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us. They will be to us then only instruments for accomplishing His tender and wise purposes toward us, and we shall even find ourselves at last inwardly thanking them for the blessings they bring us. Nothing else will completely put an end to all murmuring or rebelling thoughts.
--H. W. Smith

"Give me a new idea," I said,
While musing on a sleepless bed;
"A new idea that'll bring to earth
A balm for souls of priceless worth;
That'll give men thoughts of things above,
And teach them how to serve and love,
That'll banish every selfish thought,
And rid men of the sins they've fought."
The new thought came, just how, I'll tell:
'Twas when on bended knee I fell,
And sought from HIM who knows full well
The way our sorrow to expel.
SEE GOD IN ALL THINGS, great and small,
And give HIM praise whate'er befall,
In life or death, in pain or woe,
See God, and overcome thy foe.
I saw HIM in the morning light,
HE made the day shine clear and bright;
I saw HIM in the noontide hour,
And gained from HIM refreshing shower.
At eventide, when worn and sad,
HE gave me help, and made me glad.
At midnight, when on tossing bed
My weary soul to sleep HE led.
I saw HIM when great losses came,
And found HE loved me just the same.
When heavy loads I had to bear,
I found HE lightened every care.
By sickness, sorrow, sore distress,
HE calmed my mind and gave me rest.
HE'S filled my heart with gladsome praise
Since I gave HIM the upward gaze.
'Twas new to me, yet old to some,
This thought that to me has become
A revelation of the way
We all should live throughout the day;
For as each day unfolds its light,
We'll walk by faith and not by sight.
Life will, indeed, a blessing bring,

~L. B. Cowman~

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

God Loves Hard Places

"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

We are in the midst of the storm of life. The believing saints of God are on board the ship. Someone looks to the horizon and warns, "We are directly in the path of the typhoon! We are as good as dead. We will surely be dashed to pieces on the rocks!"

But calmly someone else advises, "Look down, look down! We have an anchor!" We look, but the depth is too great. We cannot see the anchor. But the anchor is there. It grips the immovable rock and holds fast. Thus the ship outrides the storm.

The Holy Spirit has assured us that we have an Anchor, steadfast and sure, that keeps the soul. The Spirit is saying to us, "Keep on believing. Pursue holiness. Show diligence and hold full assurance of faith to the very end. Follow those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

"He is faithful!"

Nearly all the great examples of faith and victorious grace which we find in the Scriptures came out of situations of extremity and distress. God loves hard places, and faith is usually born of danger and extremity.

~A. W. Tozer~


The Holy Spirit is Waiting

"My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me" (Psalm 63:8)

I am reminded that one old saint was asked, "Which is the more important: reading God's Word or praying?" To which he replied, "Which is more important to a bird: the right wing or the left?" The writer to the Hebrews was telling his readers - and telling us - that Christians must believe ALL there is to be believed. They are to do ALL that the Word commands them to do. Those two wings take the Christian up to God!

God has purposefully given us a mental capacity with wide human boundaries. Beyond that, if we are justified, regenerated believers, He has given us an entirely new spiritual capacity. God wants us to believe, to think, to meditate, to consider His Word. He has promised that the Holy Spirit is waiting to teach us. He has assured us concerning all of our blessings in Jesus Christ.

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made my thirsty for more. I want to want Thee; I long t be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory.

~A. W. Tozer~

How Sin Spreads

How Sin Spreads

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

—1 Corinthians 5:6

As believers, we are interconnected. The sin of one will affect many. That is why the apostle Paul said the church should never tolerate evil. He said, "And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26).

Apparently in the Corinthian church, there was a man who was sleeping his father's wife (not his biological mother but a woman his father had married). The church was actually boasting about how liberal and tolerant they were. So Paul confronted them, saying, "And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you" (1 Corinthians 5:2).

If an unbeliever who is living an immoral lifestyle comes to our church, we'll welcome that person. We'll say, "We love you." We'll also say, "Jesus Christ wants to change your life." We will call him or her to the Lord and to faith.

But if a Christian comes to our church and is living openly in sin, if we find out about it, we will call him or her to repentance. But if that Christian refuses to repent, then he or she will be asked to leave.

Some might think that isn't very loving. But actually it is very loving, and I'll tell you why. If believers are living openly in sin, and the church doesn't do anything about it, it's sending a message that everything is okay and that we can thumb our noses at God.

Paul said, "Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" (1 Corinthians 5:6). In modern vernacular, a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough. If sin is tolerated, it will spread and corrupt others.
~Greg Laurie~

Monday, October 26, 2015

God Does Not Play on Our Emotions

"Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way ...?" (Luke 24:32)

I do not know how familiar you are with the ways of God and the tender movings of His Spirit. But I will tell you this quite frankly: God does not play on our emotions to bring us to the point of spiritual decision.

God's Word, which is God's truth, and God's Spirit unite to arouse our highest emotions. Because He is God and worthy of our praise, we will find the ability to praise Him and to glorify Him. Some religious and evangelistic techniques are directed almost entirely to the emotions of those who are listening to the appeal. They are psychology, not Spirit-directed conviction.

I have to disagree with religious appeal that supposes if someone in the audience can be moved to shed a tear, a saint has been made. There is no connection whatsoever between the human manipulation of our emotions, on the one hand, and, on the other, the confirmation of God's revealed truth in our beings through the ministry of His Holy Spirit. When in our Christian experience our emotions are raised, it must be the result of what God's truth is doing for us.

Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God.

~A. W. Tozer~


An Attitude Called Omnipotence

"If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23)

God knows everything that can be known. He is perfect in wisdom God never has to excuse Himself. His ability to deliver on His promises is tied directly to His omnipotence. If God was not omnipotent, He would be unable to keep His promises. He could not give any of us assurance of salvation.

This attribute of God we call omnipotence does not really mean that God can do anything. It means that He is the only Being who can do anything He wills to do.

Because holiness is God's being, He cannot lie. Because He is God, He cannot violate the holy nature of His being. God does not will to lie. He does not will to cheat. He does not will to deceive. He does not will to be false to His own dear people.

Confidently knowing that the Lord God omnipotent reigns, and knowing that He is able to do all that He wills to do, I have no more doubts. I am safely held in the arms of the all-powerful God.

There is an innate conviction, strong as the everlasting foundations, that, if there is a God above us, all is well!

~A. W. Tozer~

No Need to Fear (and other devotionals)

Today's reading: Psalm 27:1-14

Fear is a powerful emotion that can pull our attention right off of God--if we allow it. David doesn't do that. Instead, he fully grasps and claims God as his light, salvation and stronghold, followed by the bold declaration of "whom shall I fear?" and "of whom shall I be afraid?" (vs. 1)

What encouragement do you draw from this passage? When life throws you a curve ball and fearful thoughts come crashing in, is it your habit to turn to God and His Word? Do you have a particular verse or passage that has helped you overcome fear and being afraid?  



Mark of Divine Approval 

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the Crown Of Life, which the LORD hath promised to them that love Him"   (James 1:12).

Yes, he is blessed while he is enduring the trial. No eye can see this till he has been anointed with heavenly eye salve. But he must endure it and neither rebel against God nor turn aside from his integrity. He is blessed who has gone through the fire and has not been consumed as a counterfeit. When the test is over, then comes the hallmark of divine approval -- "the crown of life." As if the LORD said, "Let him live; he has been weighed in the balances, and he is not found wanting." Life is the reward: not mere being, but holy, happy, true existence, the realization of the divine purpose concerning us. Already a higher form of spiritual life and enjoyment crowns those who have safely passed through fiercest trials of faith and love. The LORD hath promised the crown of life to those who love Him. Only lovers of the LORD will hold out in the hour of trial; the rest will either sink or sulk, or slink back to the world. Come, my heart, dost thou love thy LORD? Truly? Deeply? Wholly? Then that love will be tried; but many waters will not quench it, neither will the Roods drown it, LORD, let Thy love nourish mine to the end.

~Charles Spurgeon~


An Everyday Retreat

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Have you ever attended a weekend church retreat or fellowship outing? It is usually a great time of fellowship filled with a lot of love and laughter. It is an opportunity to meet new friends, share hidden struggles and spend time together. But why do we often wait until we attend such an event to reach out and enjoy others? Why can't we get along like that all the time? In one weekend, we can find out more about a person than after a whole year in church together. What happens at a retreat that causes our barriers to come down and our kind, loving, accepting personalities to come out? There are many burdens carried by people who attend a retreat, but somehow those burdens become a lot lighter by the end. The answer is God.

A retreat is the one place that we incorporate the Lord in everything we do. We sing to the Lord, we learn about the Lord, we talk to others about the Lord, we pray together to the Lord, and we are at a facility that is dedicated to the Lord. It is all about the Lord. We live out Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus said unto him, 'You shall love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

We need to pray that we can understand this kind of love and kindness all year round. We get busy and focused on our own struggles, trying so hard to make it through the day that we forget others are in need too. But what we are really forgetting is a Who—the Lord. We need to include the Lord in the busyness of our days so that we can represent Him to others. Pray that you can be used by the Lord and that you can incorporate Him in everything you do today. You just might be able to help someone along the way. And, keep going to those retreats—we all need those special weekends with the Lord and with others.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Love God, Hate Sin

"He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honor" (Proverbs 21:21)

People remark how favored the church is in this country. It does not have to face persecution and rejection. If the truth were known, our freedom from persecution is because we have taken the easy, the popular way!

If we would love righteousness until it became an overpowering passion, if we would renounce everything that is evil, our day of popularity and pleasantness would quickly end. The world would soon turn on us.

We are too nice! We are too tolerant! We are too anxious
to be popular! We are too quick to make excuses for sin in its many forms! If I could stir Christians around me to love God and hate sin, even to the point of being a bit of a nuisance, I would rejoice. Vance Havner used to remark that too many are running for something when they ought to be standing for something. God's people should be willing to STAND!

We Christians must stop apologizing for our moral position and start making our voices heard, exposing sin for the enemy of the human race which it surely is, and setting forth righteousness and true holiness as the only worthy pursuits for moral beings.

~A. W. Tozer~


Put Away Compromise

"My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live" (Job 27:6)

The way to spiritual power and favor with God is to be willing to put away the weak compromises and the tempting evils to which we are prone to cling. There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things that God hates.

Even if your wife loves it, turn away from it. Even if your husband loves it, turn away from it. Even if it is accepted in he whole social class and system of which you are a part, turn away from it. Even if it is something that has come to be accepted by our whole generation, turn away from it if it is evil and wrong and an offense to our holy and righteous Saviour.

Every Christian holds the key to his or her own spiritual attainment. If he or she will not pay the price of being joyfully led by the Holy Spirit of God, if he or she refuses to hate sin and evil and wrong, our churches might as well be turned into lodges or clubs.

We need a revival! We need a revival of consecration to death, a revival of happy abandonment to the will of God that will laugh at sacrifice and count it a privilege to bear the cross through the heat and burden of the day. We are too much influenced by the world and too little controlled by the Spirit.

~A. W. Tozer~

The Whore of Babylon's Golden Goblet!

The whore of Babylon's golden goblet!

(William Dyer, "The Strait Way to Heaven")

"The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. She held in her hand a golden goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality." Revelation 17:4

Beware of the whore of Babylon's golden goblet, and her sweet wine! Be like the virgin spouse of Christ--who follows Him wherever He goes.

Beware of false teachers! The devil has his ministers--as well as Christ! "Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves!" Matthew 7:15. Yes, they are ferocious wolves--they never have enough! "They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain!" Isaiah 56:11

Oh! false teachers do not feed the flock--but fleece the flock!

They do not convert--but pervert!They do not purify--but poison!They do not edify for salvation--but destroy for damnation!Instead of curing souls--they kill souls! 

Just so long as they pilfer the people's money--they care not, though the devil has their souls!

They are dogs and wolves combining together to massacre the flock of Christ! Oh! therefore keep yourselves from Babylon's merchants, who make merchandise of the souls of men, Revelation 18:13.

Oh! the sins of teachers--are the teachers of sins!

Now, beloved, let . . .
  your hearts be upright,
  your judgments sound,
  and your lives holy! 

Love the truth, and 
obey the truth, and 
hold fast the truth! 

Keep yourselves . . .
  from false teachers,
  from false doctrines,
  from false worship,
  from false opinions!

If you will be tasting and sipping of Babylon's golden goblet--you must resolve to receive Babylon's plagues!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Love Righteousness, Hate Iniquity

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I am happy to tell everyone that the power of the Spirit is glad power! Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, lived His beautiful, holy life on earth and did His healing, saving deeds of power in the strength of this oil of gladness.

We must admit that there was more of the holy oil of God on the head of Jesus than on your head or mine - or on the head of anyone else who has ever lived. That is not to say that God will withhold His best from anyone. But the Spirit of God can only anoint in proportion to the willingness He finds in our lives.

In the case of Jesus, we are told that He had a special anointing because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity. That surely gives us the clue we need concerning the kind of persons we must be in order to receive the full anointing and blessing from Almighty God.

I claim nothing and my testimony is the same as Martin Luther's prayer: "Oh, Lord Jesus, Thou art my righteousness - I am Thy sin!" The only sin Jesus had was mine, Luther's and yours - and the only righteousness we can ever have is HIS.

~A. W. Tozer~


Love Good, Hate Evil

"Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate" (Amos 5:15)

If we are committed, consecrated Christians, truly disciples of the crucified and risen Christ, there are some things we must face.

We cannot love honesty without hating dishonesty. We cannot love purity without hating impurity. We cannot love truth without hating lying and deceitfulness.

If we belong to Jesus Christ, we must hate evil even as He hated evil in every form. The ability of Jesus Christ to hate that which was against God and to love that which was full of God was the force that made Him able to receive the anointing - the oil of gladness - in complete measure.

On our human side, it is our imperfection in loving the good and hating the evil that prevents us from receiving the Holy Spirit in complete measure. God withholds from us because we are unwilling to follow Jesus in His great poured-out love for what is right and His pure and holy hatred of what is evil.

We receive the Holy Spirit at the moment of surrender, but we do not realize the fullness of His power until we have been fully tested and have stood triumphant with Him in the conflict with evil.

~A. W. Tozer~

The Judgment

The Judgment

Every Christian is answerable to Jesus for how he or she lived life. We will not stand before the Great White Throne of Revelation 20:11--that is where unbelievers will be judged. Instead, we will go before Christ's judgment seat and give an account of ourselves.
Perhaps this seems like a contradiction: Believers will not be judged but will stand before Christ's judgment seat. The Greek word that 2 Corinthians uses for "judgment seat" is bema, which means a place of accountability. So those who believe in the Savior will not be condemned to death but will live and be accountable to Him.
Do not confuse accountability with giving a defense. We won't defend our worthless actions--those things we said and did that brought no honor to the Lord or shamed His name. God likens our selfish works to wood, hay, and stubble, which are items fit only for the fire (1 Cor. 3:13). The valuable thoughts, words, and deeds that serve the Lord are exchanged for rewards in heaven.
What we'll be judged on is the quality of our work. God has given every believer an individual purpose, along with the personality, talents, and spiritual gifts needed to fulfill it. The question that will be answered at Christ's judgment seat is, Did I live out my purpose to honor and glorify God?
Standing before Christ's judgment seat is something to look forward to. We need not fear, since we are beloved co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17, 34). Because of His sacrifice, we have a right to the treasures of heaven. He is eager to bestow them as a reward for faithfulness and obedience.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Fragrant Life

"Therefore God, thy God, faith anointed thee with the oil of gladness ... All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia" (Psalm 45:7-8)

In the New Testament, when the Holy Spirit came, His presence fulfilled that whole list of fragrances found in the holy anointing oil. When New Testament believers were anointed, that anointing was evident. Read it in the book of Acts. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness" (4:31). "But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven" (7:55). "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word" (10:44). The list goes on.

The Holy Spirit has not changed. His power and authority have not changed. He is still the third Person of the eternal Godhead. He is among us to teach us all we need to know about Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. I am suggesting - indeed, I am stating - that no one among us, man or woman, can be genuinely anointed with the Holy Spirit and hope to keep it a secret! His or her anointing will be evident.

All that God wants of any of us is room for Himself, the displacement of our self-consciousness and strength in sufficient measure to let Him have His way without resistance and interference.

~A. W. Tozer~


Fragrance Cannot be Hidden

"Mary ... anointed the feet of Jesus ... and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment" (John 12:3)

A Christian brother once confided in me how he had tried to keep the fullness of the Spirit a secret within his own life. He had made a commitment of his life to God in faith. In answer to prayer, God had filled him with the Spirit. Within himself he said, "I cannot tell anyone about this!"

Three days passed. On the third day his wife touched him on the arm and asked, "Everett, what has happened to you? Something has happened to you!" And like a pent-up stream his testimony flowed out. He had received an anointing of the Holy Spirit. The fragrance could not be hidden. His wife knew it in the home. His life was changed. The spiritual graces and fruits of the consecrated life cannot be hidden. It is an anointing with the oil of gladness and joy.

A person anointed by the Holy Spirit, fed on the sweetness of Christ and bearing fruit for God and man, is not craving after self-aggrandizement. Empty glory can never fill the human heart; vanity and pride are no substitutes for the joy of the Lord, the fullness of the Spirit and the sweet rest we find at Jesus' feet.

~A. W. Tozer~