Total Pageviews

Friday, February 26, 2016

You May Get A Ticket ...

You may get a ticket straight to Hell, by express!

If you would lead a pure life--have nothing to do with bad books and impure newspapers. With such immoral literature as is coming forth from our swift-revolving printing-presses, there is no excuse for dragging one's self through sewers of unchastity.

Never read a bad book! 
By the time you get through the first chapter, you will see the drift of it. If you find the hoof-prints of the devil in the pictures, or in the style, or in the plot--away with it! You may tear your coat, or break a vase--and repair them again. But it takes less than an hour to do your soul a damage--which no time can entirely repair!

Young man, as you value Heaven, never buy a book from one of those men who meet you in the square, and, after looking both ways to see if the police are watching, shows you a book--"very cheap". Have him arrested--as you would kill a rattle-snake! Grab him, and shout, "Police! police!"

But there is more danger, I think, from many of the family newspapers. Some of them contain stories of vice and shame, full of evil suggestions, and go as far as they can without exposing themselves to the clutch of the law. On some tables in Christian homes, there lie "family newspapers" which are the very vomit of the pit of Hell!
The way to ruin is cheap! It costs three dollars to go to Philadelphia; six dollars to Boston; thirty-three dollars to Savannah. But, by the purchase of a bad paper for ten cents--you may get a ticket straight to Hell, by express, with few stopping-places! And the final stop is like the tumbling of the train over a bridge--sudden, dreadful, deathly, never to rise.

O, the power of an iniquitous pen! If a needle punctures the body at a certain point--life is destroyed. But the pen is a sharper instrument--for with its puncture you may kill your soul!
Do not think that that book which you find fascinating and entertaining, is therefore healthful. Some of the worst poisons are pleasant to the taste. The pen which for the time fascinates you--may have been dipped in the slime of impure hearts!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Today's Bible Reading

Luke 24:13-53; Genesis 44; Psalm 35 ESV

Luke 24

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened. 13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, "What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad.18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19 And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." 25 And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. 36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!" 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them. 44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Genesis 44

1 Then he commanded the steward of his house, "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack, 2 and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain." And he did as Joseph told him. 3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. 4 They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, "Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid evil for good? 5 Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.'" 6 When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. 7 They said to him, "Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8 Behold, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord's house? 9 Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be my lord's servants." 10 He said, "Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent." 11 Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack.12 And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city. 14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, he was still there. They fell before him to the ground. 15 Joseph said to them, "What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me can indeed practice divination?" 16 And Judah said, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord's servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found." 17 But he said, "Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father." 18 Then Judah went up to him and said, "Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself. 19My lord asked his servants, saying, 'Have you a father, or a brother?' 20 And we said to my lord, 'We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother's children, and his father loves him.' 21 Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.' 22 We said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.' 23 Then you said to your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.' 24 "When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when our father said, 'Go again, buy us a little food,' 26 we said, 'We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.' 27 Then your servant my father said to us, 'You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One left me, and I said, Surely he has been torn to pieces, and I have never seen him since. 29 If you take this one also from me, and harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.' 30 "Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy's life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, 'If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.' 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father."

Psalm 35

1 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! 2 Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help! 3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers! Say to my soul, "I am your salvation!" 4 Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me! 5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away! 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them! 7 For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life.8 Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it! And let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it--to his destruction! 9 Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD, exulting in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, "O LORD, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?" 11 Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know. 12 They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft. 13 But I, when they were sick-- I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. 14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning. 15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered; they gathered together against me; wretches whom I did not know tore at me without ceasing; 16 like profane mockers at a feast, they gnash at me with their teeth. 17 How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions! 18 I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you. 19 Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. 20 For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit. 21 They open wide their mouths against me; they say, "Aha, Aha! Our eyes have seen it!" 22 You have seen, O LORD; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me! 23Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord! 24 Vindicate me, O LORD, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me! 25 Let them not say in their hearts, "Aha, our heart's desire!" Let them not say, "We have swallowed him up." 26 Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me! 27 Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, "Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!"28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Family Sorrows

Family Sorrows

George Everard, 1878

Family life resembles in some respects our English climate. It has many changes and variations. One day the wind is bleak and cold and the sky cloudy — while on the following day the sun shines brightly, and all nature rejoices in his warm beams. And then perhaps shortly afterwards the tempest lowers and the rain descends and floods the earth. Just so, family life has its days . . .
of cloud and sunshine,
of storm and quiet,
of sadness and of joy.
Sometimes the brightest days are followed by the darkest. You have been enjoying the happiness of a quiet peaceful home — and a message, or a letter, or a telegram arrives which scatters in a moment every pleasant thought, and fills your heart with sorest distress.
It has so happened often from the very beginning. We go back to one of the earliest narratives in Scripture, the story of the Patriarch Job, and we find him brought down in one day from the greatest height of prosperity and comfort — to the abyss of misery and desolation. In the morning the sun shone upon him and his tabernacle was in peace — before nightfall a black cloud had arisen and burst in fury over his head, and all was dark and desolate.
Let us watch for a few moments, the terrible hailstorm of sorrow and trouble descending upon this faithful man. What a day of trouble it was — and yet a day begun in prayer! He rose early in the morning, and pleaded with God for his children, and offered a burnt offering on behalf of each of them. One by one he brought them all before God, and sought help and mercy for them at the throne of grace.
What a blessed example for parents! We know not any day what may befall our children — what temptations may assault them — what perils may be near them. Let us at least have the consolation that we have done for them our very best — that we have put them into the hands of One who is almighty to protect and save.
But on this day of sorrow, wave follows quick upon wave, and blow upon blow. Fresh messengers arrive hour after hour with evil tidings, and with no quiet interval between for Job to gather up fresh courage, or to strengthen faith in God.
First comes a messenger who tells of the spoil taken by the Sabeans. They have fallen upon the servants and have driven away the oxen and the donkeys — and but a solitary servant remains to tell the tale.
Then comes a second messenger, who tells of the lightning — how it has fallen from Heaven and destroyed the sheep and the servants that kept them — and but one remains to bring the news.
Then come a third and a fourth. They tell of the Chaldeans making an attack in three bands and carrying off the camels and destroying the servants.
Worst of all, they tell of the death of his children. The great wind has smitten the house where they are feasting, and the house has fallen, and his sons and daughters are buried in its ruins!
Ah! and well we might have imagined that the father's heart would be buried there too, and that from such a calamity he would never be able to rise. Who can comprehend so great a sorrow? All family sorrow in one! Not the loss of some property, but all! Not the loss of one child, but all! Reduced in a moment from a height of prosperity — almost to the depths of poverty! Deprived in a moment of all the children for whom he had lived and toiled and prayed! "Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls. All Your waves and billows are gone over me."
Then shone forth the reality of the grace which dwelt within his heart. Then were manifested his deep submission, his faith and love. Human nature would have rebelled and murmured: "Why has God dealt thus bitterly with me? Am I a sinner above all sinners? Why should He thus pursue me even unto death?" Ah, Satan looked for Job thus to repine; yes, and to curse God to His face. But what do we find? Even from this furnace of affliction, thus heated seven times, there comes forth the voice of trust and praise and joyful adoration: Though I am stripped of all I possess; though the hand of God has taken back the gifts which first He gave; though my children lie buried beneath the ruins of the fallen house; though I return to the earth as poor as I was born — yet why shall I complain? Nay, rather, I will bless and praise and magnify His Name. "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away — blessed be the Name of the Lord."
How like was the spirit of Job to that of the prophet Habakkuk! "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls — yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk 3:17-19
Let us mark well what a vantage ground the child of God possesses in these times of family sorrow. These days come to all — but dark and gloomy indeed is the home where God is absent, where there is . . .
no sense of His fatherly love,
no experience of His fatherly discipline,
no firm grip of His faithful promises.
Look at the home of Jeroboam. A beloved child lies ill. Jeroboam desires to know the outcome. So his wife disguises herself and goes to the prophet. But there is no word of comfort for her in her sore distress. Heavy tidings — the death of her son — fresh miseries upon the household — and, worse than all, God's righteous anger! Such is the response she finds when the day of trouble is at hand.
Dear reader, be assured that your home one day will be filled with sorrow. It may come gradually, or it may come suddenly when you look not for it; but, believe me, those dark days will be far, far darker — if now in your bright days God is unsought and uncared for.
"We have great trouble come upon us in our home," said a woman to me once; "and worst of all, I have no God to go to!"
She had lived without God in prosperous days — and now in the day of sorrow she knew not how to seek Him.
But how blessed it is, on the other hand, to have Christ by your side at such times; to be able at once to turn to the well-known Refuge and Hiding-place, and to leave there all your weariness and sorrow! This is light in darkness, and sweet comfort even in the bitterest distress.
"Jesus, my Lord, 'tis sweet to rest
Upon Your tender, loving breast;
Where deep compassions ever roll
Toward my weary, helpless soul.
Your love, my Savior, dries my tears,
Expels my griefs, and calms my fears;
Bids every anxious thought depart,
Sheds light and sunshine o'er my heart."
It very much lightens the heaviest family sorrows, when we can trace distinctly the hand of God.
Job discerned it at once: "The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away." "Shall we receive good at the hand of God — and shall we not receive evil?"
Nothing is more lamentable, than for us to imagine that God takes no concern in the daily life of His children. Some seem to think that God is so great and high, that He has left the world to the guidance of certain mechanical laws — and now sits apart, having nothing to do with the little every-day matters of our present existence, or with the sorrows that come to us from time to time. And so, we are taught, the great wheel of life goes around, crushing some, raising some — but the Almighty Creator cares not for it.
But the Scripture view is far otherwise: Not a sparrow is forgotten, or falls to the ground, without our Father. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered" — and not one can perish without His knowledge. He "knows our sorrows" and apportions them in infinite wisdom, as each of His children has need. "Whom the Lord loves, He corrects; even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights." We are to consider affliction . . .as the gardener breaking up the hard soil by the sharp ploughshare,
or as the vine-dresser pruning the choice branches,
or as the sculptor hewing the marble statue, that it may be fitted for its intended position in the king's palace.
Thus does our Father send us sorrows and afflictions. He would break up the hardness and stubbornness of our worldly hearts. He would make us more fruitful in His Church. He would renew us in His own likeness, and take away all that is of self and evil — that we may at length be made fit for His glorious temple.
Strangely diverse are these family trials, which are appointed to train and mold us for our better heavenly home. In one case it is the long continued trial of weak health, which puts everything in the home out of gear.
Or it is one member of the household who brings sad disgrace upon the rest, perhaps through the fearful curse of intemperance, or immorality.
Or it is diminishing financial means, with increasing necessities.
Or some particular deprivation, as when Abraham and Sarah had so long to wait for Isaac.
Or the contentions of two brothers or sisters.
Or the loss of a dear child.
Or the failure of some long-cherished scheme.
Or a secret sorrow that burdens the heart — yet may never be uttered except in the ear of the merciful and faithful High Priest.
Sometimes our sorrows come direct from the hand of God, and we say, "It is the Lord — let Him do what seems Him good!" Sometimes they come through the fault of others, and we are sorely tempted only to see the second cause, rather than the permitting hand of Divine Providence. It was, for example, a sore trial to David when the Amalekites took away all he had at Ziklag as their spoil; and again when Absalom was permitted to break up his household at Jerusalem. But in each case, David could see the finger of God.
Sometimes our sorrows come through our own sin and grievous fault — and this makes them still harder to bear. But even in this case, God does not forsake His child, but makes his sin the scourge to chasten and to humble him and to do him good at his latter end.
But, whatever the sorrow, or whatever the cause for it, there is but one wise course to take. It is folly to aggravate our trial . . .
by mutual reproaches, casting the blame on another,
or by useless murmurings and repinings,
or by sitting down in despair and folding our hands, as if there were no help for us in Heaven or in earth. While God lives, and the Bible is still full of blessed promises, no child of God has ever reason to give up hope. The Lord knows how to turn darkness into light, and to bind up the wounds which His hand has made.
What then, is to be our resource in the hour of family sorrow?
First of all, humble yourself before God, and acknowledge the uttermost of your sin and unworthiness. Sin must be discovered, confessed, and repented of, before we can have any solid ground for consolation. Our Jonah must be cast out, before the storm will cease. But if we are willing to see God's hand in our trouble, and take a low place because of our sin — we may then confidently cast upon Him every anxiety and trouble and fear.
There is one passage of Scripture that has been to me an anchor of hope and strength in many a dark and sorrowful day, and I would that it might be cherished in the memory of each reader, and its guidance followed when trouble comes. It is found in the first Epistle of Peter, the fifth chapter: "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:5-7
Go then to the mercy-seat in the Savior's name, and bring the whole care and sorrow, and leave it at your Father's footstool.
Consider His Fatherly HEART. "He cares for you." As a father pities his children, yes "as one whom his mother comforts" — so tenderly does the Lord deal with those who fear Him and trust in Him.
Consider His Fatherly HAND. It is the hand of love that smites. It is the hand that has bestowed every mercy, which holds the cup of sorrow. It is the same hand that in due season will remove our trials, and lift us up from our depths of distress, and set us again on the rock of safety and peace.
Consider His Fatherly EYE. It is ever upon us for good, and not for evil. He knows our sorrow, and beholds every affliction and calamity that befalls us. "Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope in His mercy."
Consider His Fatherly EAR. He hears every sigh, every moaning, every cry. He bows down and inclines His ear to every petition. "His ear is open to our prayer."
Consider His Fatherly PURPOSE. Read the twelfth chapter of Hebrews, and see how He wills only our good. He would make us "partakers of His holiness." He would purify us from the dross of our corruptions, and make us fit for His presence.
Consider His Fatherly PROMISE. He has promised that He will "never leave us nor forsake us." He has promised that He will make "all things work together for good to those who love Him." "He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Ah, Christian, trust yourself wholly to your Father's care, and He will not disappoint your confidence!
"Tried one, wait not in your woe,
But at once to Jesus go,
Clouds of darkness He can make
Hues of rainbow-brightness take.
Cast on Him your smallest care,
Utter but one word of prayer;
Tell Him your most hidden grief,
Sure He'll run to your relief.

He has said it, therefore trust,
He will lift you from the dust,
Carry you on His soft wing,
Troubled heart, look up and sing."

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Christ As He Really Is

"One like unto the Son of Man ... out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword" (Revelation 1:13-16)

The Christian message has ceased to be a pronouncement and has become instead a proposition. Scarcely anyone catches the imperious note in the words spoken by Jesus Christ.

The invitational element of the Christian message has been pressed far out of proportion in the total scriptural scene. Christ and His lantern. His apologetic stance and His weak pleading face has taken the place of the true Son of man whom John saw - His eyes as a flame of fire, His feet burnished brass and His voice as the sound of many waters.

Only the Holy Spirit can reveal our Lord as He really is, and He does not paint in oils. He manifests Christ to the human spirit, not to our physical eyes.

These are strenuous times, and men and women are being recruited to devote themselves to one or another master. But anything short of complete devotion to Christ is inadequate and must end in futility and loss.

Lord, help me to see You as You truly are - mighty, righteous, just, and holy. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Time Is Short!

The time is short!

(Don Fortner)

"The time is short!" 1 Corinthians 7:29

We are living in a world where all things are temporary. Everything here is perishing. We are going to a world where all things are eternal. If we are wise, we will live in this world with our hearts fixed on eternity. And when we look at all things in this world with an eye to eternity, there is one striking fact that we cannot avoid--The time is short!

The time of your life is short. "What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away." "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle." My friend, your days are numbered. Soon, you will have taken your last breath. Be warned! 

Blessed be God, the time for suffering is short. Let us not faint, nor grow weary, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Since the time is short, we must be detached from the things of this world. We must hold the dearest objects of this life with a loose hand, and cling only to Christ. Take your dearest earthly possessions--your money, your lands, your friends, your family--and place this brand upon them--PERISHING! Christ alone and the riches of His grace are eternal.

What then must we do with the time that we have? We must redeem the time. Buy up every opportunity to worship and serve Christ. Buy up every opportunity to point men and women to Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Much time is gone already, the days are evil, and the time that remains is short. Therefore, I say, redeem the time!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

God's Faithful Voice

"And take heed to yourselves ... and cares of this life" (Luke 21:34)

In a day when judgments are soon to come upon the earth, we are often warned by doctors that we eat too much - and that we worry too much. More of us suffer from mental illness than suffer from major physical illnesses.

In our self-centered lives, even those who are professing believers are prone to think they will hear the trumpets of woe in time to do something about all this. But at that time, it will be too late!

The voice of God is a quiet voice. The voice of God's love and grace is constant - never strident, never compulsive. God has sent His messengers to every generation. He has spoken urgently and faithfully through His prophets, through the concerns of preachers and evangelists, even through the sweet voices of the gospel singers. Further, God has spoken through witnessing men and women: plain, sincere, loving men and women transformed by a spiritual birth which is from above. 

This voice of God we hear in this day of grace - the voice of the Saviour calling wandering sinners home.

Loving Father, I am humbled that You have called me, a hopeless sinner, to Yourself. Enable me to reach out today to someone who has been putting You off. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Salvation's Price

But without faith it is impossible to please him" (Hebrews 11:6)

Too many Christian leaders, acting like enthusiastic promoters, are teaching that the essence of faith is this: "Come to Jesus - it will cost you nothing!"

The price has been paid - "it will cost you nothing!"

Brethren, that is a dangerous half-truth. There is always a price connected with salvation and with discipleship.

God's grace is free, no doubt about that. No one in the wide world can make any human payment toward the plan of salvation or the forgiveness of sins.

I take issue on Bible grounds with the statement that "everyone in the world has flesh - all you have to do is turn your faith loose."

That is truly a misconception of what the Bible teaches about men and God and faith. Actually faith is a rare and wonderful plant that lives and grows only in the penitent soul.

The teaching that everyone has faith is simply a form of humanism in the guise of Christianity. I warn you that any faith that belongs to everybody is not the faith that saves. It is not that faith which is a gift of God to the broken and contrite heart!

Lord, I praise You for extending Your grace so freely to me. I repent of any sins I have committed, both knowlingly and unknowingly. Help my faith in You to grow today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Monday, February 15, 2016

Faith and Obedience

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13)

What is our answer to the many confused persons who keep asking: "How can we know that we have come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ?"

First, we stand together on the basic truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. A second fact is that men and women are saved by faith in Christ alone, without works and without our merit.

However, the fact that Christ came to save sinners is not enough - that fact in itself cannot save us. Now in our day, the issues of believing faith and the gift of eternal life are clouded and confused by an "easy acceptance" that has been fatal to millions who may have stopped short in matters of faith and obedience.

Faith is believing and receiving, as in Acts 16:31: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved"; and as in John 1:12: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."

I praise You, Lord, for accomplishing the mission for which You came to this earth. I pray today for my family members and coworkers who have not put their faith in You. Bring them to Yourself, Father. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Explore God's Word

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart" ( Psalm 119:11)

What a strange paradox! The atheistic freethinker rants and raves about the Bible being a "dangerous" book at the very same time that the Word of God is speaking life to my soul!

Strange indeed that some humans have the idea that the Word of God can only be approached with shivering fears. But that is true only of those who love their sin and hate their Saviour.

The blessed truth is that if I hate my sin and love my Saviour, l the Word of God is a wonderful revelation, indeed a trust-worthy guide.

We need to be aware always that if we do not keep the Word of God on our side, we will be miserable in our souls continually. It is up to us. What do we sincerely will to do with God and His revealed Word?

Years ago the saintly George Mueller said he had read the Bible hundreds of times, and then be added: "with meditation!"

Let us see to it that we read the Word. More than that, we should actually explore it!

Thank You, Lord, for giving us Your Word. I pray that it will not only illuminate my own heart, but I pray for those translating the Word into other languages so that it will illumine theirs as well. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Thursday, February 11, 2016

God Sets No Limit

"Let no man deceive you with vain words" (Ephesians 5:6)

Do you know that there are Bible "interpreters" now who believe they can set up rules as to how much we can have of God? However, the Lord Himself has promised that far as He is concerned, He is willing to keep the candles of my soul brightly burning!

So, my heart tells me to ignore the modern scribes whose interpretations, I fear, are forcing the Spirit, the blessed Dove, to fold His wings and be silent. I turn rather to one of Dr. A. B. Simpson's hymns rarely sung now, probably because very few believers have this experience of which he wrote:

I take the hand of love Divine,
I count each precious promise mine
With this eternal countersign -
I take - He understands!

I take Thee, blessed Lord,
I give myself to Thee;
And thou, according to Thy Word
Dost undertake for me!

Lord, fill me anew with Your precious Spirit. I pray that others will see You living in me today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Our Life In Christ

"Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14)

Certainly not all of the mystery of the Godhead can be known by man - but just as certainly, all that men can know of God in this life is revealed in Jesus Christ!

When the Apostle Paul said with yearning, "That I may know him" (Philippians 3:10), he was not speaking of intellectual knowledge. Paul was speaking of the reality of an experience of knowing God personally and consciously, spirit touching spirit and heart touching heart.

We know that people spend a lot of time talking about a deeper Christian life - but few seem to want to know and love God for Himself.

The precious fact is that God is the deeper life! Jesus Christ Himself is the deeper life, and as I plunge on into the knowledge of the triune God, my heart moves on into the blessedness of His fellowship. This means that there is less of me and more of God - thus my spiritual life deepens and I am strengthened in the knowledge of His will.

Dear Lord, this morning and throughout this day, may there be more and more of You and less and less of me. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Wonder of Redemption

"For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9)

My brethren in the Christian faith, stand with me in defense of this basic doctrine: The living God did not degrade Himself in the Incarnation. When the Word was made flesh, there was no compromise on God's part!

It is plain in the ancient Athanasian Creed that the early church fathers were cautious at this point of doctrine. They would not allow us to believe that God, in the incarnation, became flesh by a coming down of the Deity into flesh, but rather by the taking of mankind into God. That is the wonder of redemption!

In the past the mythical gods of the nations were not strangers to compromise. But the holy God who is God, our heavenly Father, could never compromise Himself!

He remained ever God, and everything else remained not God. That gulf still existed even after Jesus Christ had become man and dwelt among us. This much, then, we can know about the acts of God - He will never back out of His bargain. This amazing union of man with God is effected unto perpetuity!

Heavenly Father, thank You for making it possible for mankind to become redeemed. Praise to the most high God! Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Monday, February 8, 2016

Love Without Measure

"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3)

I once wrote something about how God loves us and how dear we are to Him. I was not sure I should put to down on paper - but God knows what I meant.

I wrote: "The only eccentricity that I can discover in the heart of God is the fact that a God such as He is should love sinners such as we are!"

On this earth a mother will love the son who has betrayed her and shamed her and is now on his way to a life in prison. That seems to be a natural thing for a mother. But there is nothing natural about this love of God. It is a divine thing. It is forced out by the inward pressure within the heart of God of all grace. That is why He waits for us, puts up with us, desires to lead us on, He loves us!

My brethren, this should be our greater encouragement in view of all that we know about ourselves. God loves us without measure, and He is so keenly interested in our spiritual growth and progress that He stands by in faithfulness to teach and instruct and discipline us as His own dear children!

Dear Lord, this morning I'm struck with the thought of how much You have put up with me - because of Your endless love. Lord, help e take another baby step toward spiritual maturity today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dealing with Sin

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:23)

Many evangelical teachers insist so strongly upon free, unconditional grace as to create the impression that sin is not a serious matter and that God cares  very little about it!

They make it seem that is only concerned with our escaping the consequences. 

The gospel, then, in practical application, means little more  than a way to escape the fruits of our past!

But the heart that has felt the weight of its own sin and has seen the dread whiteness of the Most High God  will never believe that a message of forgiveness without transformation is a message of good news. To remit a man's past without transforming his present is to violate the moral sincerity of his own heart.

To that kind of thing God will be no party! for to offer a sinner the gift of salvation based upon the word of Christ, while at the same time allowing him to retain the idea that the gift carries with it no moral implications, is to do him untold injury where it hurts the most!

Father, thank You for changing me from the inside out. Empower me by your Spirit to live in the light of Your forgiveness today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Saturday, February 6, 2016

United With Christ

"We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 5:20)

The Spirit of God has impelled me to preach and write much about the believer's conscious union with Christ - a union that must be felt and experienced. I will never be through telling about the union of the soul with the Saviour, the conscious union of the believer's heart with Jesus.

Remember, I am not talking about a "theological union" only. I am speaking also of a conscious union, a union that is felt and experienced.

I have never been ashamed to tell my congregations that I believe in feelings. I surely believe in what Jonathan Edwards termed "religious affections." That is man's perspective.

I am aware also that from God's perspective there are qualities in the Divine Being that can only be known by the heart; never by the intellect!

Long ago John wrote: "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us" (1 John 3:16). So it is best for us to confess that as humans we have difficulty in understanding what God has said when He says that He loves us!

Heavenly Father, help me to be conscious of Your presence in my life today. And I pray that others will see You through me. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Grace Can Be Costly

"For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace ... grace be with you all. Amen"

Christians all around us are trying every shortcut they can think of to get "something for nothing" in the kingdom of God. Talk to them and they will predictably flare us: "Isn't grace something for nothing?"

That depends upon what kind of grace we are talking about.

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave his life as a martyr in Hitler's Germany, but he left a book now known around the world: "The Cost of Discipleship." He pointed out a sharp distinction between "cheap-grace" and "costly grace." Although God's grace has been given freely to humans who do not deserve it, Bonhoeffer believed it rightly could be called A"costly grace" because it cost our Lord Jesus Christ even the suffering of death.

Some men and women have actually turned God's grace into lasciviousness. They do not know what the word "grace" means - that God gives us out of His rich and full goodness although we are unworthy of it. When I preach about the grace of God and point out that Jesus commanded us to take up our cross and follow Him, those who do not know the meaning of grace respond: "Oh, Tozer is now preaching legalism."

Father, as I go about the activities of my day today - and for each month of this year - I want to be mindful of Your "costly grace" and desire to grow more deeply in my understanding of it. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

God's Gracious Act

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:14)

We do well to remember that mankind is only one order of God's beings or creatures. So we wonder: How could the Infinite ever become finite? And: How could the Limitless One deliberately impose limitations upon Himself?

In the book of Hebrews, we learn to our amazement that God took not upon Him the nature of angels, but He took upon Him the seed of Abraham.

We would suppose that God in stepping down would step down just as little as possible. But instead He came down to the lowest order and took upon Himself the nature of Abraham - the seed of Abraham.

I like what John Wesley said concerning this mysterious act of God in stooping down to tabernacle with us. We should be sure to distinguish the act from the method by which the act is performed. Do not reject a fact because we do not know how it was done. Wesley advised.

With the saints of all ages, we do well just to throw up our hands and confess: "Oh Lord, Thou knowest!"

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for leaving the heights of heaven and stooping down to our lowly level. We didn't deserve this amazing visitation from above, but we are so grateful. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Benefits of Grace

"But now in Christ Jesus ye ... are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13)

Only a believing Christian can testify, "I am a sinner - saved by the grace of God!" But that is not the whole story. All that we have is cut of His grace. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, is the open channel through whom God means to provide all the benefits He gives, both to saints and to sinners - yes, even to sinners!

Even though you may still be unconverted and going your own way, you have received much out of the ocean of His fullness. You have received the pulsing life that beats in your bosom.

You have received the brilliant mind and the brain without which you could not function. You have received a memory that strings the events you cherish as a jeweler strings pearls into a necklace.

When we say to a unbelieving man, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" we are  actually saying to him: "Believe on the One who sustains you and upholds you and who has given you life. Believe in the One who pities you and spares you and keeps you. Believe on the One out of whom you came!"

Lord, You are swuch a merciful God! Your offer of salvation is available to all men, women and children. You send Your rain on both the just and the unjust. Lord, open my eyes to those in my sphere of influence who don't know You. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Monday, February 1, 2016

Riches of Grace

"God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son ... by whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Would it startle you if I dared to say that the living God has never done anything in His universe apart from Jesus Christ?

Christians seem to be woefully unaware of the full meaning and measure of the grace of God. Why should we question God's provision when the Holy Spirit tells us through the Apostle John that the Word who became flesh is 'full of grace and truth"? Brethren, the stars in their courses, the frogs that croak beside the lake, the angles in heaven above and men and women on earth below - all came out of the channel we call the eternal Word.

In the book of Revelation, John bears record of the whole universe joining to give praise to the Lamb that was slain. Under the earth and on the earth and above the earth, John heard creatures praising Jesus Christ, all joining in a great chorus: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing" (5;12).

Yes, surely the entire universe is beneficiary of God's rich grace in Jesus Christ!

Lord, I praise Your name. You alone are worthy of all my adoration. Help me to walk uprightly today as a testimony to Your presence in my life. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~