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Monday, August 29, 2016

Worthy Sayings of Great Christians

Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry?
Could a doctorsit in comfort and just let his patients die?
Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand?
Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned?

~Leonard Ravenhill~

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to bea clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

~Amy Wilson Carmichael~

The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed
is doomed to failure. A ministry that is college-trained
but not Spirit-filled works no miracles.

~Samuel Chadwick~

The man whose sermon is "repent" sets himself
against his age, and will for the time being be battered
mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges.
There is but one end for such a man - "off with his head!"
You had better not try to preach repentance until 
you have pledged your head to heaven.

~Joseph Parker~

Let me burn out for God. After all, whatever God may
appoint, prayer is the great thing. Oh, that I
may be a man of prayer!

~Henry Martyn~

Love is kindled in a flame, andardency is its life. Flame is
the air which true Christian experience breathes. It feeds
on fire; it can withstand anything, rather than a feeble
flame; but when the surrounding atmosphere is frigid or
lukewarm, it dies, chilled and starved to its vitals.
True prayer MUST be aflame.

~E. M. Bounds~

O for a passionate passion for souls,
O for a pity that yearns!
O for the love that loves unto death,
O for the fire that burns!
O for the pure prayer power that prevails,
That pours itself out for the lost!
Victorious prayer in the Conqueror's Name,

~Amy Wilson Carmichael~

O that in me the sacred fire
Might now begin to glow,
Burn up the dross of base desire,
And make the mountains flow!"

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

~Charles Wesley~

To make my weak heart strong and brave, 
Send the fire.
To live a dying world to save, send the fire.
Oh, see me on Thy altar lay
My life, my all, this very day;
To crown the offering now, I pray:
Send the fire!

~F. de L. Booth-Tucker~

Apostolic preaching is not marked by its beautiful diction,
or literary polish, or cleverness of expression, but
operates "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

~Arthur Wallis~

Most joyfully will I confirm with my blood that truth
which I have written and preached.

~John Huss - At the Stake~

The primary qualification for a missionary is not love for
souls, as we so often hear, but love for Christ.

~Vance Havner~

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pride: The Deadly Subtle Sin

Pride: The Deadly Subtle Sin

Let us, at the very commencement of our meditations, admit that there is nothing so insidious and hidden from our sight, nothing so difficult and dangerous, as pride. Pride was expressed with great pleasure before the Titanic fell to her doom. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). Pride is proud of "self." "Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished" (Proverbs 16:5).

Pride is the root of every sin and evil. It was when the now fallen angels began to look upon themselves with self-complacency that they were led to disobedience and were cast down from the light of heaven into outer darkness. The iniquity of Sodom was: "pride," fullness of bread,and abundance of idleness ... neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy" (Ezekiel 16:49). Pride compasseth them (the rich) about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. These are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches (Psalm 73:6, 12). It is pride that made redemption needful; it is from our pride we need above everything to be redeemed. Pride is self-exaltation and lacks the fear of God. "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way ... do I have" (Proverbs 8:13).

Many kinds of pride have been distinguished. There is, for example, pride within - in the heart, and pride without - in the clothing, the furniture, the proud look in face or figure. Pride may be in thought, in speech, or in action. On speech it has an extraordinary effect. There are people whose conversation is nearly all about themselves. As often as the conversation strays to other objects, they know how to bring it back.For whatever the subject, it reminds them of something that has happened to themselves, and this immediately becomes the absorbing topic. They think their devices are unnoticed,but everyone perceives them, for pride is constantly flaunting itself. It tries to make self out to be great, and in the very act of so doing, proves it to be little. It is no uncommon thing for a person to be laboring to convince people of his or her superiority, when transparent vanity is, in fact, making that person the fool of the whole company. Boastfulness easily leads to exaggeration and exaggeration to falsehood. It is hard to speak the truth about ourselves. Everything that has happened to us must be wonderful, and everything we have done must be great. And, as we puff ourselves up, people are saying behind our backs, "You cannot believe a word that person says." Proverbs 29:23 says, "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble spirit."

A proud person will usually find it hard to stoop low enough to express gratitude or an appreciation of thanks for the little things that people outside their ranks may do for them. Two words seem to be missing from their vocabulary ... "Thank you". The humble person has received the mercy and grace and forgiveness of God and is filled with thankfulness to HIM and to others for what they do and expresses it.

The proud person easily becomes jealous of others who are acknowledged for the goodness they show in helping others; or the accomplishments they've achieved through hard work, or worthy talents.

Anger is also a form of pride which is a result of selfishness. The temper will get you into trouble but pride will keep you there. Abel offered a lamb slain; while Cain offered the fruit of the land. Abel's offering was accepted by God; while Cain's was refused. Cain's pride in giving what he thought was something great, resulted in anger since it was refused. [For those who do not know, Abel's offering was accepted by God because it was a blood offering to place on the altar for the forgiveness of sin; Cain's offering of fruit of the land had no such cleansing power to forgive sins.]  As a result he slew his brother - the meek and lowly of heart. Anger is usually the result of not getting one's way or not getting what they think they deserve. This is the pride. "The fool rageth,and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly" (Proverbs 16:17). Humility listens to Godly advice. 

Among the gifts of nature, intellectual talents are often accompanied by an inflated sense of importance with the craving for recognition and notoriety. The person of moderate gifts considers himself a "nobody"; and she or he who has achieved a little fame considers the applause of their friends the murmur of the world.

Perhaps it is among women that the temptation is strongest to be proud of the gifts of the outward person, as it is chiefly on them that nature has bestowed beauty. It is not wrong to give to the body a certain degree of attention or to be happy in the possession of a fair face, but "charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting," (Proverbs 31:30) if it hides from its possessor the value of the soul or hardens the heart to the claim of others. It is not wrong to dress with care, but pride comes in when the attempt is made to appear to be something you're not. Many Christians attempt to make oneself look younger by coloring their hair, getting a face lift or dressing like the younger worldly crowd. Pride spawns nakedness, gaudy jewelry, sensual dress, body piercing, tattoos, etc.

In these days, when athletes are so popular, it is perhaps, rash to say that the temptation to pride in the body is stronger in the one sex than the other; for, I fancy, there must be an enormous development of vanity in connection with the exhibitions of strength of muscle and fleetness of foot before the crowds that gather to witness athletic contests, and with the reporting of these in the newspapers. On the other hand, the judgments of a crowd are uncompromisingly exact, and we are brought to our senses when we have to measure our strength and skill against competitors. Learning the precise truth about ourselves tends to produce a humble mind and heart.

The gifts of fortune are most dangerous when they are given suddenly and unexpectedly. The Bible is full of warning to those who have been exalted to prosperity, lest they should become proud and forget to whom they owe their wealth. Psalm 73:12 says, "Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches."  As Solomon increased in riches, he abandoned the God who made him prosperous, and rejected the Rock his Saviour. It is not only, however, in the Bible that this tendency is noted. In the satiric literature of every age the sauciness and extravagance of those who have risen rapidly to wealth are objects of attack. Few have the steadiness of head and hand to carry a cull cup, especially if it has been suddenly filled. The upstart forgets old friends, wants little to do with poor relatives,and is an abject flatterer of those wealthier to gain even more. Seldom is the sin of p;ride witnessed in more conspicuous forms than in the display of wearing expensive brand names, having to have the very best in technology or going to the most expensive restaurants.

Even spiritual gifts may be a cause of pride. The typical instance of pride in spiritual gifts is the Pharisee, on whom out Lord Himself pours the vials of His sacred scorn. When we speak of sin, it is nearly always of the sins of the publican, the sinners,and the harlot. But Jesus, while casting a cloak of charity over the transgressions of these classes, mercilessly exposed the pride of the Pharisee (hypocrite) and the scribe. To Him pride appeared to be the master sin. The Pharisee must have been, to some extent, consciously a pretender. He refuses to make confession of his own sins while putting blame on others. For example: one caught in the act of adultery or fornication will blame a parent or the mate for lack of love; or blame the one he or she was involved with for their aggressiveness, etc. rather than confessing, "I have sinned against a holy God." But, for the most part, he deceives himself as well as the public. He believes in the reality and trustworthiness of his own righteousness and boldly challenges the verdict not only of others but of God.

Many Christians today, when facing the trials of life, perhaps in sickness or other physical problems do not think of looking to God in their afflictions. The first thought that comes to mind is to go see a doctor, or go seek the counsel of men - a pastor or psychologist when faced with emotional or marital problems or family problems. "God is not in all their thoughts," which brings on depression, defeat and discouragement. And herein lies the fatal danger of spiritual pride: it renders spiritual progress impossible.

The Pharisee, or church-goer does not know that he is a bad man; how, then, can he be made a good one? If he knew, he might repent and take himself to the source of spiritual strength; but God cannot save a person who is not aware of the need for salvation. 1 John 1:8 says, "If we say that we have no sin, the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us."  We deceive ourselves and this is the main reason why pride is so often denounced in the Bible and placed by the wise first in the list of the sins. It is the deadly enemy of salvation. Salvation is the grand work of God, but a humble mind is required to appreciate and seek it. The publican who beats upon his breast, groaning, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner" (Luke 18:13), is an empty vessel, ready to receive the gifts of redeeming love; but the Pharisee, or church-goer, satisfied with himself and with nothing to pray about but his own merits, what can even redeeming love do? Pride frustrates the grace of God; it stays the hand of mercy; for the proud, the Saviour had died in vain.

We are proud because we are thinking of ourselves alone and have forgotten the claims of God and the claims of our fellow creatures. We have forgotten that God has given us all our gifts, whether of nature, fortune, or grace. These belong to Him; we are only stewards of them, and there is a day coming when we shall have to give an account of how they have been employed. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 forewarns of wickedness in the last days in which "perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy ..." All which are characteristics of pride. But look, above all, to Him Who said, "I am gentle and humble in heart" (Matthew 11:29). His entire history is one continuous lesson of humility; for "though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Who can stand beside His cradle and still be proud? Who can stand beside the Carpenter of Nazareth and still be proud? Who can stand beside the Friend of publicans and sinners and still be proud? Who can stand beside the Cross and still be proud? "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" (1 John 3:16).

To every Christian the command comes from the throne of God Himself: humble yourself! The earnest attempt to listen and obey will be rewarded - yes, rewarded with the painful discovery of two things: the one, what depth of pride - that of unwillingness to count oneself and to be counted nothing, to submit absolutely to God in that one never knew. The other: what utter uselessness there is in all our efforts to destroy the hideous monster - pride. Blessed is the man who now learns to put his hope in God and to persevere, notwithstanding all the power of pride within him, in acts of humiliation before God and men. The law of human nature is: acts produce habits, habits breed dispositions from the will, and the rightly-formed will is character. The spirit of Divine love can have no birth in any fallen creature, till it wills and chooses to be dead to all of self, in a patient, humble resignation to the power and mercy of God.


"If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride."

~G. K. Chesterton~

Monday, August 22, 2016

Worthy Sayings of Great Christians

Worthy Sayings of Great Christians

No erudition, no purity of diction, no width of mental outlook, no flowers of eloquence, no grace of person can atone for lack of fire. Prayer ascends by fire. Flame gives prayer access as well as wings, acceptance as well as energy. There is no incense without fire; no prayer without flame.

~E. M. Bounds~

Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.

~John Wesley~

Before the great revival in Gallneukirchen broke out, Martin Boos spent hours and days and often nights in lonely agonies of interecession. Afterwards, when he preached, his words were as flame, and the hearts of the people as grass.

~D. M. McIntyre~

How many Christians there are who cannot pray, and who seek by effort, resolve, joining prayer circles, etc., to cultivate in themselves the "holy art of intercession," and all to no purpose. Here for them and for all is the only secret of a real prayer life - "Be filled with the Holy Spirit," who is "the Spirit of grace and supplication."

~Rev. J. Stuart Holden~

Our praying, however, needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage which never fails.

~E. M. Bounds~

O that we were more deeply moved by the languishing state of Christ's cause upon the earth today, by the inroads of the enemy and the awful desolation he has wrought in Zion. Alas that a spirit of indifference, or at least of fatalistic stoicism, is freezing many of us.

~A. W. Pink~

Whole days and weeks have I spent prostrate on the ground in silent or vocal prayer.

~George Whitefield~

All decays begin in the closet; no heart thrives without much secret converse with God, and nothing will make amends for the want of it.


It seemed to me as if he had gone straight into heaven, and lost himself in God; but often when he had done praying he was as white as the wall.

~A Friend's comment after meeting Tersteegen~

A religion of mere emotion and sensationalism is the most terrible of all curses that can come upon any people. The absence of reality is sad enough, but the aggravation of pretence is a deadly sin.

~Samuel Chadwick~

It is well to get rid of the idea that faith is a matter of spiritual heroism only for a few select spirits. There are heroes of faith, but faith is not only for heros. It is a matter of spiritual manhood. It is a matter of maturity.

~P. T. Forsyth~

When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them a-praying.

~Matthew Henry~

Truth without enthusiasm, morality without emotion, ritual without soul, are things Christ unsparingly condemned. Destitute of fire, they are nothing more than a godless philosophy, an ethical system, and a superstition.

~Samuel Chadwick~

The call of the Cross, therefore, is to enter into this passion of Christ. We must have upon us the print of the nails.

~Gordon Watt~

My need and Thy great fullness meet,
And I have all in Thee.


I have seen faces upon which the Dove sat visibly brooding.

~Charles Lamb~

Worthy Sayings of Great Christians

Worthy Sayings of Great Christians

Do not we rest in our day too much on the arm of flesh? Cannot the same wonders be done now as of old? Do not the eyes of the Lord still run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those who put their turst in Him? Oh, that God would give me more practical faith in Him! Where is not the Lord God of Elijah? He is waiting for Elijah to call on Him.

~James Gilmour~

We know the utility of prayer from the efforts of the wicked spirits to distract us during the divine office; and we experience the fruit of prayer in the dedeat of our enemies.

~John Climacus~

When we go to God by prayer, the devil knows we go to fetch strength against him, and therefore he opposeth us all he can.

~R. Sibbes~

Revival and evangelism, although closely linked, are not to be confounded. Revivalis an experience in the Church; evangelish is an expression of the Church.

~Paul S. Rees~

God never intended His Church to be a refrigerator in which to preserve perishable piety. He intended it to be an incubator in which to hatch out converts.

~F. Lincicome~

Lord, is it I?

~The Disciples~

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains you can't tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible,
And He can do what no other pow'r can do.

God helps us seek popularity where it counts - 
at the court of God!


Power from on high is the supreme need of today.

~Charles Finney~

If Christ waited to be anointed before He went to preach, no young man ought to preach until he, too, has been anointed by the Holy Spirit.

~F. B. Meyer~

Beware of reasoning about God's Word - obey it!

~Oswald Chambers~

I cannot work my soul to save,
For that my Lord hath done;
But I will work like any slave,
For love of God's dear Son.

~A Disciple~

Tell me in the light of the Cross, isn't it a scandal that you and I live today as we do?

~Allan Redpath~

As soon as we cease to bleed, we cease to bless.

~Dr. J. H. Jowett~

The Gospel is not an old, old story, freshly told. It is a fire in the Spirit, fed by the flame of Immortal Love; and woe unto us, if, through our negligence to stir up the gift of God which is within us, that fire burns low.

~Dr. R. Moffat Gautrey~

The greatest miracleof that day (Pentecost) was the transformation wrought in those waiting disciples. Their fire-baptism transformed them.

~Samuel Chadwick~

The sign of Christianity is not a cross but a tongue of fire.

~Samuel Chadwick~

True preaching is the sweating of blood.

~Dr. Joseph Parker~

The Gospel is a fact; therefore tell it simply.
The Gospel is a joyful fact; therefore tell it cheerfully.
The Gospel is a fact of infinite moment; therefore tell it earnestly.
The Gospel is a fact of infinite love; therefore tell it feelingly.
The Gospel is a fact of difficult comprehension to many; therefore tell it with illustration.
The Gospel is a fact about a Person; therefore preach Christ.

~Archibald Brown~

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Poems/Songs/Humns of Praise and Worship

Ye Sons of Adam, Vain and Young

~Isaac Watts~

Ye sons of Adam, vain and young,
Indulge your eyes, indulge your tongue,
Tasts the delights your souls desire,
And give a loose to all your fire.

Pursue the pleasures you design,
And cheer your hearts with songs and wine;
Enjoy the day of mirth, but know
There is a day of judgment, too.

God from on high records your thoughts,
His book records your secret faults;
The works of darkness you have done
Must all appear before the sun.

The vengeance to your follies due
Should strike your hearts with terror through:
How will you stand before His face,
Or answer for His injured grace?

Almighty God! Turn off their eyes
From these alluring vanities;
And let the thunder of Thy Word
 Awake their souls to fear the Lord.

Victory Through Grace

~Fanny J. Crosby~

Conquering now and still to conquer,
rideth a King in His might;
Leading the host of all the faithful
into the midst of the fight;
See them with courage advancing,
clad in their brilliant array,
Shouting the Name of their Leader,
hear them exultingly say:

Not to the strong is the battle,
not to the swift is the race,
Yet to the true and the faithful vict'ry
is promised through grace.

Conquering now and still to conquer,
who is this wonderful King?
Whence are the armies whichHe leadeth,
whileof His glory they sing?
He is our Lord and Redeemer,
Saviour and Monarch divine;
They are the stars that forever bright
in His Kingdom shall shine.

Conquering nowand still to conquer,
Jesus, Thou Ruler of all,
Thrones and their scepters all shall perish,
crowns and their splendor shall fall,
Yet shall the armies Thou leadest,
faithful and true to the last,
Find in Thy mansions eternal rest,
when their warfare is past.

Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

~Augusus M. Toplady~

Rock of Ages,cleft for me,
let me hide myself in Thee;
let the water and the blood,
from Thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
canfulfill Thy law's commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the Cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to Thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in Thee.

Jesus Only

~Ralph E. Hudson~

Jesus only, when the sinful heart
Would lay its burden down;
Jesus only takes the weary load
And bears it as His own.

Jesus only, Jesus only,
From the cradle to the grave;
Jesus only, Jesus only,
For no other name can save.

Jesus only helps the wayward feet
To keep the narrow way;
Jesus only guides the wav'ring soul,
Lest it in sin should stray.

Jesus only, when the weary one
May lay the armor down;
Jesus only takes the heavy cross,
And gives the shining crown.

Jesus only, when the ransomed soul
Has reached the "Golden Shore!"
Jesus only, this shall be my song,
Forever, evermore.

Work, For the Night Is Coming

~Anna L. Coghill~

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work 'mid springing flowers;

Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man's work is done.

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the sunner noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor,
Rest comes sure and soon.

Give every flying minute,
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man works no more.

Work, for the night is coming,
Under the sunset skies;
While their bright tints are glowing,
Work, for daylight flies.

Work till the last beam fadeth,
Fadeth to shine no more;
Work, while the night is darkening,
When man's work is o'er.

Friday, August 12, 2016

If You Worship on Sunday, What Happens on Monday?

If You Worship on Sunday, What Happens on Monday?

Exodus 3:1-6

Do you quietly bow your head in reverence when you step into the average gospel church?

I am not surprised if your answer is "no".

There is grief in my spirit when I go into the average church, for we have become a generation rapidly losing all sense of divine sacredness in our worship. Many whom we have raised in our churches no longer think in terms of reverence - which seems to indicate they doubt that God's Presence is there.

In too many of our churches, you can detect the attitude that anything goes. It is my assessment that losing the awareness of God in our midst is a loss too terrible ever to be appraised.

Much of the blame must be placed on the growing acceptance of a worldly secularism that seems much more appealing in our church circles than any hungering or thirsting for the spiritual life that pleases God. We secularise God, we secularise the gospel of Christ and we secularise worship.

No great and spiritually powerful man of God is going to come out of such a church. No great spiritual movement of believing prayer and revival is going to come out of such a church. If God is to be honored and revered and truly worshipped, He may have to sweep us away and start somewhere else.

There is a necessity for true worship among us. If God is who He says He is and if we are the believing people of God we claim to be, we must worship Him. I do not believe that we will ever truly delight in the adoring worship of God if we have never met Him in personal, spiritual experience through the new birth from above, wrought by the Holy Spirit of God Himself.

We have such smooth, almost secularised ways of talking people into the kingdom of God that we can no longer find men and women willing to seek God through the crisis of encounter. When we bring them into our churches, they have no idea of what it means to love and worship God because, in the route through which we have brought them, there has been no personal encounter, no personal crisis, no need of repentance - only a Bible verse with a promise of forgiveness.

Oh, how I wish I could adequately set forth the glory of that One who is worthy to be the object of our worship! I do believe that if our new converts - the babes in Christ - could be made to see His thousand attributes and even partically comprehend His being, they would become faint with a yearning desire to worship and honor and acknowledge Him, now and forever.

I know that many discouraged Christians do not truly believe in God's sovereignty. In that case we are not filling our role as the humble and trusting followers of God and His Christ.

And yet, that is why Christ Jesus came into our world. The old theologians called it the anthropism - the union of the divine and human natures in Christ. This is a great mystery and I stand in awe before it. I take off my shoes and kneel before this burning bush, this mystery I do not understand.

The the anthropy is the mystery of God and man united in one Person - not two persons, but two natures.

So, the nature of God and the nature of man are united in this One who is our Lord Jesus Christ. All that is God and all that is man are in Christ fused eternally and inextricably.

Consider the experience of Moses in the desert as he beheld the fire that burned in the bush without consuming it. Moses had no hesitation in kneeling before the bush and worshipping God. Moses was not worshipping a bush; it was God and His glory dwelling in the bush that Moses worshipped.

That is an imperfect illustration, for when the fire departed from that bush it was a bush again.

But this Man, Christ Jesus,is eternally the Son. In the fullness of this mystery there has never been any departure, except for that awful moment when Jesus cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). The Father turned His back for a moment when the Son took on Himself that putrefying mass of our sin and guilt, dying on the Cross not for His own sin, but for ours.

The deity and the humanity never parted. And to this day they remain united in that one Man. When we kneel before Him and say, "My Lord and my God, Thy throne, O God is forever and ever", we are talking to God.

I think the prophets of God saw farther into the centuries and into the mysteries of God than we can with our great modern telescopes and electronic means of measuring light years and planets and galaxies.

The prophets saw the Lord our God. They saw Him in His beauty, and they tried to describe Him.

They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair, a winsome being. They said that He was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a majestic being; and yet they noted His meekness. They saw Him as righteous and filled with truth. They tried to describe the manner of His love, with its gladness and joy and fragrance.

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

He is fair and He is kingly, yet He is gracious in a sense that takes nothing away from His majesty.

He is meek, but it is the kind of meekness that likewise takes nothing away from His majesty.

The meekness and the majesty of Jesus. I wish I could write a hymn about that or compose music about it. Where else can you find majesty and meekness united?

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

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

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

It is given to men and women to choose - a person may have either side. If he does not want the meek side of Jesus, he will come to know the majestic side.

On earth, the children came to Him. The sick and the sinful came to Him. The devil-possessed man came to Him. Those who knew their needs came from everywhere and touched Him, finding Him so meek that His power went out to them and healed them.

When He appears to men again, it will be in majesty. In His kingly majesty He will deal with the pride and conceit and self-sufficiency of mankind, for the Bible says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord and King.

To really know Him is to love and worship Him.

As God's people, we are so often confused that we could be known as God's poor, stumbling, bumbling people. That must be true of a great number of us for we always think of worship as something we do when we go to church.

We call it God's house. We have dedicated it to Him. So we continue with the confused idea that it must be the only place where we can worship Him.

We come to the Lord's house, made out of brick and wood and lined with carpeting. We are used to hearing a call to worship: "The Lord is in His holy temple - let us all kneel before Him."

That is on Sunday and that is in church. Very nice!

But Monday morning comes soon. The Christian layman goes to his office. The Christian school teacher goes to the classroom. The Christian mother is busy with duties in the home.

On Monday,as we go about our different duties and tasks,are we aware of the Presence of God? The Lord desires still to be in His holy temple, wherever we are. He wants the continuing love and delight and worship of His children, wherever we work.

Is it not a beautiful thing for a businessman to enter his office on Monday morning with an inner call to worship: 'The Lord is in my office - let all the world be silent before Him.'

If you cannot worship the Lord in the midst of your responsibilities on Monday, it is not likely that you were worshipping on Sunday!

Actually, none of us has the ability to fool God. Therefore, if we are so engaged in our Saturday pursuits that we are far from His presence and far from a sense of worship on Saturday, we are not in very good shape to worship Him on Sunday.

I guess many people have an idea that they have God in a box. He is just in the church sanctuary, and when we leave and drive toward home, we have a rather faint, homesick feeling that we are leaving God in a big box.

You know that it is not true, but what are you doing about it?

God is not confined to a building any more than He is confined to your car or your home or the office where you work.

Paul's earnest exhortation to the Corinthian Christians is just as valid for our lives today as it was when he expressed it:

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

If you do not know the presence of God in your office, your factory, your home, then God is not in the church when you attend!

I became a Christian when I was a young man working in one of the tire factories in Akron, Ohio. I remember my work there. I remember my worship there, too. I had plenty of worshipful tears in my eyes. No one ever asked me about them, but I would not have hesitated to explain them.

You can learn to use certain skills, until they are automatic. I became so skillful that I could do my work, and then I could worship God even while my hands were busy.

I have come to believe that when we are worshipping - and it could be right at the drill in the factory - if the love of God is in us and the Spirit of God is breathing praise within us, all the musical instruments in heaven  are suddenly playing in full support.

Well, it is my experience that our total lives, our entire attitude as persons, must be toward the worship of God.

What is there in you that strives to worship God? Faith, love, obedience, loyalty, conduct of life - all of these strive in you to worship God.  If there is anything within you that refuses to worship, there is nothing within you, then, that worships God very well.

You are not worshipping God as you should if you have departmentalized your life so that some areas worship and other parts do not worship.

This can be a great delusion - that worship only happens in church or in the midst of a dangerous storm or in the presence of some unusual and sublime beauty of nature around us. I have been with some fellows who became very spiritual when they stood on the breathtaking curve of a steep mountain cliff!

Occasionally we are in some situations like that and a person begins to yell, "Hooray for Jesus!" - so some other corny expression.

My brother or sister, if we are believing children of God in whom the Holy Spirit nurtures continual joy, delight and wonder, we will not need a storm on the mountain to show us how glorious our Lord really is.

It is a delusion to think that because we suddenly feel expansive and poetic in the presence of the storm or stars or space that we are spiritual. I need only remind you that drunkards or tyrants or criminals can have those 'sublime' feelings, too. Let us not imagine that they constitute worship.

I can offer no worship wholly pleasing to God if I know that I am harboring elements in my life that are displeasing to Him.l I cannot truly and joyfully worship God on Sunday and not worship Him on Monday. I cannot worship God with a glad song on Sunday and then knowingly displease Him in my business dealings on Monday and Tuesday.

I repeat my view of worship - no worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in me displeasing to God.

Is that a view that seems very discouraging to you?

Let me say that if you listen to me long enough you will receive some encouragement in the Spirit, but I have never had an inclination within me to encourage people in the flesh.

I have never had very much faith in people - as people. I do respect the good intentions that people have. I know they mean well. But in the flesh they cannot fulfill their good intentions. That is because we are sinners - until we find the source of victory and joy and blessing in Jesus Christ.

There is nothing in us, either, that can be made good until Jesus Christ comes and changes us - until He lives in us and unites our nature with God, the Father Almighty. Not until then can we then can we call ourselves good.

That is why I say that your worship must be total. It must involve the whole you. That is why you must prepare to worship God, and that preparation is not always pleasant. There may be revolutionary changes which must take place in your life.

If there is to be true and blessed worship, some things in your life must be destroyed, eliminated. The gospel of Jesus Christ is certainly positive and constructive. But it must be destructive in some areas, dealing with and destroying certain elements that cannot remain in a life pleasing to God.

There have always been professing Christians who argue: "I worship in the name of Jesus." They seem to believe that worship of God is a formula. They seem to think there is a kind of magic in saying the name of Jesus.

Study the Bible carefully with the help of the Holy Spirit and you will find that the name and the nature of Jesus are one. It is not enough to know how to spell Jesus' name. If we have come to be like Him in nature, if we have come to the place of being able to ask in accordance with His will, He will give us the good things we desire and need. We do not worship in name only. We worship God as the result of a birth from above in which God has been pleased to give us more than a name. He has given us a nature transformed.

Peter expressed that truth this way:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:4).

Why should we delude ourselves about pleasing God in worship? If I live like a worldly and carnal tramp all day and then find myself in a time of crisis at midnight, how do I pray to a God who is holy? How do I address the One who has asked me to worship Him in spirit and in truth? Do I get on my knees and call on the name of Jesus because I believe there is some magic in that name?

If I am still the same worldly, carnal tramp, I will be disappointed and disillusioned. If I am not living in the true meaning of His name and His nature, I cannot properly pray in that name. If I am not living in His nature, I cannot rightly pray in that nature.

How can we hope to worship God acceptably when these evil elements remain in our natures undisciplined,uncorrected, unpurged,unpurified? Even granted that a man with evil ingredients in his nature might manage through some part of himself to worship God half-acceptably. But what kind of a way is that in which to live and continue?

"I want to dwell in your thoughts," God has been saying. "Make your thoughts a sanctuary in which I can dwell."

I do not have to do something wrong to feel blistering conviction and repent. I can lose fellowship with God, lose the keen sense of His presence and lose the blessing of spiritual victory by thinking wrongly.

I have found that God will not dwell in spiteful and polluted thoughts. He will not dwell in lustful and covetous thoughts. He will not dwell in proud and selfish thoughts.

God tells us to make a sanctuary of our thoughts in which He can dwell. He treasures our pure and loving thoughts, our meek and charitable and kindly thoughts. These are the thoughts like His own.

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

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

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

Two of Spurgeon's greatest sermons were "God in the Silence" and "God in the Storm". The heart that knows God can find God anywhere. I surely join with Spurgeon in the truth that a person filled with the Spirit of God, a person who has met God in a living encounter, can know the joy of worshipping Him, whether in the silences of life or in the storms of life.

There really is no argument. We know what God wants us to be. He wants us to be worshippers!

~A. W. Tozer~

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dealing with Spiritual Problems # 2

Dealing with Spiritual Problems

We Have to Enter In

David set the pattern for us. David confessed and repented. C. H. Spurgeon preached on repentance week after week, and somebody came to him and said, "When are you going to quit preaching on repentance, pastor?" Spurgeon replied, "When you repent." When we talk about confession and repentance, we keep right on talking about it until either it has had its effect or we know it will have none. To paraphrase the words of the Lord in such a situation, "Get the dust off your feet and hunt up someplace where they will listen." I have better hopes for you. I believe you will hear.

Charles Finney was a well-known preacher of the 19th century. Not all of us agree with everything that he taught, but we do believe that he was one of God's great men, perhaps one of the greatest evangelist who ever lived since the Apostle Paul. Finney said there were times or periods occasionally when he would get into a rut, and there would be a definite dimming of the power in his life. When that would happen, Finney said, "i took time off and waited on God in fasting and prayer until I was restored." That is the old-fashioned way of doing it, and that seems to be the way David did it. The Psalms were wet with David's salty tears as he confessed his sins to God, repented, took forgiveness and went his happy way.

The Pad and Pencil Method

Try what I call the pad and pencil method. This method is very simple and consists of getting on your knees with your Bible, a pad of paper and a pencil. Read the Bible and then write down what is wrong with you. The only way to remain spiritual is to keep after yourself. The pad and pencil method is good. Read, for example, the Sermon on the Mount. When the Holy Spirit says, "You are that person," write it down. Read on. When the Holy Spirit says you are wrong here or there, write it down. Then set your Bible aside and go over your list before God in confession with the promise that you will never be caught doing those things again. Commune with your own heart, be still and question yourself like a doctor with your open Bible before you.

You will find that this will bring sunshine to your life, and you will have springtime in your heart. When you get before God realizing that there has been a bit of snow on the ground and that the happy song of  of the birds is not heard in the land and that the sweet smell of the flowers is not within you, begin to question yourself before God with the open Bible. The symptoms you already know, but try to get at the causes. If you are evasive with God, then there will be no help. If you are evasive with yourself, if you rationalize your weaknesses, you will get no help.

Ask Some Questions

Here are some questions I recommend you ask yourself. In quiet silence ask, "Am I always truthful and honest? I claim to be a Christian, and I believe that the root of the matter is in me and the seed of God is in my heart. I believe I am the Lord's child, but I am not satisfied with the frozen-over rut. Lord, help me to be honest while I answer. Am I always truthful on the telephone? Am I always honest with my creditors, with my employers, with my employees and in all social contacts and contacts?

Somebody may say, "What's the difference?" Dishonesty and shading of the truth are sins that grieve the Holy Spirit and bring on the winter. The winter of your discontent may be upon you, and like the life in a leafless tree, your life is buried within. You may have grieved the Holy Spirit by untruthfulness. One of the first things Christians have to do is become perfectly honest with God and perfectly truthful in everything they say.

Another question to put to yourself is, "Do I have any habits I am ashamed to let anybody know I have? Have I any personal habits that I am ashamed of? Do I hide something when the pastor is coming? If everything were known in the church about how I lived, would I go back to church? You can dodge this, twist it around and answer evasively, but the snow will lie on your heart. If you answer God honestly and go to work to get rid of it and clean it up, springtime will come to you.

Then ask yourself, "Is my speech clean?" One of the most shocking things in the church is the dirty-mouthed Christian who always walks on the borderline. There is no place for borderline stories that embarrass some people,and there is nothing about sex or the human body that is funny if your mind is clean.

There was once a gathering of officers, and George Washington was present in the room. One of the young officers began to think about a dirty story that he wanted to tell, and he got a smirk on his face. He looked around and said, "I'm thinking of a story.I guess there are no ladies present." Washington straightened up and said, "No, young man, but there are gentlemen." The young officer shut his mouth and kept the dirty story inside his dirty head and heart.

Anything you could not tell with Jesus present, do not tell. Anything you could not laugh at were Jesus present, do not laugh at.

Ask yourself another question. "Am I using my money wisely? Am I using my money to help find the lost sheep? Am I using my money to help feel the hungry children?"

Here is yet another question: "Do I gossip about people? Have I been a troublemaker?" Some people are disease carriers who are not sick themselves. They carry some disease, but they are not ill - just carriers. There are some Christians who are carriers. They can say"amen" with the best and sing "Nearer My God to Thee" with the loudest, but they are not around very long until suspicions begin to enter the minds of Christians. They are troublemakers and trouble carriers.

Then,"Have I judged other Christians. Your present frozen condition may be a judgment of God, for as you judge others so you will be judged by God. Your present frozen condition maybe that you have judged somebody else to be frozen, and the Lord allowed the thing to turn around on you.

"Am I heavenly minded or earthly minded? Where do my thoughts tend to stray when they are free to stray where they will? What do I brood over? Are my thoughts pure and charitable?" If you can find out what you brood over, you will know what kind of a Christian you are and what kind of a heart you have. We always brood over things that we love, or that we hate if we are holding a grudge against somebody.

"Am I faithful in prayer?" Ask yourself that. "Well, I'm busy," you say. Yes, you are busy. So was the Lord Jesus. So was Martin Luther. Luther said, "In the morning I have so much work to do that I am going to have to pray longer today." Are you faithful in prayer,and do you meditate on the Word? How much of Scripture have you read lately? Have you read it with meditation and tenderness?

These are a few questions. You can answer them evasively and the snow lies there.or you can answer them honestly and see the springtime come to your heart.

Put yourself in the hands of the One who loves you infinitely. If you have failed Him, you will have to admit that  there is a rut or snow on the meadow. Tell Him so - don't hide it. He will not turn His back in anger and say, "You disappointed me and betrayed me." There is a balm in Gilead, plenty of it. The balm and healing in the blood of the Lamb will get you out of the rut.

~A. W. Tozer~