October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. Although these words are nearly 150 years old, they are just as true today as they were when Charles Spurgeon spoke them. Check out what the “prince of preachers” had to say about encouraging your pastor—
“Why do you leave your own minister? If I see one come into my place from the congregation of another brother in the ministry, I would like just to give him a flea in his ear such as he may never forget. What business have you to leave your minister? If everyone were to do so, how discouraged the poor man would be. Just because somebody happens to come into this neighborhood, you leave your seats. Those who are going from place to place are of no use to anybody; but those are the truly useful men who, when the servants of God are in their places, keep to theirs, and let everybody see that whoever discourages the minister they will not, for they appreciate his ministry. Again, let me say by often being present at the prayer-meeting you can encourage the minister. You can always tell how a church is getting on by the prayer-meetings. I will almost prophesy the kind of sermon on the Sabbath from the sort of prayer-meeting on the Monday. If many come up to the house of God, and they are earnest, the pastor will get a blessing from on high; it cannot but be, for God opens the windows of heaven to believing prayer. Never fail to plead for your pastor in your closet. Dear friends, when you mention a father’s name, and a child’s name, let the minister’s name come forth too. Give him a large share in your heart, and both in private and public prayer, encourage him. Encourage him, again, by letting him know if you have received any good.” —Charles Spurgeon
I practically wear out my highlighter when I am reading Oswald Chambers, as there is so much rich content! I have already shared some quotes from his book The Love Of God (which you can read by clicking here). Here are a few more quotes…
“Do get out of your ears the noisy cries of the Christian world we are in—‘Do this and do that.’ Never! ‘Be this and that, then I will do through you,’ says Jesus.”
“In the natural world everything depends upon our taking the initiative, but if we are followers of God, we cannot take the initiative, we cannot choose our own work or say what we will do; we have not to find out at all, we have just to follow. … Everything Our Lord asks us to do is naturally frankly impossible to us. It is impossible for us to be the children of God naturally, to love our enemies, to forgive, to be holy, to be pure, and it is certainly impossible to us to follow God naturally; consequently the fundamental fact to recognize is that we must be born again.”
“Suppose Our Lord had measured His life by whether or not He was a blessing to others! Why, He was a ‘stone of stumbling’ to thousands, actually to His own neighbors, to His own nation, because through Him they blasphemed the Holy Ghost, and in His own country ‘He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief’ (Matthew 13:58). If Our Lord had measured His life by its actual results, He would have been full of misery.”
“We get switched off when instead of following God we follow Christian work and workers.”
“God engineers our circumstances as He did those of His Son; all we have to do is to follow where He places us.”
“The way God’s life manifests itself in joy is in a peace which has no desire for praise. When a man delivers a message which he knows is the message of God, the witness to the fulfillment of the created purpose is given instantly, the peace of God settles down, and the man cares for neither praise nor blame from anyone.”
“If we make sin a theological question and not a question of actual deliverance, we become adherents to doctrine, and if we put doctrine first, we shall be hoodwinked before we know where we are.”
“The freedom of Jesus is never license, it is always liberty, and liberty means ability to fulfill the law of God. … If I am following God’s love as exhibited in the Lord Jesus Christ and He has made me free from within, I am so taken up with following Him that I will never take advantage of another child of God.”
“God does not give us the mind of Christ, He gives us the Spirit of Christ, and we have to see that the Spirit of Christ in us works through our brains in contact with actual life and that we form His mind. Jesus Christ did not become humbled—‘He humbled Himself’ [Philippians 2:5].”
“We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark—the imaginations of our minds; the thoughts of our heart; the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God’s sight.”
“The strain on a violin string when stretched to the uttermost gives it its strength; and the stronger the strain, the finer is the sound of our life for God, and He never strains more than we are able to bear. We say, ‘sorrow, disaster, calamity’; God says, ‘chastening,’ and it sounds sweet to Him though it is a discord in our ears.”
“Some of us are so amazingly lazy, so comfortably placed in life, that we get no inner winging. … If we put the body and the concerns of the body before the eternal weight of glory, we will never have any inner winging at all, we will always be asking God to patch up this old tabernacle and keep it in repair. But when the heart sees what God wants, and knows that the body must be willing to spend and be spent for that cause and that causes alone then the inner man gets wings.”
“If you think of suffering affliction you will begin to write your own epitaph, begin to dream of the kind of tombstone you would like. That is the wrong standpoint. Have your standpoint in the heavenlies, and you will not think of the afflictions but only of the marvelous way, God is working out the inner weight of glory all the time, and you will hail with delight the afflictions which our Lord tells us to expect (John 16:33), the afflictions of which James writes (James 1:2), and of which Peter writes (1 Peter 4:12).”
You can read my review of The Love Of God by clicking here.
Some good reading & watching from today…
Our First Amendment rights are under assault like never before! In Idaho the state government has told pastors to either perform same-sex “weddings” or go to jail.
“When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they fee a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks; but the soul, the poor soul, how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless earth. Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed, two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep—the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!” —Charles Spurgeon
“We’ve found that sleep may actually be a kind of elegant design solution to some of the brain’s most basic needs, a unique way that the brain meets the high demands and the narrow margins that set it apart from all the other organs of the body.” Read more about the rejuvenating power of sleep for the human brain.
“God will allow His servant to succeed when he has learned that success does not make him dearer to God nor more valuable in the total scheme of things.” —A.W. Tozer
[VIDEO] This story from Ken Davis is hilarious!
“Prayers aren’t graded according to style. If prayer depends on how I pray, I’m sunk. But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, then I have hope.” Read more thoughts on prayer from Max Lucado.
“Desire can’t be sated, because if it is, the longing disappears and then we’ve failed, because desire is the state we seek. We’ve expanded our desire for ever more human connection into a never-ceasing parade of physical and social desires as well. Amplified by marketers and enabled by commerce, we race down the endless road faster and faster, at greater and greater expense. The worst thing of all would be if we actually arrived at perfect, because if we did, we would extinguish the very thing that drives us. We want the wanting.” —Seth Godin
The Bible also gives some directives for parents:
So children are to honor their parents, and their parents are to behave honorably. This can be a virtuous cycle, if both parent and child are doing this correctly. But what if a parent is not behaving honorably? Does the child still have to honor that parent?
In a word: Yes. The Bible doesn’t give children an option on this command. Nowhere do we read, “Only obey your Christian parents,” or “Honor your father only if he’s godly,” or “Respect your mother only if she is virtuous.” Children are simply called upon to honor and obey.
I like what Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote—
“Honor does not mean unquestioned obedience, we truly honor our parents when we hold them accountable to God’s law. If my parents abandon me, I will honor them by seeking, though not forcing, reconciliation. If my parents abuse me, I will honor them by praying for them, so that they might see their error – and by escaping, if possible, so that they cannot continue to sin upon me. If my parents are unfaithful, I will honor them by calling for righteousness and by being willing to forgive them when they repent. If they are breaking the law, I will honor them by calling the police. Making them accountable to the highest moral order is honoring them in that I esteem them capable of responsible action.”
So here are 10 biblical ways children can honor their parents—
Some good reading & watching from today…
“The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the career of a big league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men in easy chairs. Success is costly.” —A.W. Tozer
Ron Edmondson shares 7 ways I protect my ministry and marriage from an affair. Good reading even for those not in the pastorate.
“Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Thy power, and of Thy wisdom there is no end. And man, being a part of Thy creation, desires to praise Thee,—man, who bears about with him his mortality, the witness of his sin, even the witness that Thou ‘resistest the proud,’—yet man, this part of Thy creation, desires to praise Thee. Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” —Augustine
[VIDEO] “Prayer is a statement about my dependence on God.” Check out this quick video from John Maxwell on prayer.