E.M. Bounds On Prayer

E.M. BoundsAn amazing passage from E.M. Bounds’ book The Necessity Of Prayer—

“Here, let it be said, that no two things are more essential to a Spirit-filled life than Bible reading and secret prayer; no two things more helpful to growth in grace; to getting the largest joy out of a Christian life; toward establishing one in the ways of eternal peace. The neglect of these all-important duties, presages leanness of soul, loss of joy, absence of peace, dryness of spirit, decay in all things that pertain to spiritual life. Neglecting these things paves the way for apostasy, and gives the evil one an advantage such as he is not likely to ignore. Reading God’s Word regularly, and praying habitually in the secret place of the Most High puts one where he is absolutely safe from the attacks of the enemy of souls, and guarantees him salvation and final victory, through the overcoming power of the Lamb.” (emphasis added)

Countdown To Zero Day (book review)

Countdown To Zero DayI don’t typically read fiction books. So when I first began reading Countdown To Zero Day by Kim Zetter, I had to stop to double-check that what I was reading wan’t fiction. This book had such a gripping storyline from the opening page that it sounded just like a novel.

But it’s not. It’s a real story with possible deadly consequences for the computerized world.

Countdown To Zero Day is like a detective story or a spy thriller, where different groups are trying to unravel the mystery of a highly-advanced computer virus that appears to only be effecting a specific type of computer. The story alternates back and forth between the cyber-sleuths unraveling the Stuxnet virus, and a group from the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) trying to reveal Iran’s attempts to coverup their advancing nuclear weapons programs.

I really liked the format of the book. Kim wrote the book for computer techies that understand much of the computer jargon and basic operations of computer viruses, but for those who are technically-challenged, the abundance of footnotes will quickly allow the reader to feel more technically savvy.

The book follows this one particular case to address the larger question: Is cyber-warfare the next threat for all of us to address? That’s a good question, and the book allows lots of world experts to weigh-in. Techies and non-techies alike will enjoy this book!

I am a Random House book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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“There is a burden of care in getting riches; fear in keeping them; temptation in using them; guilt in abusing them; sorrow in losing them; and a burden of account at last to be given concerning them.” —Matthew Henry

“Don’t imagine I doubt for a moment that what God sends us must be sent in love and will all be for the best if we have grace to use it so. My mind doesn’t waver on this point; my feelings sometimes do. That’s why it does me good to hear what I believe repeated in your voice….” ―C.S. Lewis

“Our comfort comes not from the powerlessness of our enemies, but from our Father’s sovereign rule over their power.” —John Piper

Have you seen all the videos of one of Obamacare’s architects, Jonathan Gruber? Here is the story behind the man, Rich Weinstein, who unearthed all of these clips and exposed the outright lies and hypocrisy. And this video compilation is just a sampling of the lies—

Charles Spurgeon On Humility

C.H. Spurgeon“How careful should we be when we do anything for God, and God is pleased to accept of our doings, that we never congratulate ourselves. The minister of Christ should unrobe himself of every rag of praise. ‘You preached well,’ said a friend to John Bunyan one morning. ‘You are too late,’ said honest John, ‘the devil told me that before I left the pulpit.’ The devil often tells God’s servants a great many things which they should be sorry to hear. Why, you can hardly be useful in a Sunday School but he will say to you ‘How well you have done it!’ You can scarcely resist a temptation, or set a good example, but he will be whispering to you ‘What an excellent person you must be!’ It is, perhaps, one of the hardest struggles of the Christian life to learn this sentence—‘Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory.’ Now God is so jealous on this point that, while He will forgive His own servants a thousand things, this is an offense for which He is sure to chasten us. Let a believer once say, ‘I am,’ and God will soon make him say ‘I am not.’ Let a Christian begin to boast, ‘I can do all things,’ without adding ‘through Christ which strengtheneth me,’ and before long he will have to groan, ‘I can do nothing,’ and bemoan himself. Many sins of true Christians, I do not doubt, have been the result of their glorifying themselves. Many a man has been permitted by God to stain a noble character and to ruin an admirable reputation, because the character and the reputation had come to be the man’s own, instead of being laid, as all our crowns must be laid, at the feet of Christ.” —Charles Spurgeon

What God Is Building

Relativity by M.C. EscherI love the drawings of M.C. Escher. But some of his sketches are clearly optical illusions we all know couldn’t work in the real world. We don’t have to be architects or engineers or builders to know that for a building to be functional it has to have (1) a solid foundation, (2) it must be built with quality materials, and (3) it must be constructed by someone who knows what he/she is doing.

The Apostle Paul tells us that (1) Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the sure foundation, (2) you and I—God’s saints—are the quality building materials that are being used, and (3) the Holy Spirit knows exactly what He is doing as He joins us together.

A cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction, the reference point for all other stone, which determines the position of the entire structure. Christ Jesus Himself is the cornerstone of His Church (Ephesians 2:20b). Orientated to that cornerstone we have the foundation of the apostles and prophets (2:20a).

This foundation is the Word of God (2 Peter 1:19-2:3 and 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5). We dare not try to replace, nullify, update, or change His Word. Not would this cause the foundation to crumble, but there are dire consequences for the one who tries to do so (Revelation 22:18-19).

Our foundationOn this foundation, God is constructing three things, each one growing in its level of intimacy with Him and with the surrounding saints:

  • God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)—this Greek word means a family home.
  • the whole building (Ephesians 2:21a)—this is a specific part of the family home used for prayer and fellowship.
  • a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21b)—this is the same word used for the Holy Place and Holy of Holies in the tabernacle.

God’s Presence dwells in us individually, but collectively we make a more powerful statement (1 Corinthians 3:16). There is a far greater testimony to the world when individuals willingly and actively allow themselves to be built together; when Christians give up their personal agendas to say, “I want to be a part of something bigger than me—I want to be a part of we.”

We must study God’s Word to make sure we are building on the same foundation. We must allow our lives to be quality building materials. We must allow the Holy Spirit to build us together through prayer and fellowship! This becomes the fulfillment of the prayer Jesus Himself prayed for us (John 17:20-23).

This was the last message (for this time) in our series on the Book of Ephesians. I hope to be able to continue this study next year.

Links & Quotes

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“May we have none of our own-manufactured graces about us. May we have nothing but that which is minted in Heaven, and is therefore made of the pure metal. May we have no grace, pray no prayer, do no works, serve God in nothing except as we depend upon His strength and receive His Spirit.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Above God, there are no higher courts. If God is the One Who acquits you—declares you righteous in His sight—no one can appeal, no one can call for a mistrial, no one can look for other counts against you. God’s sentence is final and total. So hear this, all who will believe on Jesus, and become united to Christ, and show yourself among the elect: God is the One who justifies you. Not a human judge. Not a great prophet. Not an archangel from heaven. But God, the Creator of the world and Owner of all things and Ruler of the universe and every molecule and person in it, God is the One Who justifies you [Romans 8:33].” —John Piper

Here is a very nice article about the En Gedi Youth Center, the organization for which I have the privilege of serving as the director.

“It is very possible that if we were more thoroughly Christians the world would more heartily detest us, and if we would cleave more closely to Christ we might expect to receive more slander, more abuse, less tolerance, and less favor from men.” —Charles Spurgeon

[VIDEO] Amazing time-lapse pictures of solar activity from NASA—

9 More Quotes From “The Blood Of The Cross”

The Blood Of The CrossThere were way too many quotes from The Blood Of The Cross by Horatius Bonar that I wanted to share, so here is the second installment. You can read the first set of quotes by clicking here, and you can read my review of this must-read book by clicking here.

“It is not my looking to the blood in conjunction with my looking to my own act of seeing that brings this peace. It is my simple and direct looking to the blood. It is in looking that I am blessed; not in thinking about my looking. To look to the blood is to be cleansed; to look away from the blood, or too self, or to the world, or to sin, is to arrest the cleansing process and to neutralize the healing power. The more I see of the matchless value of that blood, and understand the substitution of life for life, which that blood proclaims, and to which it is ever pointing, the more will my peace be like a river.”

“The Lamb has been slain, the Lamb of God, as it is written, ‘It pleased the Lord to bruise Him’ (Isaiah 53:10). His blood has been shed, and sprinkled, and accepted; and that shed blood is for the remission of sin, and for reconciling us to God. That blood is intended to set us in the place of the innocent; to bring us nigh to God just as if we had never separated; to be our recommendation to God, so that coming with it as our plea, we may expect to be treated by God as HE is treated Whose blood we thus recognize and rest on.”

“To come with anything else than the blood as our introduction is most certainly to secure or for ourselves rejection; but to come with it alone is to ensure that blessed welcome which the blood has never yet failed to obtain for the vilest sinner that ever went to God with it as his only plea.”

“That blood is valuable enough to answer for yours, and God is willing to accept the exchange. Nay, it was He Who first proposed it; it is He Who is pressing this exchange upon your notice and entreating you to receive it, so that there maybe nothing left for you to pay.”

“It loses none of its efficacy by time or repetition. It is the same in this age as when it was shed at first. It is the same today as when first we applied to it for healing and for cleansing. Nothing can rob it of its potency. It has cleansed millions; it can cleanse millions more; it has washed out stains, in number past calculation, in dye most thoroughly crimson. Yet it is unpolluted. It has taken on no stain. It is still as able to pacify the conscience and to release the soul from guilt.”

“Realizing these things, the saint moves on his joyful course. The blood is ALL to him. It is his peace; it is his medicine; it is his daily comforter. And resting in it he rejoices in hope hope of the glory to be revealed.”

“Thou hast gone near enough to the gates of hell; yet go not in. Turn back. It is not yet too late. Even thou mayest be saved. The gate of light stands as widely open as the gate of darkness. The way of life, the narrow way, is as free to thee as is the way of death. There is still forgiveness. And the glad tidings of it are as glad as ever. No sin of thine has altered that gladness or made the tidings a forbidden joy to thee. We can tell you as truly as ever that ‘these things are written that thou mightest believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that believing thou mayest have life through His name’ (John 20:31).”

“That nonconductor is unbelief. It interposes between the soul and all heavenly blessing, all divine intercourse. It may seem a thing too slight to effect so great result; yet it does so inevitably. It shuts off the communication with the source of all glad tidings. It isolates man, and forbids the approach of blessing. That conductor is faith. In itself it is nothing, but in its connection everything. It restores in a moment the broken communication; and this, not from any virtue in itself, but simply as the conducting link between the soul and the fountain of all blessing above.”

“In Jesus there is salvation—salvation without a price—salvation for the most totally and thoroughly lost that this fallen earth contains. Go and receive it.”

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