Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & listening from today…

“When A.B. Simpson succeeded it was in a big way. When he failed he made great failures. It had to be so. Men of his caliber do not make little mistakes. They fly too high and too far to steer their courses by city maps. They ask not, ‘What street is that?’ but ‘What continent?’ And when they get off of the course for a moment they will be sure to pull up a long way from their goal. Their range and speed make this inevitable. Little men who never get outside of their own yards point to these mistakes with great satisfaction. But history has a way of disposing of these critics by filing them away in quiet anonymity. She cannot be bothered to preserve their names. She is too busy chalking up the great successes and huge failures of her favorites.” —A.W. Tozer

“Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy! And how do children approach their daddies? I went to a school playground to find out. When a five-year-old spots his father in the parking lot, how does he react? ‘Yippee!’ screamed a redheaded boy wearing a Batman backpack. ‘Pop! Over here! Push me!’ yelled a boy wearing a Boston Red Sox cap who scooted straight to the swings. Here’s what I didn’t hear: ‘Father, it is most gracious of thee to drive thy car to my place of education. Please know of my deep gratitude for your benevolence. For thou art splendid in thy attentive care and diligent in thy dedication.’ I heard kids who were happy to see their dads and eager to speak to them! God invites us to approach Him in the same manner.” —Max Lucado

“More faith is what we want, and the Lord is willing to give it, grace upon grace; He delights, especially, to strengthen the faith which we already possess by trying it, by sustaining it under the trial, and thus rooting and grounding it, and causing it to become firm and vigorous.” —Charles Spurgeon

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Overview Bible Project has a great chart on the authors of the Bible.

[AUDIO] This interview of the late Chuck Colson by Dr. James Dobson is very timely.

13 More Quotes From “The Love Of God”

The Love Of GodI 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.

10 Ways Children Can Honor Their Parents

Honor your parentsThe Bible is fairly clear on a child’s relationship with his or her parents:

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—

  1. Guard your thoughts about them.
  2. Obey their lawful commands.
  3. Submit to their correction.
  4. Hold them accountable to the moral law.
  5. Show appreciation for what they have given you.
  6. Keep them connected to the family (socially, emotionally, financially, physically).
  7. Don’t expect too much of them.
  8. Don’t resent them for what they aren’t, or for what they didn’t do.
  9. Forgive them and seek reconciliation.
  10. Emulate their virtues and reverse their shortcomings.

Not only does this please God, but it opens us up to the blessing He wants to give to children who honor their parents (Deuteronomy 5:16 and Ephesians 6:2-3).

If you are in the Cedar Springs area, I’d love to have you join us next Sunday as we continue our look at The Love In The Law.

6 Quotes From “Lincoln’s Battle With God”

Lincoln's Battle With GodStephen Mansfield has given us a unique view of the life of Abraham Lincoln, through his struggle with coming to grips with who God was to him. It’s truly an amazing read! You can read my full book review of Lincoln’s Battle With God by clicking here. Below are a few quotes I highlighted in this book.

“A schoolteacher who knew him during these years recalled, ‘Abraham Lincoln was the most studious, diligent strait forward young man in the pursuit of a knowledge of literature than any among the five thousand I have taught in the school.’” —Stephen Mansfield 

“Through all, I groped my way until I found a stronger and higher grasp of thought, one that reached beyond this life with a clearness and satisfaction I had never known before. The Scriptures unfolded before me with a deeper and more logical appeal, through these new experiences, than anything else I could find to turn to, or ever before had found in them.” —Abraham Lincoln

“The fundamental truths reported in the four gospels as from the lips of Jesus Christ, and that I first heard from the lips of my mother, are settled and fixed moral precepts with me. I have concluded to dismiss from my mind the debatable wrangles that once perplexed me with distractions that stirred up, but never absolutely settled anything. I have tossed them aside with the doubtful differences which divide denominations—sweeping them all out of my mind among the nonessentials. I have ceased to follow such discussions or be interested in them. I cannot without mental reservations assent to long and complicated creeds and catechisms. If the church would ask simply for assent to the Savior’s statements of the substance of the law: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,’ that church would I gladly unite with.” —Abraham Lincoln

“The fact is, I don’t like to hear cut and dried sermons. No, when I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees!” —Abraham Lincoln

“On Thursday of last week two ladies from Tennessee came before the President asking the release of their husbands held as prisoners of war at Johnson’s Island. … At each of the interviews one of the ladies urged that her husband was a religious man. On Saturday the President ordered the release of the prisoners, and then said to this lady, ‘You say your husband is a religious man; tell him when you meet him, that I say I am not much of a judge of religion, but that, in my opinion, the religion that sets men to rebel and fight against their government, because, as they think, that government does not sufficiently help some men to eat their bread on the sweat of other men’s faces, is not the sort of religion upon which people can get to heaven!’”  —From a newspaper article entitled “The President’s Last, Shortest and Best Speech”

“If I were not sustained by the prayers of God’s people, I could not endure this constant pressure. … It has pleased Almighty God to place me in my present position and looking up to Him for wisdom and divine guidance I must work my destiny as best I can.” —Abraham Lincoln

Thursdays With Oswald—No Show Business

Oswald ChambersThis is a periodic series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

No Show Business 

     We are not here to be specimens of what God can do, but to have our life so hid with Christ in God that our Lord’s words will be true of us, that men beholding our good works will glorify our Father in heaven [Matthew 5:16]. There was no “show business” in the life of the Son of God, and there is to be no “show business” in the life of the saint.

From The Moral Foundations Of Life

It is amazing how loudly a life lived for God speaks!

We don’t have to be on TV or have a YouTube video go viral for people to notice. Jesus made it quite clear that simply living a godly life was attractive enough. So don’t try to put on a show, just be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and your lifestyle will speak volumes. And, even more importantly, God will be glorified!

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“I have learned…that the Lord can fill the soul with Himself, when He takes away what seemed indispensable to our happiness on earth.” —Andrew Bonar

In a day of endless distraction and diversion, there is no greater remedy for our clouded heads and hectic lives than the sober mind of Christ.” Read more in this post: Finding A Level Head In A Hectic World.

“Prayer really is simple. Resist the urge to complicate it. Don’t take pride in well-crafted prayers. Don’t apologize for incoherent prayers. No games. No cover-ups. Just be honest—honest to God. Climb into His lap. Tell Him everything that’s on your heart. Or tell Him nothing at all. Just lift your heart to heaven and declare, ‘Father … Daddy.’ Stress. Fear. Guilt. Grief. Demands on all sides. And all we can summon is a plaintive, ‘Oh, Father.’ If so, that’s enough. Your heavenly Father will wrap you in His arms!” —Max Lucado

Some super-cool pictures of the work that won the 2014 Nobel Prize for chemistry.

[INFOGRAPHIC] The size, spread and cost of Ebola.

I have been saying this was coming: Pastors in Houston have their sermons subpoenaed to make sure they are “correct.”

“The time for speaking seldom arrives, the time for being never departs.” —George MacDonald

“The Word of God ignores size and quantity and lays all its stress upon quality. Christ, more than any other man, was followed by the crowds, yet after giving them such help as they were able to receive, He quietly turned from them and deposited His enduring truths in the breasts of His chosen 12.” —A.W. Tozer

12 Additional Quotes From “Transforming Grace”

Transforming GraceI already shared a few quotes from Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges (you can read them by clicking here). Bridges also extensively quoted other authors in this amazing book, so I wanted to share a few of those quotes as well.

“Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit…. Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human demerit…. Grace is treating a person without the slightest reference to desert whatsoever, but solely according to the infinite goodness and supper and purpose of God.” —Dr. C. Samuel Storms

“The most shining deeds and valuable qualities that can be found among men, though highly useful and truly excellent, when set in their proper places, and referred to suitable ends, are, as to the grand article of justification treated as nonentities…. For divine grace disdains to be assisted in the performance of that work which peculiarly belongs to itself, by the poor, imperfect performances of men. Attempts to complete what grace begins, betray our pride and offend the Lord; but cannot promote our spiritual interest. Let the reader, therefore, carefully remember, that grace is either absolutely free, or it is not at all: and, that he who professes to look for salvation by grace, either believes in his heart to be saved entirely by it, or he acts inconsistently in affairs of the greatest importance.” —Abraham Booth

“Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God’s grace and God’s grace alone for our celebration. It is difficult for our pride to rest on grace. Grace is for other people—for beggars. We don’t want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.” —R.C. Sproul 

“A lawdriver insists with threats and penalties; a preacher of grace lures and incites with divine goodness and compassion shown to us; for he wants no unwilling works and reluctant services, he wants joyful and delightful services of God.” —Martin Luther, commenting on Romans 12:1

“The great mistake made by most of the Lord’s people is in hoping to discover in themselves that which is to be found in Christ alone.” —Arthur W. Pink

“In the person of Christ God beholds a holiness which abides His closest scrutiny, yea, which rejoices and satisfies His heart; and whatever Christ is before God, He is for His people.” —Arthur W. Pink

“Only what God has commanded in His Word should be regarded as binding; in all else there may be liberty of actions.” —John Owen

“Let us never surrender our judgments or our consciences to be at the disposal and opinions of others, and to be subjected to the sentences and determinations of men. … It is my exhortation therefore to all Christians to maintain their Christian freedom by constant watchfulness. You must not be tempted or threatened out of it; you must not be bribed or frightened from it; you must not let either force or fraud rob you of it. … We must not give up ourselves to the opinion of other men, though they be never so learned, never so holy, merely because it is their opinion. The apostle directs us to try all things and to hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). It often happens that a high esteem of others in respect of their learning and piety makes men take up all upon trust from such, and to submit their judgments to their opinions, and their consciences to their precepts. This should not be so.” —Samuel Bolton (1645)

“So God supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming needs, overwhelming grace. God’s grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely, but not foolishly; bountifully, but not blindly.” —John Blanchard

“For men have no taste for God’s power till they are convinced of their need of it and they immediately forget its value unless they are continually reminded by awareness of their own weakness.” —John Calvin

“Yet the duties God requires of us are not in proportion to the strength we possess in ourselves. Rather, they are proportional to the resources available to us in Christ. We do not have the ability in ourselves to accomplish the least of God’s tasks. This is a law of grace. When we recognize it is impossible for us to perform a duty in our own strength, we will discover the secret of its accomplishment. But alas, this is a secret we often fail to discover.” —John Owen

“Christian humility does not consist in denying what there is of good in us; but in an abiding sense of ill-desert, and in the consciousness that what we have of good is due to the grace of God.” —Charles Hodge

You can read my full review of Transforming Grace by clicking here.

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