Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

“[God] will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only in so far as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls.” —C.S. Lewis

“To live well is the way to die well. Death is not our first foe but the last; let us then fight our adversaries in order, and overcome them each in its turn, trusting that He Who has been with us even until now will be with us until the end.” —Charles Spurgeon

“It  is sin in the heart that makes one say, ‘This is far too hard for me!’ The yielded heart, on the other hand, becomes free, and obedience is no longer a burden. For the surrendered heart, it is all joy.” —David Wilkerson

Membership in your local church is one of the most important things about you.” Read more from Jonathan Parnell on the local church.

Warning: Essure birth control is deadly for women!

Amazing new insights into how God designed plants to manage their hours of sunlight in the photosynthesis process.

Rick Warren on homosexual “marriage”: The church must not cave-in.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell on the importance of making good decisions…

“Some people don’t lead their lives, they accept their lives.” —John Kotter

Martin Luther On Prayer

Martin LutherSome powerful quotes from Martin Luther on prayer—

“Behold, Lord, and empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust You altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in You.”

“Almighty God, grant us grace to hear Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Bread, preached throughout the world and truly to understand Him. May all evil, heretical and human doctrines be cut off, while Your Word as the Living Bread be distributed.”

“Lord God, You have placed me in Your church. You know how unsuitable I am. Were not for Your guidance I would long since have brought everything to destruction. I wish to give my heart and mouth to Your service. I desire to teach your people, and long to be taught Your work. Use me as Your work man, dear Lord. Do not for sake me; for if I am alone I show bring all to naught.”

“I have to hurry all day to get time to pray.”

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

“Go to bed seasonably, and rise early. Redeem your precious time… that not one moment of it may be lost. Be much in secret prayer. Converse less with man, and more with God.” —George Whitefield 

“Lord, let me not live to be useless.” —John Wesley

Jon Bloom looks at narcissism in a different way: Beware The Mirror.

“To be specific, the self-sins are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention till the light of God is focused upon them.” —A.W. Tozer

“Confession isn’t a punishment for sin; it’s an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.” —Max Lucado

We must learn to tell ourselves the truth on the basis of God’s Word.” —Oswald Chambers

During the cold & flu season, here is a great reason to kiss your sweetie: Kissing helps boost your immune system.

Blessing Or Burden?

Blessing or burdenGod’s commandments aren’t a bunch of Don’ts. If we look at them through the perspective of a loving Lawgiver, they are really Dos that will keep us in a place that God can bless.

Take the 9th Commandment: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20). This is the first of two commandments that emphasize the damage that can be done to our neighbor if we violate the law. Speaking falsely against someone does real harm to our neighbor, so in a sense God says, “Don’t do it!

But God also tells us what to Do so that He can bless us—

  • How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! … For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore (Psalm 133:1, 3).
  • Psalm 15 says that he who will live in God’s presence is the one who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman (vv. 1-3).

The word for false in this commandment can mean: (1) an untruth; (2) insincere or deceptive words (e.g. flattery); (3) being purposely vague; or (4) speaking words that are true but harmful. So we Don’t want to do those, but what should we Do?

Jesus said that the way we speak is an indication of what has been going on in our heart and mind (Luke 6:45), so the way to fulfill the Do part of the commandment starts inside. A good guide is Paul’s list in Philippians 4:8—are my thoughts about my neighbor focused on what’s true? noble? right? pure? lovely? admirable? excellent? and praiseworthy?

In the New Testament, the word “blessing” is a compound word that literally means good words. So here’s the question I’m asking myself: Are my words to and about my neighbor a burden to them or a blessing?

If you are in the Cedar Springs area, please join me next week as we wrap up this series called The Love In The Law.

Poetry Saturday—My Strength Is Gone

Charles WesleyMy strength is gone, my nature dies;
I sink beneath Thy weighty hand;
Faint to revive, and fall to rise:
I fall, and yet by faith I stand.
I stand, and will not let Thee go,
Till I Thy Name, Thy Nature know.
Lame as I am, I take the prey;
Hell, earth, and sin, with ease o’ercome;
I leap for joy, pursue my way,
And as a bounding hart fly home,
Through all eternity to prove,
Thy Nature and Thy Name is love. — Charles Wesley, on what he conceived to be Jacob’s prayer as he wrestled with God (see Genesis 32:22-30)

Thursdays With Oswald—The Discipline In Faith

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.

The Discipline In Faith

     The element of discipline in the life of faith must never be lost sight of, because only by means of the discipline are we taught the difference between the natural interpretation of what we call good and what God means by “good.” …

     At times it appears as if God has not only forsaken His word, but has deliberately deceived us. We asked Him for a particular thing, or related ourselves to Him along a certain line, and expected that it would mean the fullness of blessing, and actually it has meant the opposite—upset, trouble and difficulty all around, and we are staggered, until we learn that by this very discipline God is bringing us to the place of entire abandonment to Himself.

From Not Knowing Where

Probably every follower of God has experienced what Oswald Chambers describes: We follow God wholeheartedly, fully believing He called us to something, only to get knocked around by trouble.

I’ve been there and done that. It was a whole lot of no-fun while I was in it. And now, looking back on it, I still can’t say that I enjoyed those times. But here’s what I do enjoy now:

  • A closer intimacy with my Savior
  • A greater empathy for others in troubling times
  • An increased sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit
  • A deeper appreciation for God’s Word
  • A strength I wouldn’t have gained without going through that time
  • Discernment and insight I wouldn’t have learned without that trouble

If God calls you, He will not leave you. No matter how painful or difficult your circumstances, if He called you to walk through it, He will do something in it. Discipline yourself to remain totally abandoned to God!

16 Quotes On Christian Living From “The Moral Foundations Of Life”

The Moral Foundations Of LifeOswald Chambers was a brilliant, God-inspired man! In his book The Moral Foundations Of Life (you can read my book review by clicking here), he combines two of his favorite topics: Christianity and psychology. I shared some of his quotes in this book on the topic of thinking (you can read those by clicking here). Below are some additional quotes on the Christian life.

“You can never argue anyone into the Kingdom of Heaven, you cannot argue anyone anywhere. The only result of arguing is to prove to your own mind that you are right and the other fellow wrong. You cannot argue for truth; but immediately Incarnate Truth is presented, a want awakens in the soul which only God can meet.”

“When I see Jesus Christ I simply want to be what He wants me to be.”

“To tell a man who is down and out to get up and do the right thing can never help him; but when once Jesus Christ is presented to him there is a reflected wish to be what Jesus wants him to be.”

“Only a spiritually ignorant person tries to be a Christian. Study the life of Jesus Christ and see what Christianity means, and you will find you cannot be a Christian by trying; you must be born into the life before you can live it. There are a great many people trying to be Christians; they pray and long and fast and consecrate, but it is nothing but imitation, it has no life in it.”

“We are only free when the Son sets us free; but we are free to choose whether or not we will be made free.”

“The life of a saint reveals a quietness at the heart of things, there is something firm and dependable, because the Lord is the strength of the life.”

“The characteristic of a Christian is that he has the right not to insist on his rights.”

“The Holy Spirit does not become our spirit; He invades our spirit and lifts our personality into a right relationship with God, and that means we can begin now to work out what God has worked in. … Absolute almighty ability is packed into our spirit, and to say ‘can’t,’ if we have received the Holy Spirit, is unconscious blasphemy.”

“Salvation is sudden, but the working out of salvation in our life is never sudden. It is moment by moment, here are a little and there a little. The Holy Spirit educates us down to the scruple.”

“Our conduct with men is measured by the way God has dealt with us, not by what men think of us.”

“The majority of us waste time and want to encroach on eternity. … An hour, or half an hour, of daily attention to and meditation on our own spiritual life is the secret of progress.”

“‘But my difficulties are so enormous.’ Thank God they are! The bigger the difficulty, the more amazing is your profit to Jesus Christ as you draw on His supernatural grace.”

“Watch human nature; we are so built that if we do not get thrilled in the right way, we will get thrilled in the wrong. If we are without the thrill of communion with God, we will try to get thrilled by the devil, or by some concoction of human ingenuity.”

“Take any of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and you will find it is never put on the ground that because a man is right with me, therefore I will be the same to him, but always on the ground of a right relationship to Jesus Christ first, and then the showing of that same relationship to others.”

“When our eyes are fixed on Jesus Christ we begin to see qualities blossoming in the lives of others that we never saw there before.”

“We are not here to be specimens of what God can do, but to have our life so he 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. 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.”

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