14 Quotes About Thinking From “The Moral Foundations Of Life”

The Moral Foundations Of LifeAs I noted in my review of The Moral Foundations Of Life (you can read that review by clicking here), Oswald Chambers wanted Christians to think more deeply about their relationship with Jesus Christ, and then live differently because of their new way of thinking. Here are some of his quotes related to a Christians’ thought life.

“When we become spiritual we have to exercise the power of thinking to a greater degree than ever before. We starve our mind as Christians by not thinking.” 

“The Atonement of our Lord never contradicts human reason, it contradicts the logic of human intellect that has never partaken of regeneration.”

“Is Jesus Christ’s teaching God-breathed to me? There is an intention that seeks God’s blessings without obeying Jesus Christ’s teaching. We are apt to say with sanctimonious piety, ‘Yes, Jesus Christ’s teaching is of God’; but how do we measure up to it? Do we intend to think about it and act on it?” 

“The old idea that we cannot help evil thoughts has become so ingrained in our minds that most of us accept it as fact. But if it is true, then Paul is talking nonsense when he tells us to choose our thinking, to think only on those things that are true, and honorable, and just, and pure.” [Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 10:5]

“We are so extraordinarily fussy that we won’t give ourselves one minute before God to think, and unless we do we shall never form the habit of abiding. We must get alone in secret and think, screw our minds down and not allow them to wool-gather.” 

“If a man lets his garden alone it very soon ceases to be a garden; and if a saint lets his mind alone it will soon become a rubbish keep for satan to make use of.”

“If we have been storing our minds with the Word of God, we are never taken unawares in new circumstances because the Holy Spirit brings back these things to our remembrance and we know what we should do; but the Holy Spirit cannot bring back to our minds what we have never troubled to put there.” 

“Think of the sweat and labor that a scientific student will expend in order to attain his end; where do we find men and women concentrating with the same intensity on spiritual realities?”

“As soon as you get down to pray you remember a letter you ought to write, or something else that needs to be done, a thousand and one little impertinences come in and claim your attention. When we suspend our own activities and get down at the foot of the Cross and meditate there, God brings His thoughts to us by the Holy Spirit and interprets them to us. … God has not the remotest opportunity of coming to some of us, our minds are packed full with our own thoughts and conceptions.” 

“The devil does not need to bother about us as long as we remain ignorant of the way God has made us and refused to discipline ourselves; inattention and our own slovenliness will soon run away with every power we have. … All we need is grit and gumption and reliance on the Holy Spirit. We must bring the same determined energy to the revelations in the God’s Book as we bring to earthly professions. Most of us leave the sweat of brain outside when we come to deal with the Bible.”

“God will not bring every thought and imagination into captivity; we have to do it, and that is the test of spiritual concentration. The inattentive, slovenly way we drift into the presence of God is an indication that we are not bothering to think about Him. … God gives us the Holy Spirit not only for holy living but for holy thinking, and we are held responsible if we do not think concentratedly along the right lines.” 

“Glean your thinking; don’t allow your mind to be a harborage for every kind of vagabond sentiment; resolutely get into the way of disciplining your impulses and stray thinking.”

“We have to transform into real thinking possession for ourselves all that the Spirit of God puts into our spirits.” 

“An undisciplined imagination will destroy reliable judgment more quickly even then sin.”

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

“The book of Romans in a sentence: Because you were condemned (1:1 – 3:20) and God justified you (3:21-5:21), empowered you to be distinct (6-8), and explained His plan to keep His promises to Abraham (9-11), it is right for you to submit your life for Divine inspection (12:1-2), and live the life of a real believer (12:2-16:27).” —Dr. Randall D. Smith

[INFOGRAPHIC] I love the Bible study tools from The Overview Bible Project! Check out this one on the main characters in Genesis.

A great story about a marathon runner who intentionally loses the race.

The co-founder of The Weather Channel blasts the “global warming” crowd.

“It is too bad that anything so obvious should need to be said at this late date, but from all appearances, we Christians have about forgotten the lesson so carefully taught by Paul: God’s servants are not to be competitors, but co-workers.” —A.W. Tozer

“The truth is that evil is not a real thing at all, like God. It is simply good spoiled. That is why I say there can be good without evil, but no evil without good. You know what the biologists mean by a parasite—an animal that lives on another animal. Evil is a parasite. It is there only because good is there for it to spoil and confuse.” —C.S. Lewis

“Love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.” —C.S. Lewis

“In our time we have all kinds of status symbols in the Christian church—membership, attendance, pastoral staff, missionary offerings. But there is only one status symbol that should make a Christian congregation genuinely glad. That is to know that our Lord is present, walking in our midst!” —A.W. Tozer

A Murderer’s Checklist

Murderer's checklistYou shall not murder (Exodus 20:13) sounds pretty straightforward. This verse is actually just one word in the Hebrew language: ratsach. The idea is a human killing another human in an animalistic way.

Think of a predatory animal like a lion. The lion attacks as an angry response when it is provoked. There is no thought about consequences or possible alternatives, but it simply lashes out in anger. A lion will also lie in wait to ambush its prey. Humans who kill in this animalistic way are regarded in the Bible as murderers (see Exodus 21:14; Numbers 35:20-21, and Deuteronomy 19:11, 13).

The legal definition of homicide today says it is “the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority.”

God determines our day of conception (Psalm 139:16), the value and purpose of our life  while we are alive (Ephesians 2:10), and the day of our death (Job 14:5). Taking any of these things out of God’s hand, and putting them into our own hands, not only constitutes murder but dishonors God.

Some things are obviously homicide: Abortion is murder, suicide is murder, euthanasia is murder. Because these things put man in the place of God, they are unlawful.

But think of this: Slander is also murder. According to rabbinical scholars, publicly humiliating someone is murder, because it is character assassination. Jewish law also forbids the sharing of true but harmful information about someone else. Both of these things devalue a human being’s God-given value and purpose. Jesus echoed these teachings in Matthew 5:21-22 and Matthew 15:19.

J.I. Packer wrote, “We all have in us capacities for fury, fear, envy, greed, conceit, callousness, and hate that, given the right provocation, could make killers out of us all. … When the fathomless wells of rage and hatred in the normal human heart are tapped, the results are fearful.”

Here’s a quick checklist to make sure we aren’t getting close to becoming murderers:

  • Do I get too angry too quickly, and stay angry too long?
  • Do I harbor unforgiveness against anyone?
  • Have assassinated someone’s character?
  • Am I “lying in wait” for anyone to catch them doing wrong?

To stay clear of these murderous ways:

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

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