17 More Quotes From “Our Brilliant Heritage”

Our Brilliant HeritageThis is the second batch of quotes from Our Brilliant Heritage. You can read the first set of quotes here, and my review of this book is posted here.

“God does not supply us with character, He gives us the life of His Son and we can either ignore Him and refused to obey Him, or we can so obey Him, so bring every thought and imagination into captivity, that the life of Jesus is manifested in our mortal flesh. It is not a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved in order to manifest the Son of God in our mortal flesh. Our responsibility is to keep ourselves fit to manifest Him.” 

“We cannot do anything for our salvation, but we must do something to manifest it; we must work it out. Am I working out my salvation with my tongue, with my brain, and with my nerves?”

“We are not called to success but to faithfulness.”

“The marvelous thing about spiritual wealth is that when we take our part in that, everyone else is blessed; whereas if we refused to be partakers, we hinder others from entering into the riches of God.”

“It is a crime to allow external physical misery to make us sulky with God. There are desolating experiences, such as the Psalmist describes in Psalms 42-43, and he says, ‘Then will I go…unto God my exceeding joy’—not ‘with joy,’ but unto God Who is my joy. No calamity can touch that wealth. No sin is worse than self-pity because it puts self-interest on the throne; it ‘makes the bastard of self seem in the right’; it obliterates God and opens the mouth to spit out murmurings against God; and the life becomes impoverished and mean, there is nothing lovely or generous about it.” 

“The witness of the Holy Spirit is that we realize with growing amazement Who Jesus is to us personally, our Lord and Master. The baptism of the Holy Ghost makes us witnesses to Jesus, not wonder-workers. The witness is not to what Jesus does, but to what He is.”

“When we say—‘But it is common sense to do this and that,’ we make our common sense Almighty God, and God has to retire right out, then after a while He comes back and asks us if we are satisfied.”

“There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.”

“Pride is the deification of myself.” 

“‘Oh, I’m no saint.’ To talk like that is acceptable to human pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. It literally means I defy God to make me a saint. The reason I am not a saint is either that I do not want to be a saint or I do not believe God can make me one.”

“The greatest hindrance of our spiritual life lies in looking for big things to do; Jesus Christ ‘took a towel….’”

“We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on ‘flowery beds of ease,’ but we act as if we did!”

“We can all shine in the sun, but Jesus wants us to shine where there is no sun, where it is dark with the press of practical things.”

“Our Lord never taught us to deny sin: sin must be destroyed, not denied. Nothing sinful can ever be good.”

“Never say you will pray about a thing; pray about it. … It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food but by prayer.”

“The five minutes we give to the words of Jesus the first thing in the morning are worth more than all the rest of the day.”

“Are we in the habit of listening to the Words of Jesus? Do we realize that Jesus knows more about our business than we do ourselves? Do we take His Word for our clothes, our money, our domestic work; or do we think we can manage these things for ourselves?” 

14 Quotes From “Our Brilliant Heritage”

Our Brilliant HeritageAs I said in my book review of Oswald Chambers’ book Our Brilliant Heritage, it’s hard to come up with enough good words to say about this man’s insights! You can read my review of this book by clicking here, and check out my first batch of quotes below.

“The writer to the Hebrews does not tell us to imitate Jesus when we are tempted; he says—‘Come to Jesus, and He will succor [help] you in the nick of time.’ That is, all His perfect overcoming of temptation is ours in Him. … Jesus Christ does not give us power to work up a patience like His own. His patience is manifested if we will let His life dwell in us.”

“Paul does not say, nor does the Spirit of God say anywhere, that after we are born again of the Spirit of God, Jesus Christ is put before us as an Example and we make ourselves holy by drawing from Him. Never! Sanctification is Christ formed in us; not the Christ-life, but Christ Himself. In Jesus Christ is the perfection of everything, and the mystery of sanctification is that we may have in Jesus Christ, not the start of holiness, but the holiness of Jesus Christ.”

“The very spirit that ruled Jesus in His life now rules us. How has it come about? Read Romans 8:10. ‘And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.’ John the Baptist said of Jesus—‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.’ The Spirit of God who wrought out that marvelous Life in the Incarnation will baptize us into the very same life, not into a life like it, but into His life until the very holiness of Jesus is gifted to us. It is not something we work out in Him, it is in Him, and He manifests it through us while we abide in Him.” 

“Some of us have never allowed God to make us understand how hopeless we are without Jesus Christ.”

“‘Wherefore if any man is in Christ, there is a new creation’! (2 Corinthians 5:17). … Those of us who are in the experience of God’s mighty salvation do not give ourselves half enough prayerful time, and wondering time, and studying time to allow the Spirit of God to bring this marvelous truth home to us.” 

“We are too free from wonder nowadays, too easy with the Word of God; we do not use it with the breathless amazement Paul does. Think what sanctification means—Christ in me; made like Christ; as He is, so are we.

“Men are apt to cry to God to stop—‘If only God would leave me alone!’ God never will. His passionate, inexorable love never allows Him to leave men alone, and with His children He will shake everything that can be shaken till there is nothing that can be shaken anymore; then will abide the consuming fire of God until the life is changed into the same image from glory to glory, and men see that strong family likeness to Jesus that can never be mistaken.”

“The marvelous thing about the inheritance of the saints in light is that when we take our part of the inheritance, everyone else is blessed in the taking; but if we refused to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, we rob others of its glory and its wonder.”

“We cannot do what God does and God will not do what we can do. We cannot save ourselves or sanctify ourselves; God only can do that; but God does not give us good habits, He does not give us character, He does not make us walk aright; we must do all that.” 

“If, when no one is watching us, we are building ourselves up in the Word of God, then, when a crisis comes, we shall stand; but if we are not building on the Word of God, when a crisis comes we shall go down, no matter what our wills are like.”

“With Jesus it is never ‘Do, do,’ but ‘Be, be and I will do through you.’”

“One strong moral man will form a nucleus around which others will gather; and spiritually, if we put on the armor of God and stand true to Him, a whole army of week-kneed Christians will be strengthened.”

“The surest evidence that the nature of God has come into me is that I know I am a sinner.”

“The deepest repentance is not in the sinner, but in the saint. Repentance means not only sorrow for sin, it involves the possession of a new disposition that will never do the thing again.”

10 Quotes On Learning From “Brain-Savvy Leaders”

Brain-Savvy LeadersCharles Stone has given us a great resource to understand how our brain works, which gives us tremendous insight into increasing the depth of interpersonal interactions. You can read my review of Brain-Savvy Leaders by clicking here. Below are some quotes from this book about learning. Unless otherwise noted, the quotes are from Charles Stone.

“Science and theology have things to say to each other, since both are concerned with the search for truth attained through motivated belief.” —Dr. John Polkinghorne

“If what we claim about Jesus Christ is true, then evangelical should be among the most active, most serious, and most open minded advocates of general human learning. Evangelical hesitation about scholarship in general or about pursuing learning wholeheartedly is, in other words, antithetical to the Christ-centered basis of evangelical faith.” —Mark Noll

“I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this for that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” —Albert Einstein 

“God gave us a brain not just because our body and needed a command and control center to direct it but because God enjoys seeing us steward our brains for His glory.”

“Only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light.” —Pope Paul VI 

“The light of Christ illuminates the laboratory, His speech is the fountain of communication, He makes possible the study of humans in all their interactions, He is the source of all life, by the wherewithal for every achievement of human civilization, He is the telos of all that is beautiful. He is, among other titles, the Christ of the Academic Road.” —Mark Noll

“What we pay attention to can actually change our brain’s neural pathways—their plasticity. If you regularly read, study, and apply God’s Word, you will create connections in your brain that reinforce a biblical worldview.” 

“We can’t separate how our brains work from how the Holy Spirit works in us to create change in our hearts and in our character. Emotional control is not a passive process. It requires our intentional effort to work with the Holy Spirit. … God has wired our brains to support His promises.”

“Coffee, caffeinated drinks (but not too many), exercise, and novelty can increase the amount of these neurotransmitters and get us into a more productive and focused state.” 

“Scientists will never fully unpack the brain’s mysteries, because it’s so interwoven with our soul that it transcends complete understanding. Nevertheless, I believe that a thirst for learning points to a healthy leader.”

Thursdays With Oswald—Love Like God Loves

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.

Love Like God Loves

     There is only one Being who loves perfectly, and that is God, yet the New Testament distinctly states that we are to love as God does; so the first step is obvious. If ever we are going to have perfect love in our hearts we must have the very nature of God in us. In Romans 5:5 the apostle Paul tells us how this is possible; he says, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.” …

     That means I have to identify myself with God’s interests in other people, and God is interested in some extraordinary people: in you and in me, and He is just as interested in the person you dislike as He is in you. … 

     God grant we may not only experience the indwelling of the love of God in our hearts, but go on to a hearty abandoned to that love so that God can pour it out through us for His redemptive purposes for the world. He broke the life of His Son to redeem us, and now He wants to use our lives as a sacrament to nourish others.

From Conformed To His Image (emphasis mine)

Quite simply: we need to love God more, so we can love others more. Will I let the Holy Spirit shed that love in me? Will you?

Charles Spurgeon On Self-Examination

It is so important to have conversations with ourselves. The most honest conversations are the ones where we are alone with the Holy Spirit.

C.H. Spurgeon“Examine yourselves, dear friends, then, by this. I do not ask you whether your hearts are perfect—they are not; I do not ask you whether your hearts never go astray, for they are prone to wander; but I do ask you: Is your heart resting upon Jesus Christ? Is it a believing heart? Does your heart meditate upon divine things? Does it find its best solace there? Is your heart a humble heart? Are you constrained to ascribe all to sovereign grace? Is your heart a holy heart? Do you desire holiness? Do you find your pleasure in it? Is your heart bold for God? Does your heart ascribe praises to God? Is it a grateful heart? And is it a heart that is wholly fixed upon God, desiring never to go astray?” —Charles Spurgeon

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends Youand lead me along the path of everlasting life.Psalm 139:23-24

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Don’t hold onto anything so tightly that Jesus can’t take it from you.” —Corrie ten Boom

“Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice; it just entrusts it to God. He guarantees the right retribution.” —Max Lucado

“History is a vast early warning system.” —Norman Cousins

“How do we develop such trust? We seek the Lord in prayer, meditate on His Word, and walk in obedience. You may object, ‘But those things are all works.’ I disagree. They are all acts of faith. As we observe these disciplines, we are trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work in us, building up a reservoir of strength for our time of need.” Read more of David Wilkerson’s post Entering God’s Rest.

A couple of thousand years ago Socrates called the youth generation lazy, disrespectful, and lacking responsibility. Tim Elmore points out that there are 7 changes that affect every generation. Parents, teachers, coaches, and others that work with youth need to check this out.

Every summer in Cedar Springs all of the churches combine together for a huge worship service called UNITED. This year we have a special project: united to change the world.

[VIDEO] This morning I launched my first live broadcast on Periscope. You can find me there at username @craigtowens. Here is the video from my live feed—

C.S. Lewis On Spiritual Feelings

Someone wrote to C.S. Lewis about the profound and moving spiritual experience they had just experienced, and wondered what Lewis thought about it. His reply is very insightful—

C.S. Lewis at his desk“It is quite right that you should feel that ‘something terrific’ has happened to you (it has) and be ‘all glowy.’ Accept these sensations with thankfulness as birthday cards from God, but remember that they are only greetings, not the real gift. I mean, it is not the sensations that are the real thing. The real thing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which can’t usually be—perhaps not ever—experienced as a sensation or emotion. The sensations are merely the response of your nervous system. Don’t depend on them. Otherwise when they go and you are once more emotionally flat (as you certainly will be quite soon), you might think that the real thing had gone too. But it won’t. It will be there when you can’t feel it. May even be most operative when you can feel it least.” —C.S. Lewis (emphasis added)

The spiritual experiences are great, but let them use you to turn to the Bible to find the facts behind your experience. Lewis is quite right that feelings come and go, but the Holy Spirit never does.

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