6 Quotes From Billy Graham On Faith

BillyGrahamI recently read The Quotable Billy Graham (you can read my book review here), and I was struck by how relevant his words are, even 50 years after they were spoken. Here are a few quotes on faith.

“I wonder if the church has not failed this generation of young people by failing to make the Christian faith the thrilling, joyful, triumphant experience that it really is.”

“You best demonstrate your faith in a bank by putting your money in it. You best show your faith in the doctor by trusting him in times of illness. You best prove your faith in a boat by getting aboard. You best demonstrate your faith in Christ by trusting Him with your life and receiving Him unconditionally as your Savior.”

“One of the differences I have with some theologians is that they try to reduce the whole content of the Christian faith to an intellectual gymnastic exercise. Christianity cannot be reduced to reason alone.”

“We are rich in the things that perish, but poor and the things of the spirit. We are rich in gadgets, but poor in faith. We are rich in goods, but poor in grace. We are rich in know-how, but poor in character. We are rich in words, but poor in deeds.”

“If you are a Christian, there is no excuse for not having daily victory in your life by renouncing sin and by faith letting the Spirit of God have control of your life.”

“Whenever anyone asks me how I can be so certain about who and what God really is, I am reminded of the story of the little boy who was out flying a kite. It was a very fine day for kite flying, the wind was brisk and large billowy clouds were blowing across the sky. The kite went up and up until it was entirely hidden by the clouds.
‘What are you doing?’ a man asked the little boy.
‘I’m flying a kite,’ he replied.
‘Flying a kite, are you?’ the man said. ‘How can you be sure? You can’t see your kite.’
‘No,’ said the boy, ‘I can’t see it, but every little while I feel a tug, so I know for sure that it’s there!’
“Don’t take anyone else’s word for God. Find Him for yourself, and then you too will know by the wonderful, warm tug on your heartstrings that He is there for sure.”

Links & Quotes

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“One of the greatest mercies God bestows upon us is His not permitting our inclinations and opportunities to meet. Have you not sometimes noticed that when you had the inclination to a sin there has been no opportunity, and when the opportunity has presented itself you have had no inclination towards it? satan’s principal aim with believers is to bring their appetites and his temptations together….” —Charles Spurgeon

“In a very real sense, we are what we love. … What we treasure in our heart will be what we seek in life and what we become in fact. … What we most love, therefore, tells us something about the condition of our hearts. If the best part of our spiritual and physical energies are invested in making a good living—if being materially well-off is the treasure we seek—then this will be evidence of a heart which believes it can only be satisfied by the enjoyment of things and the realization of every whim.” —T.M. Moore

“Let us make war, not with other people, but with our own unbelief. It is the root of anxiety, which, in turn, is the root of so many other sins. So let us turn our eyes fixed on the precious and very great promises of God. Take up the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit for help, lay the promises up in your heart, and fight the good fight—to live by faith in future grace.” —John Piper

“This third Person is called, in technical language, the Holy Ghost or the ‘spirit’ of God. Do not be worried or surprised if you find it (or Him) rather vaguer or more shadowy in your mind than the other two [Father and Son]. I think there is a reason why that must be so. In the Christian life you are not usually looking at Him: He is always acting through you. If you think of the Father as something ‘out there,’ in front of you, and of the Son as someone standing at your side, helping you to pray, trying to turn you into another son, then you have to think of the third Person as something inside you, or behind you. Perhaps some people might find it easier to begin with the third Person and work backwards. God is love, and that love works through men—especially through the whole community of Christians. But this spirit of love is, from all eternity, a love going on between the Father and Son.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Max Lucado reminds us of the original terrorist.

Lenny Esposito shares 3 problems for atheism.

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[VIDEO] George Will explains campaign finance “reform” in a way I haven’t heard anyone else say it—


11 More Quotes From “Our Portrait In Genesis”

The Complete Works Of Oswald ChambersOswald Chambers’ book Our Portrait In Genesis is an excellent companion book when you read the book of Genesis from the Bible. I’ve already shared a few quotes from this book here, and here. Below are a few more I found highlighter-worthy.

“Degeneration and backsliding are by no means one and the same. Degeneration begins in almost imperceptible ways; backsliding in the Scriptural use of the term is a distinct forsaking of what I know of God and a deliberate substitution of something other (cf. Jeremiah 2:13). … If I maintain my right to my natural self I will begin to degenerate and get out of God’s purpose. … If I refuse to sacrifice the natural, the God-life in me is killed.”

“To experience conviction of sin is not a cause for misgiving, but an occasion for understanding the impossible things God has done in the Redemption.”

“All through, a personal crisis ought to serve as an occasion for revealing the fact that God reigns, as well as compelling us to know our own character.”

“We have the notion that it is only when we are pure and holy that God will appear to us; that God’s blessing is a sign that we are right with Him. Neither notion is true. Our Lord took care to say that God makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends His rain on the just and on the unjust. God’s blessings are not to be taken as an indication of the integrity of the character blessed, yet on the other hand the discernment of God’s character is determined entirely by the individual character of the person estimating God. ‘With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful’ (Psalm 18:25). The way I discern God’s character is determined by my own character. God remains true to His character, and as I grow in integrity I discern Him. Jacob’s undeservedness, and the fact that God continually blesses him, are brought out very clearly all through his life.”

“‘I can’t understand why I have no confidence in God’; the reason may be a matter of digestion, not enough fresh air, or sleep, too much tea—something slight. It is the shallow things that put us wrong much more quickly than the big things. The great object of the enemy of our souls is to make us fling away our confidence in God; to do this is nothing less than spiritual suicide. When we experience misgiving because we have sinned there is never any ambiguity as to its clause, the Holy Spirit brings conviction home like a lightning flash.”

“Prayer in distress dredges the soul (cf. Psalm 107). It is a good thing to keep note of the things you prayed about when you were in distress. We remain ignorant of ourselves because we do not keep a spiritual autobiography.”

“That is always the test of the reality of sanctification, not so much that I have received something, but that I have ceased to be my old self.”

“The warrior of God is not the man of muscle and a strong jaw, but the man of un-utterable weakness, the man who knows he has not any power; Jacob is no longer strong in himself, he is strong only in God, his life is no longer marked by striving, but by reliance on God. You cannot imitate reliance on God.”

“Authority never comes from you, but from God through you, therefore let God introduce or withhold as He chooses.”

“Beware of saying, ‘Oh well, it doesn’t matter much what I think about in secret’; it does, for the opportunity will come when what you think about in secret will find expression and spurt out in an act. The Bible always speaks of sin as it appears in its final analysis. Jesus does not say, ‘You must not covet because it will lead to stealing’; He says, ‘You must not covet because it is stealing.’ He does not say, ‘You must not be angry with your brother because it will lead to murder’; He says, ‘You must not be angry with your brother because it is murder.’”

“Four times over in this chapter [Genesis 39] is this statement made, ‘the Lord was with Joseph.’ It is the presence of God that is the secret of victory always. The fear of the Lord creates an atmosphere in which impure thoughts and unholy desires die a natural death.”

You can also read my review of this book by clicking here.

Links & Quotes

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“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” —C.S. Lewis

“Jesus spilled His blood for you. You can spill your heart before God.” —Max Lucado

“Too often, when issues of sexual abuse come up, the Church simply stays silent. But a Gospel-centered response to sexual violation of anyone at any age begins with understanding that silence is not an option.” Read more in The Scandal Of Silence.

An abortion clinic in Michigan was shut down for numerous health and safety violations, but now it appears it may re-open.

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Eric Metaxas shares the really cool story behind the Navy Hymn.

“You can be saved, Spirit-filled, and walking holy before God, yet still be guilty of unbelief. You may think, ‘I don’t have any unbelief.’ But do you get upset when things go wrong? Are you fearful of failing God? Are you restless, afraid of the future? The believer who has unconditional faith in God’s promise enjoys complete rest. What characterizes this rest? A full, complete confidence in God’s Word, and a total dependence on His faithfulness to that Word. Indeed, rest is the evidence of faith.” —David Wilkerson

Seth Godin discusses what starts to happen when our expectations slip.


Thursdays With Oswald—Passionate, Devoted, Absorbed

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.

Passionate, Devoted, Absorbed

     Christian experience does not mean we have thought through the way God works in human lives by His grace, or that we are able to state theologically that God gives the Holy Ghost to them that ask Him—that may be Christian thinking, but it is not Christian experience. Christian experience is living through all this by the marvelous power of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost working in me does not produce wonderful experiences that make people say “What a wonderful life that man lives”; the Holy Ghost working in me makes me a passionate, devoted, absorbed lover of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

From Our Place Of Help

Too many people are trying to “figure out” Christianity. But let me ask this: can you figure out why you fell in love? You probably can’t give the hows and whys of your love for someone else, but you know you are in love nonetheless. 

The Holy Spirit isn’t given to a Christian so that he can come up with good theology, or even so he can have an experience. The Holy Spirit is given to make Jesus realGod has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

This is why Jesus wants us to receive His Spirit, because the Spirit would make Jesus known to us (John 14:16-17) … make Him real to us (John 14:25-26) … make us into a passionate, devoted, absorbed lover of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Have you received the Holy Spirit? If not, you can—How much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13).

Links & Quotes

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“With such prayer [‘Praying in the Holy Sprit’ (Jude 20)] it is an absolute certainty that I must succeed with God in prayer. If my prayer were my own prayer, I might not be so sure of it, but if the prayer which I utter be God’s own prayer written on my soul, God is always one with Himself, and what He writes on the heart is only written there because it is written in His purposes.” —Charles Spurgeon

“In the passage where the New Testament says that every one must work [Acts 20:34-35], it gives as a reason ‘in order that he may have something to give to those in need.’ Charity—giving to the poor—is an essential part of Christian morality.” —C.S. Lewis

“Security comes as we put God’s precepts into practice. We’re only as strong as our obedience.” —Max Lucado

Dan Reiland shares 6 things God says to church leaders.

“Mountain lions detect vulnerabilities in their prey and attack the weakest—the young, the sick, the injured. Studies have confirmed this instinctive cruelty. It’s how the mountain lion lives, following the scent of suffering and feasting on whatever he finds. The enemy of your hope and happiness hunts with that same instinct, with a cold-hearted and ruthless hunger for the weak or hurting. satan prowls like a roaring lion.” Read how to overcome the prowlings of the devil.

For anyone struggling with pornography, here is a great source of help: MyPilgrimage.com. Watch the introductory video, and then subscribe!

Here is some good advice for students who are addicted to pornography—

10 Ways To Pastor Like Paul

Apostle PaulI don’t think anyone who has studied the New Testament would argue that Paul was a premier pastor, evangelist and missionary. In his farewell address to the elders from Ephesus, Paul used his life as an example—“you know how I lived the whole time I was with you” (Acts 20:18).

Here are 10 things Paul demonstrated as a pastor:

  1. Great humility (v. 19)
  2. Preached the “hard messages” they needed to hear (v. 20a)
  3. Preached publicly and house to house (v. 20b)
  4. Made our Lord Jesus the central message of his sermons (v. 21)
  5. In constant contact with the Holy Spirit (vv. 22-23)
  6. Desired to finish the race and complete the task God had given him (v. 24)
  7. Lived innocently (v. 26)
  8. Always proclaimed the whole will of God, not just select topics (v. 27)
  9. Didn’t covet a luxurious lifestyle, but supplied my own needs by working as a tentmaker (vv. 33-34)
  10. Worked hard to be charitable to everyone (v. 35)

Because Paul lived like this, he had the moral authority to call these elders to live a similar lifestyle. He challenged the Ephesian pastors to:

  • Keep watch over yourselves
  • Keep watch over the flock
  • Stay in tune with the Holy Spirit’s oversight
  • Shepherd the Church
  • Remember the Church is the Bride of Christ (v. 28)
  • Be on your guard! (v. 31)

If you are a pastor, pay attention to these words!

If you love your pastor, help him or her stay true to these words!


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