12 Quotes From “The Love Of God”

The Love Of GodOswald Chambers has a way of writing about biblical truths that satisfy both the head and the heart. You can read my review of Chambers’ book The Love Of God by clicking here. Below are just a few of the many, many quotes I highlighted in this amazing book.

“In the future, when trial and difficulties await you, do not be fearful, whatever and whoever you may lose faith in, let not this faith slip from you—God is Love; whisper it not only to your heart in its hour of darkness, but here in your corner of God’s earth and man’s great city, live in the belief of it; preach it by your sweetened, chastened, happy life; sing it in consecrated moments of peaceful joy, sing until the world around you ‘is wrought to sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not.’ The world does not bid you sing, but God does. Song is the sign of an unburdened heart; then sing your songs of love unbidden, ever rising higher and higher into a fuller conception of the greatest, grandest fact on the stage of Time—God is Love.”

“God did not create man as a puppet to please a despotic idea of His own, He created us out of the superabundant flow of overflowing love and goodness, He created us susceptible of all the blessedness which He had ordained for us.”

“Drink deep and full of the love of God and you will not demand the impossible from earth’s loves, and the love of wife and child, of husband and friend, will grow holier and healthier and simpler and grander.”

“Love is difficult to define, but the working definition I would like to give is that ‘Love is the sovereign preference of my person for another person, embracing everyone and everything in that preference.’”

“The majority of us are unnoticed and unnoticeable people. If we take the extraordinary experience as a model for the Christian life, we erect a wrong standard without knowing it.” 

“God will use any number of extraordinary things to chisel the detail of His ‘lily work’ in His children. He will use people who are like hedgehogs, He will use difficult circumstances, the weather; He will use anything and everything, no matter what it is, and we shall always know when God is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.”

“A Christian is one in whom the indwelling Spirit of God shines out all the time.”

“Our Lord did not say to His disciples: ‘I have had a most successful time on earth, I have addressed thousands of people and been the means of their salvation; now you go and do the same kind of thing.’ He said: ‘If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet.’ We try to get out of it by washing the feet of those who are not of our own set. We will wash the heathen’s feet, the feet in the slums; but fancy washing my brother’s feet! my wife’s! my husband’s! the feet of the minister of my church! Our Lord said one another’s feet. It is in the ordinary commonplace circumstances that the unconscious light of God is seen.”

“The reason we are going through the things we are is that God wants to know whether He can make us good bread with which to feed others. The stuff of our lives, not simply of our talk, is to be the nutriment of those who know us. … It is in the solitary life that we prove whether we are willing to be made the unadvertised life for the community to which we belong—whether we are willing to be made bread or to be simply the advertisement for bread? If we are to be made bread, then we must not be surprised if we are treated in the way Our Lord was treated.”

“For a man to lay down his life is not to lay it down in a sudden crisis, such as death, but to lay it down in deliberate expenditure as one would lay out a pound note. Not—‘Here it is, take it out in one huge martyrdom and be done with it.’ It is a continual substitution whereby we realize that we have another day to spend out for Jesus Christ, another opportunity to prove ourselves His friends.”

“The test of spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, there is something wrong. … Spiritual selfishness makes us want to stay on the mount; we feel so good, as if we could do anything—talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay there. But there must be the power to descend; the mountain is not the place for us to live, we were built for the valleys. … We never live for the glory of God on the mount, we see His glory there, but we do not live for His glory there; it is in the valley that we live for the glory of God. … The reason we have to live in the valley is that the majority of people live there, and if we are to be of use to God in the world we must be useful from God’s standpoint, not from our own standpoint or the standpoint of other people. … As disciples of Jesus we have to learn not only what Our Lord is like on the Mount of Transfiguration, but what He is like in the valley of humiliation, where everything is giving the lie to His power, where the disciples are powerless, and where He is not doing anything.”

“We shall find that the spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something but to make us something.”

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & viewing from today…

As the fellowship I grew up in celebrates its 100th anniversary, I love reading quotes like this: “Worldwide, 95% of Assemblies of God adherents lived outside the United States in 2013. In the U.S., over 41% of Assemblies of God adherents were non-white. In the U.S., the white constituency has decreased by 34,922 over the past ten years, while the number of non-white constituency has increased by 433,217.

An excellent post for unmarried people, and the friends who care about them: 4 Lies Single People Need To Stop Believing.

[VIDEO] Millions of dollars in “humanitarian aid” for the Palestinian people has been hijacked by Hamas to build tunnels into Israel for their terrorist schemes.

“God’s sovereignty means that His design for us cannot be frustrated. Nothing, absolutely nothing, befalls those who love God and are called according to His purpose, except what is for our deepest and highest good (Romans 8:28; Psalm 84:11).” —John Piper

“Since God does in fact address man in His Word, He obviously regards him as addressable in spite of the fact that man as a sinner closes his ears and heart to Him.” —Karl Barth

Your gift makes you a servant, not a master.” Read more in: Use Your Knowledge To Serve Others.

“In a time when everything in the world seems to be vanity, God is depending on us to proclaim that He is the great Reality, and that only He can give meaning to all other realities.” —A.W. Tozer

A Leader’s Nudge And Covering

Nudge & coverLeadership carries a heavy responsibility. I often paraphrase what the Apostle James wrote, “Not many of you should presume to be leaders because you know leaders will be judged more strictly” (see James 3:1).

Consider what was said to Jeroboam, the king of Israel: “And God will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit” (1 Kings 14:16, emphasis added).

A leader’s action has consequences not only for himself, but for all the people under his care. Sure, some Israelites were going to sin regardless of how Jeroboam lived, but his sinful lifestyle gave a nudge to those who took their cues from him. In other words, Jeroboam’s sin made it that much easier for others to sin.

I’m sure there were some Israelites who didn’t follow Jeroboam into sin, yet they were now exposed to God’s “jealous anger” (1 Kings 14:22) because Jeroboam’s sin removed the covering of God’s blessing on those northern tribes.

These principles still hold true today for me as a dad, a husband, a pastor, a citizen of Cedar Springs. And they hold true for you in your role as a spouse, a parent, an employer or employee, a Christian. Your sin may be the nudge to others that causes them to sin; your sin will remove God’s covering and expose people to His judgment.

Leaders best serve by staying wholly committed to God. 

It’s only as I am wholly—and holy—His that I can nudge people toward righteousness and preserve the covering of God’s blessing.

May our lives never arouse God’s righteous anger, but may we be a blessing by wholly serving Him all the days of our lives.

A View To Pleasing God

I read an article this week 10 Bad Reasons To Be A Pastor. For the most part it was right on-target.

Even if we have the right reason (singular, not plural) for being a pastor—namely, that God called us—we can still battle discouragement over what is or isn’t happening in our ministry. I am convinced that much of this discouragement comes from listening to the wrong applause.

Chrysostom

John Chrysostom

John Chrysostom, a man very reluctant to answer God’s call on his life to enter the pastorate, wrote—

“Let, therefore, the man who undertakes the strain of teaching never give heed to the good opinion of the outside world, nor be dejected in soul on account of such persons; but laboring at his sermons so that he may please God, (For let this alone be his rule and determination, in discharging this best kind of workmanship, not acclamation, nor good opinions,) if, indeed, he be praised by men, let him not repudiate their applause, and when his hearers do not offer this, let him not seek it, let him not be grieved. For a sufficient consolation in his labors, and one greater than all, is when he is able to be conscious of arranging and ordering his teaching with a view to pleasing God. (emphasis added)

Our view must always be to pleasing God. It matters little whether humans hands applaud us or not. We must live, and preach, and discharge our pastoral duties solely for the applause of nail-scarred hands. If our Master says, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” what does it matter what anyone else says?

Bright Lamps

photoPastor, please carefully consider these words from Charles Bridge (1794-1869)—

“It is indeed a ‘neglect of the gift of God that is in us,’ to trifle either in the study or in the pulpit. God will bless our endeavors—not our idleness. Our Master, and our people for our Master’s sake, have a just claim to our best time and talents, our most matured thoughts, and most careful studies. To venture upon this infinite work of God with slender furniture, proves a guilty unconcern to our high responsibility.” 

These words remind me of Christ’s words at the end of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Luke 12): Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their Master to return.

We cannot be idle. Even our “down time” should be preparation time for renewed ministry.

Don’t neglect the gift God has given you to minister to others, to glorify Him, and to be a servant working to hear his Master say, “Well done!”

Preaching Christ

My dear pastor, please prayerfully consider these words from Charles Spurgeon, and allow the Holy Spirit to help you answer the question: “Am I preaching Christ crucified?”

C.H. Spurgeon“Let me very briefly tell you what I believe preaching Christ and Him crucified is. My friends, I do not believe it is preaching Christ and Him crucified, to give people a batch of philosophy every Sunday morning and evening, and neglect the truths of this Holy Book. I do not believe it is preaching Christ and Him crucified, to leave out the main cardinal doctrines of the Word of God, and preach a religion which is all a mist and a haze, without any definite truths whatever. I take it that man does not preach Christ and Him crucified, who can get through a sermon without mentioning Christ’s name once; nor does that man preach Christ and Him crucified, who leaves out the Holy Spirit’s work, who never says a word about the Holy Spirit, so that indeed the hearers might say, ‘We do not so much as know whether there be a Holy Spirit.’”

—C.H. Spurgeon

It is so vital that we preach the full counsel of the Word of God boldly. Don’t be afraid of the reaction of those in your congregation. Rather, preach to hear Christ say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Servanthood

ServanthoodThis morning we wrapped up our series called Life Togetherwhere we looked at the one another phrases in the New Testament that related to the Church—with the thought of serving one another.

I think this 1-minute video from John Maxwell captures this thought about servanthood well…

From The Personalized Promise Bible we looked at this prayer that comes from the servanthood example of Jesus in John 13:13-17

Jesus is my Mentor and the Lord of my life. He has left me an example of the greatest servitude the world has ever known. I will do as he did and wash the feet of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I will see the real good and benefit of others through humble service. With a tender heart of compassion, I will take the time to do good to those around me. Through this generosity of service and willingness to give of myself to others, no matter how humbling the service may be, I store up for myself favor upon favor, and blessing upon blessing.

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