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?” 

Around, Awake, Aware

Fathers DayThe statistics on fatherless homes are quite alarming:

  • 63 percent of teen suicides are from fatherless homes;
  • 90 percent of homeless children and runaways are from fatherless homes; and
  • 71 percent of all high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.

Since the latest numbers tell us that 40% of babies are now born to unwed mothers, we could have a potential societal collapse looming! But there is good news: It’s not too late to do something about this. We—the men in the Church—can make a difference. A father has life-changing power. Not simply someone who is a biological father, but someone who will step into a fatherly role to invest in a person’s life.

God chose David His servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep He brought him to be the shepherd of His people Jacob, of Israel His inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (Psalm 78:70-72)

God is looking for men who are His servants; men who don’t want to plan their own course, but who say, “I am Your servant; use me however You see best.”

David was given a ragtag bunch of men, which the Bible describes as “in distress, in debt or discontented” (1 Samuel 22:2). With integrity and skill David poured into their lives, so that by the end of his life this ragtag group became heroes (see 2 Samuel 23:8-39).

Throughout Scripture God calls men to step into the lives of the fatherless. These distressed, indebted, discontented children of today need a father who is:

  • Around physically—Ephesians 6:2 (it’s hard to honor an absentee father)
  • Awake emotionally—Ephesians 6:4a (one who won’t exasperate them)
  • Aware spiritually—Ephesians 6:4b (one who will bring them up in…the Lord)

We can be a part of reversing the downward slide of our culture.

Hear me, God-fearing men: countless distressed, fatherless kids could become our generation’s mighty warriors because of your investment! 

Links & Quotes

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Fellas, you need to check this out: 5 More Things Men Should Do To Protect Their Marriage.

This is an amazing admission from a medical doctor who is also an abortion provider: “If a woman with a serious illness―heart disease, say, or diabetes―gets pregnant, the abortion procedure may be as dangerous for her as going through pregnancy … with diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, even breast cancer, the chance that pregnancy will make the disease worse is no greater than the chance that the disease will either stay the same or improve. And medical technology has advanced to a point where even women with diabetes and kidney disease can be seen through a pregnancy safely by a doctor who knows what he’s doing. We’ve come a long way since my mother’s time…. The idea of abortion to save the mothers’ life is something that people cling to because it sounds noble and pure―but medically speaking, it probably doesn’t exist. It’s a real stretch of our thinking.” ―Dr. Don Sloan, M.D.

“The Word says, ‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world’ (1 John 2:15). Jesus warned, ‘Beware of covetousness: for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses’ (Luke 12:15). Things—our possessions—can tie us down to this world. While heaven and hell prepare for war, we go shopping. Eternal values are at stake! The end of all we know is near—and we are busy playing with our toys!” —David Wilkerson

“The blood of Christ doesn’t cover your sins, conceal your sins, postpone or diminish your sins.  It takes away your sins, once and for all! So…since you are saved, you can serve!” Read more from Max Lucado in Saved To Serve.

Dr. Tim Elmore writes about 2 essential ingredients to form a young leader. You should read the whole post, but the two ingredients are quite surprising: problems and empowerment.

[VIDEO] An excellent explanation on what sources are used to determine the text of the Bible―

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?

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