Susanna Wesley On Prayer

Susanna Wesley

Some powerful quotes about prayer from Susanna Wesley—

“Make plain to me that no circumstance nor time of life can occur but I may find something either spoken by our Lord Himself or by His Spirit in the prophets or apostles that will direct my conduct, if I am but faithful to You and my own soul.”

“Help me, O Lord, to make a true use of all disappointments and calamities in this life, in such a way that they may unite my heart more closely with You. Cause them to separate my affections from worldly things and inspire my soul with more vigor in the pursuit of true happiness.”

“I thank You, O God, for the relief and satisfaction of mind that come with the firm assurance that You govern the world; for the patience and resignation to your providence that are afforded as I reflect that even the tumultuous and irregular actions of the sinful are, nevertheless, under Your direction, who are wise, good, and omnipotent, and have promised to make all things work together for good to those who love You.”

“Enable me to keep my heart with all diligence, my thoughts and affections, for out of them are the issues of life. How often have I offended in this kind! Cleanse me from secret faults, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Help me to guard against vain and unnecessary words, and to speak of You, my God, with that reverence, that humility, that gravity that I ought.”

“O God, I thank You because, when I have been for some time interrupted in my work and my thoughts of You have been diverted, I have found how pleasing it is to my mind to feel the motions of Your Spirit quickening me and exciting me to return.”

“I give You praise, oh God, for a well-spent day. But I am yet unsatisfied, because I do not enjoy enough of You. I would have my soul more closely united to You by faith and love. I would love You above all things. You, who has made me, knows my desires, my expectations. My joys all center in You and it is You Yourself that I desire; it is Your favor, Your acceptance, the communications of Your grace that I earnestly wish for, more than anything in the world.”

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…

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein

The danger of redefining marriage: How The Decline In Marriage Is Fueling Inequality.

An important post from Tim Elmore for parents and teachers: How Stress Disables Empathy In Students.

My cousin, Dick Brogden, has an amazing year-long devotional book called Live Dead Joy. Get the Kindle edition now for only $2.

“How may I tell when satan hinders me? I think you may tell thus: first by the object. satan’s object in hindering us is to prevent our glorifying God. If anything has happened to you which has prevented your growing holy, useful, humble, and sanctified, then you may trace that to satan.” —Charles Spurgeon

“It is good to come to the understanding that while God wants us to be holy and Spirit-filled, He does not expect us to look like Abraham or to play the harp like David or to have the same spiritual insight given to Paul. All of those former heroes of the faith are dead. You are alive in your generation.” —A.W. Tozer

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.” —C.S. Lewis

Halel

HalelThe last five psalms all start and end on the same note: “Praise the Lord!” This is actually the Hebrew word halel. In the English language it’s usually translated praise, but it can also mean boast about—our God has a lot about which I can boast!

In fact, there is so much to boast about concerning God, that the first halel psalm opens with, “I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (Psalm 146:2).

Here are some of the other boast-worthy things these halel psalms list:

  • God upholds the cause of the oppressed
  • God gives food to the hungry
  • God sets prisoners free
  • God gives sight to the blind
  • God lifts up those bowed down
  • God loves the righteous
  • God watches over the alien
  • God sustains the orphan and widow
  • God gathers exiles
  • God heals the brokenhearted
  • God binds up our wounds
  • God knows all the stars by name
  • God sustains the humble
  • God cares for His creation
  • God delights in those who fear Him
  • God strengthens and blesses His people
  • God gives peace
  • God satisfies
  • God displays His splendor for all to see
  • God takes delight in His people
  • God crowns the humble with salvation
  • God gives us His Word

Halel! Just like the psalmist, I will boast about my Lord all my life; I will continually sing my boasts about Him all of my days!

5 Quotes From Habakkuk

HabakkukNestled among the so-called minor prophets of the Old Testament, Habakkuk has some of my favorite verses. It’s only three chapters long, but it is packed with amazing promises!

“The uncompromisingly righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness” (2:4, AMP)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (2:14, NIV)

“I have heard all about You, Lord. I am filled with awe by Your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as You did in years gone by.” (3:2, NLT)

“Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true. It may seem slow in coming, but wait for it; it will certainly take place, and it will not be delayed.” (2:3, GNB)

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the victorious God of my salvation!” (3:18, AMP)

The Moral Foundations Of Life (book review)

The Moral Foundations Of LifeI have written extensively on how much Oswald Chambers’ writings have impacted my life and thinking. In his book The Moral Foundations Of Life, Chambers himself discusses how much a Christian’s thought life impacts the way that he lives. This book is a collection of lectures (or as Chambers called them “talks”) on the thought life of Christians.

Two quotes from David Lambert, a friend of Chambers and a man who helped get his books published, sets the stage for this outstanding book—

“One of Chambers’ primary goals as a teacher was to challenge Christians to think. An equally important objective was to encourage believers to act. In Chambers’ mind, the brain and the body were not enemies but allies in the effort to live a life that glorified God. …

“I see sometimes in London the preparations being made for the sure foundations of one of the great modern buildings to be erected there. Far below the surface-level men and machines toil patiently on work which soon will be hidden, but which alone will make the towering building secure. These Talks on Moral Foundations take us to that depth below the surface of our everyday life where the foundations are laid for enduring sainthood. They deal profoundly with such matters as Habit, Thinking, the Will, Behavior. The subject of Christian ethical obligation is of paramount importance in the thought life of today. The very basis of our religion, our moral and spiritual standing, is being challenged. Here will be found a valiant answer to the secular, skeptical and lawless questionings of our time.”

I could not have said it better myself! This is another outstanding book which all Christians should endeavor to read.

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:

Look For What’s Right

Cedar Springs PostI wrote a letter to the editor of The Cedar Springs Post in advance of this upcoming election.

Dear Editor:

It’s a simple fact: You find what you’re looking for. If you are looking for bad news, you will find something to criticize; if you are looking for good news, you will find something to compliment.

In this election cycle, I hear and read far too many candidates that are looking for the things that are wrong. Electing those candidates perpetuates bad news. Is everything perfect in Cedar Springs? In Michigan? In the United States? Of course not. But there is a lot that is right. I’m much more interested in focusing on those things.

The way to move our city, our state, and our country forward is to support those candidates that are focused on our strengths—on what’s right in our communities—and electing them into positions where they can help our strengths overcome our weaknesses.

Send a message this election cycle: Vote for the candidates that are looking for what’s good and right and strong.

Sincerely,

Craig T. Owens, City of Cedar Springs

Links & Quotes

Some good reading from today…

“The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.” —C.S. Lewis

Excellent post: How The Church Should Talk About Sex.

“As in our Lord’s life His teaching was always connected with healing, He would have the church also take a very deep interest in the bodily sorrows of the people as well as in their spiritual needs. It will be a very great pity if ever it should be thought that benevolence is divorced from Christianity.” —Charles Spurgeon

Eric Metaxas has a powerful call-to-action regarding the Houston government’s abuse of power in their subpoenas of pastor’s sermons. You can also sign a petition supporting free speech and freedom of religion at Houstonproblem.com.

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