Links & Quotes

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“Why, do you not believe there may be as much pride in rags as in an alderman’s gown? Is it not just as possible for a man to be proud in a dust cart, as if he rode in her Majesty’s chariot? A man may be just as proud with half a yard of ground as Alexander with all his kingdoms, and may be just as lifted up with a few pence as Croesus with all his treasure. Pray against pride, dear friends, wherever you may be. Pride will grow on a dunghill, as well as in the king’s garden. Pray against pride and vainglory, and God give you grace to keep it under!” —Charles Spurgeon

“How numerous are the tears of unbelief! We manufacture troubles for ourselves by anticipating future ills which may never come…. We get supposing what we should do if such-and-such a thing occurred, which thing God has determined never shall occur. We imagine ourselves in positions where providence never intends to place us, and so we feel a thousand trials in fearing one.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Usually, an adolescent wants ‘freedom’ but not ‘responsibility.’ Real maturity and genuine leadership are only transferred from adult to student, however, when kids receive both of these elements. We’ve not truly helped a young person mature until we’ve passed on ownership.” Reader from Tim Elmore’s post The Single Most Important Ingredient for Maturity.

Eric Metaxas points out that Planned Parenthood is trying to clean-up the image of its founder Margaret Sanger. But the facts about Ms. Sanger are quite alarming.

Ever feel like you are going through hell? Check out what David Wilkerson says in his post Out Of The Belly Of Hell.

The new HumanitarianismMurray Vassar shows us what the new humanitarianism looks like. Sadly true.

[VIDEO] Bobby Conway has a really good answer to the question what’s the big deal about premarital sex—

Harsh Words

Keep it closedThis is an interesting exchange between God and His people―

God says, “You have said harsh things[*] against Me.” 

“What have we said against You,” the people asked. 

“You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God…’” (Malachi 3:13-14).

We think we know better than God.

We tell God how we think it should be.

We complain that God is letting some people get away with bad stuff, and He’s not rewarding quickly enough those who are doing good stuff.

We think God doesn’t care if we do things our own way.

We think we can better manage our lives than He can.

We act like we’re in charge.

This is speaking harsh, arrogant, rude, terrible words against God. It’s really saying, “I know better, so I should be God.” This not only removes God’s blessing, but invites His punishment.

Ouch! It’s good to examine our thoughts and words to make sure we aren’t thinking or speaking harsh things against God.

[*] Some other translations say things like “You have spoken arrogantly against Me” and “You have said terrible things about Me” and “You have spoken rude words to Me.”

Links & Quotes

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“God make you—you that do little for Him—to humble yourselves before Him, and to begin the next year with this determination, that knowing the terrors of the Lord, you will persuade men, and labour, and strive to bring sinners to the Cross of Christ.” —Charles Spurgeon

Something to think about as you read your Bible: Don’t Just Read The Bible For Yourself.

I agree with Seth Godin, in his post In Search Of Arrogance, that people should think of you as arrogant every once in awhile.

Wow…

Family government

“Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you.” —C.S. Lewis

“God knows you better than you know you and has reached this verdict: He loves you still! No discovery will disillusion Him. No rebellion will dissuade Him. He loves you with an everlasting love. God’s love—never failing, never ending.” —Max Lucado

“God never hastens and He never tarries. He works His plans out in His own way, and we either lie like clogs on His hands or we assist Him by being as clay in the hands of the potter.” —Oswald Chambers

[VIDEO] Ken Davis always makes me laugh—

10 Quotes On Humility From “Humility”

HumilityI thoroughly enjoyed Dr. David Bobb’s book Humility (you can read my full book review by clicking here). The book was partially a challenge for us to cultivate this virtue in our individual lives and in the fabric of our nation. So Dr. Bobb uses several biographies of notable Americans to illustrate the power of humility. These are some of the best quotes in the book on humility.

“Healthy pride is tied to truth, and pride devoid of merit is arrogance. Humility’s opposite that is arrogance, not pride. … The personal significance of this idea is radical: to be truly great, one has to be humble. The political significance of this idea is profound: to be truly and enduringly great, a nation’s hallmark must be humility.” 

“In reality, humility is strength, not weakness. It is the crown of the virtues. Humility enables courage and points wisdom in the right direction. It is the backbone of temperance, and it makes love possible.”

“Humility offers the promise of excellence, but it does not guarantee power when power is the proud domination of human beings. The power promised by humility is power over oneself in self-government. It is much harder to achieve. Humility’s strength is hidden, obscured by our blindness in the age of arrogance in which we live.” 

“Instead of responding to God’s love and drawing closer to Him, the first human beings retreated into the recesses of their hearts. In so doing they became less themselves—less like God created them to be. They departed from their nature, which was perfect until they turned from God. Unhealthy pride pushes man away from God; it destroys his ability to cling to his Creator as he should, not in miserable self-debasement, but in worshipful humility.”

“True humility enables true compassion.” 

“The key was not creating a government in which a leader could feign goodness and get away with it, but rather in creating one in which goodness could not be counted on, but was nevertheless sought. … America’s Founders knew the importance of humility and desired to be humble, but they also wished to make their mark. They were ambitious. They wanted to be great, but only if greatness came not at the expense of goodness.”

“The truly great person will be a servant. No less committed to excellence in everything, and still as dedicated to the highest achievements, the magnanimous man as servant can accomplish even more than when he tries to do it alone. Service is not servility. Meekness is not weakness. Humility is an essential part of true greatness of soul.”

“Contrary to popular misconceptions, modesty is not the underestimation of one’s worth. Rather, it acts as a restraint against the inordinate desire for recognition. While everyone desires recognition, a modest person quells the longing for fleeting fame. Modesty checks the impulse to claim credit and crave praise. It is the anti-vanity.”

“As a virtue, humility has an ordering quality to it. Arrogance has the opposite effect, as it loosens the grip of self-control and throws a human soul into disorder. … Ambition is not evil itself, but when an individual lets ambition run wild, it has the tendency to take over his soul. When this happens, a person loses sight of limitations. He is deluded into thinking himself unbeatable. Arrogance gives rise to unchecked ambition and begins a vicious cycle. Unchecked ambition leads to make those in its thrall more and more arrogant. And the arrogant continue to grow in misdirected ambition. This cycle—arrogance feeding ambition, and ambition giving way to more arrogance—can produce a tyrant. … Ambition is like pride in one decisive respect. Held in check, it is immensely important to the accomplishment of high and difficult tasks. Left unchecked, it is a debilitating force. Pride in check can be balanced with humility. One can be properly proud of some accomplishment and at the same time humble. … Like healthy pride, there is also worthy ambition.”

“Humility is a virtue prerequisite to prudence. If one lacks humility, the advancement of self or the substitution of an immoral end can overwhelm the pursuit of a just end. … Prudence allows the statesman to consider all alternatives and to make a decision not based upon who garners glory but upon the proper demands of the situation at hand. Prudence requires the submersion of one’s ego.”

No Self-Made Men

I get so tired of people calling themselves “a self-made man.” There is no such thing! It is equally as distasteful when pastors pat themselves on the back talking about “the ministry I have built.”

Dick Brogden

Dick Brogden

Here are important words to remember—

“Wherever we go in ministry and mission, we either benefit from the labor of others or we contribute to the future benefit of those that will follow. If we see fruit, we can be assured that it is not solely due to our dedication or vision but because others went ahead of us and did the hard work. Often prayer accomplishes this hard work. Regularly those on the ground preceding us did this hard work.” (Dick Brogden)

And this—

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)

What do you think?

Show Us The Way

Show Us The WayI have often said that one of the most arrogant, short-sighted prayers we can ever pray is this: “Lord, please bless what I’m about to do.”

Why is this arrogance? Because I’m presuming to know what’s best. I am saying, “God, this is what I have decided is the best thing to do, and I want You to bless it.” In reality, God has already decided what He is going to do, and He will bless me if I do that.

Listen to what God says—

“This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is His name: ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

I love that promise: Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know

This is as true for me personally as it is corporately for the church I get to pastor. So this Sunday I am taking time to talk to the congregation of Calvary Assembly of God about what I believe God is calling us to do. If you are in the area, I’d love to have you join us.

Whether you can attend on Sunday or not, this is a great reminder for all of us. Let’s not tell God our puny plans and ask Him to bless them, but let’s ask Him to show us great and unsearchable things that He is blessing so that we can get to work doing those things. You will be blessed by doing what God is doing.

The Domineering Pastor

ArroganceI wrote to the church, but Diotrephes who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. (3 John 9)

The King James Versions says that Diotrephes loveth to have the preeminence. He loved his title, his position of authority, and having everything in the church flow through him.

He wanted not only to approve who spoke in the church, but even with whom church people could socialize outside of church. He wielded his positional authority like a sword and cut off people from the fellowship of the church if they didn’t join lockstep with him.

He used fear and intimidation to demand people follow him, and wouldn’t receive a loving letter from the Apostle John. To counteract any who would question him, Diotrephes engaged in gossip and character assassination of any he perceived to be a threat to his position as pastor.

For shame! 

This type of attitude has no place in the Body of Christ, especially among the pastorate! Jesus came to serve, and taught us to do likewise. Jesus didn’t snuff out the smoldering wick or stomp on the bruised reed, but ministered lovingly to all. Peter told shepherds to never use their position to lord it over others.

My fellow pastor, having the title of pastor doesn’t mean I’m the smartest person in the room, or that I have all the answers. I am one member of the Body of Christ. Each member of the Body needs all the other members of the Body. I should humbly serve, never demanding allegiance to me or blind obedience to my wishes. I should never try to hide behind my title, but be the most transparent, the most willing to admit my mistakes, and the first to forgive and to ask forgiveness.

Lord, guard my heart against the spirit of Diotrephes!!

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