A Double Portion

“I am convinced that we don’t get a double portion of God’s Spirit by watching Elijah walk away while standing at Jericho. When we choose to remain behind, we also leave behind all that God desires to do in us and for us and through us. If we want to inherit a double portion of the spirit of Elijah, we need to walk in the steps of Elijah until he leaves no more footprints. …

“Don’t wait to be asked—volunteer. Volunteer to go forward. Volunteer to go further. Volunteer to go harder. You cannot pioneer out of obligation. It is not an adventure if it is not your choice. You have to want it. You have to want more. If you are going to be greedy, this is the right place to be greedy. Want everything God has for you. Want more than others think you can obtain. Why settle for a single portion if a double portion can be yours for the asking? …

“Perhaps the reason so few of us have received a double portion of God’s Spirit is that the lives we have chosen require so little of God because they require so little of us. … I want to live the kind of life that cannot be lived without the fullness of Christ in my life.” —Erwin McManus, in The Last Arrow (emphasis added)

7 Bible Study Ideas From D.L. Moody

Pleasure & ProfitAs I read D.L. Moody’s book Pleasure & Profit In Bible Study, I made note of several ideas that could stimulate a great Bible study. Check out my review of this book by clicking here, then check out these great study-starters:

“If you are impatient, sit down quietly and commune with Job. If you are strong-headed, read of Moses and Peter. If you are weak-kneed, look at Elijah. If there is no song in your heart, listen to David. If you are a politician, read Daniel. If you are getting sordid, read Isaiah. If you are chilly, read of the beloved disciple. If your faith is low, read Paul. If you are getting lazy, watch James. If you are losing sight of the future, read in Revelation of the promised land.” —Richard Baxter 

“Every chapter [of Mark] but the first, seventh, eighth and fourteenth begins with ‘And,’ as if there was no pause in Christ’s ministry.”

“Matthew begins with Abraham; Mark with Malachi; Luke with John the Baptist; but John with God Himself. Matthew sets forth Christ as the Jew’s Messiah. Mark as the active worker. Luke as a man. John as a personal Savior.”

“[In John’s Gospel] the word repent does not occur once, but the word believe occurs ninety-eight times.”

“Dr. A. T. Pierson says: Let the introduction cover five P’s; place where written; person by whom written; people to whom written; purpose for which written; period at which written.” 

“Some time ago a man wanted to take my Bible home to get a few things out of it, and when it came back I found this noted in it:

  • Justification, a change of state, a new standing before God.
  • Repentance, a change of mind, a new mind about God.
  • Regeneration, a change of nature, a new heart from God.
  • Conversion, a change of life, a new life for God.
  • Adoption, a change of family, new relationship towards God.
  • Sanctification, a change of service, separation unto God.
  • Glorification, a new state, a new condition with God.”

“I was wonderfully blessed by taking the seven ‘Blesseds’ of the Revelation. … Or you may take the eight ‘overcomes’ in Revelation…. I have been greatly blessed by going through the ‘believings’ of John. Every chapter but two speaks of believing. … Take the six ‘precious’ things in Peter’s Epistles. And the seven ‘walks’ of the Epistle to the Ephesians. And the five ‘much mores’ of Romans 5. Or the two ‘receiveds’ of John 1. Or the seven ‘hearts’ in Proverbs 13, and especially an eighth. Or ‘the fear of the Lord’ in Proverbs.” 

“No scripture is exhausted by a single explanation. The flowers of God’s garden bloom, not only double, but seven-fold: they are continually pouring forth fresh fragrance.” —Charles Spurgeon

Thursdays With Oswald—Solitude

This is a weekly 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.

Oswald Chambers

Solitude 

     Solitude with God repairs the damage done by the fret and noise and clamor of the world. … The disaster of shallowness ultimately follows the spiritual life that takes not the shining way upon the Mount of God. Power from on high has the Highest as its source, and the solitudes of the Highest must never be departed from, else that power will cease. 

From Christian Disciplines 

We live in a go, go faster, then go some more world. Everything is urgency and immediacy. It is vital for Christians to find times of solitude to tune out the clamor and tune in to God’s Voice.

The prophet Elijah was one who learned that God was not in the noise, but in the still, small Voice (see 1 Kings 19:1-13). Are we quieting ourselves enough to hear His Voice? If we don’t, we run the risk of spiritual burnout, just as Elijah experienced. Find Make some time for solitude this week.

Bible-Taught Or Spirit-Taught

A.W. Tozer“We must be willing to obey if we would know the true inner meaning of the teachings of Christ and the apostles. I believe this view prevailed in every revival that ever came to the church during her long history. Indeed a revived church may be distinguished from a dead one by the attitude of its members toward the truth. The dead church holds to the shell of truth without surrendering the will to it, while the church that wills to do God’s will is immediately blessed with a visitation of spiritual powers. Theological facts are like the altar of Elijah on Carmel before the fire came, correct, properly laid out, but altogether cold. When the heart makes the ultimate surrender, the fire falls and true facts are transmuted into spiritual truth that transforms, enlightens, sanctifies. The church or the individual that is Bible taught without being Spirit taught (and there are many of them) has simply failed to see that truth lies deeper than the theological statement of it.” —A.W. Tozer

What do you think, pastor? Is your church Bible taught, or Spirit taught? Is there a difference? If so, how can you move your church into this deeper place?

Painful Love

Sometimes pastors don’t want to say “No” to someone in their congregation because they don’t want to hurt them. Sometimes pastors don’t confront someone in their sinful choices because it seems “mean spirited” to do so.

David Wilkerson

David Wilkerson

Love must be tough. Love sometimes inflicts pain.

“Love inflicts pain, even as it does no harm (Romans 13:10). True love repeatedly disappoints, hurts, confronts, refuses, and disciplines. This is certainly how God has loved us, and we should not expect to love others without hurting them. Love hurts but does not harm. God’s minister bears the sword, but not in vain (v. 4) and with the hope that long-term health will come from short-term faithful wounds.” —Dick Brogden

“Elijah’s hatred for the sins of Israel sprang out of his very strong love for God’s people. He was not a people hater, only a sin hater. He was not a man of revenge, but rather a man whose heart yearned for Israel’s return to the Lord.” —David Wilkerson 

How Are You Running Today?

Ever noticed how often we use the word run in our everyday clichés?

  • I gotta run a few errands.
  • I’m running the kids to soccer practice.
  • Our funds are running a little low.
  • We’re running a bit late.
  • I’m running out of energy.
  • My patience is running thin.
  • Can’t talk now, I have to run!

My question is: how are you running?

Elijah ran twice. Once in the power of God, and once in fear.

When he ran in fear, he became completely exhausted to the point where he became depressed and suicidal. When he ran in God’s power, there was no tiredness.

When he ran in fear, he forgot God and focused totally on his own needs. When he ran in God’s power, only God was exalted.

So how are you running today? Are you running in fear of disappointing someone… dropping the ball… losing the job… falling short… losing face?

Or are you running in God’s power… doing the things that draw you closer to Him… running to bring others to Christ… exalting God?

You will be running this week. The bigger question is how are you doing it?

Do It Quickly

Sometimes when you read about an incredible prophet like Elijah, don’t you think, “I wish God would use me like that?” I mean, why not? Was there something different about him? Even James said in the New Testament that Elijah was “just as human as we are.”

So why could use God use him so powerfully? Why not me?

I think the key is in how quickly Elijah responded when God spoke. Check this out —

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah…. So he did what the Lord had told him.

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath….” So he went to Zarephath.

The word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go present yourself to Ahab….” So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.

See the pattern? God speaks, and in the very next verse Elijah acts.

No delays.

No excuses.

No planning.

No extra prayer.

No companions.

Just obedience.

The next time you read your Bible and you hear the word of the Lord speak, act on it immediately.

The next time your pastor speaks the word of the Lord to you on Sunday, put it into action on Monday.

As James also said, let’s not just be hearers of the word of the Lord, let’s be immediate doers of the word.

Do it quickly and watch God begin to work through your life powerfully.

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