The Closed Ear

“How much we lose by the closed ear! … Other speakers may win the ear of the multitude, but it is to God the Lord that the saint listens. His voice is powerful. Its tones are penetrating; its words attractive. God speaks as One entitled to be heard, expecting to be heard. He speaks with authority, waiting for our obedience to the heavenly voice.

A saint then is one who has listened to God; who has heard the words of peace from His lips; who has believed them; who has been reconciled; and who knows that he is so. Therefore he seeks to be holy. He hates his former folly. He does not return to it. He does not make his free pardon a reason for returning to it.

“Brethren, be consistent! Beware of sin, folly, unholiness of every kind. Be Christians out and out. Show that the peace you have received is a holy peace.” —Horatius Bonar, in Light & Truth—The Old Testament

12 Quotes From “Love Changes Everything”

Micah Berteau dismantles all of the false definitions of “love” the culture has concocted. Love Changes Everything is a great book! Check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Do not let your perception of reality shape God’s voice in your life. Rather, let God’s voice shape your reality.” 

“It is difficult to know God’s values when we keep telling Him ours.” 

“The world will always define love in a way that makes us thirst for a version that only benefits self.” 

“If the culture is going to be obsessed with the thought of love, we must become possessed by the truth of it.” 

“The dictionary defines a mirage as ‘something illusory, without substance or reality.’ Too often we find ourselves chasing an image mirage that has no substance or reality. We try to wear other people’s opinions, only to realize that’s the wrong measurement for our lives. Stop running after what you think you see and start running after what you know. Don’t chase an image mirage. Chase the Image Maker, Jesus Christ.” 

“Real love pushes you away from a cycle of sin. Authentic love encourages you not to sit on your calling. Perfect love casts out all fear because the love of God will cause you to leave all that is comfortable.” 

“God’s love does not equal God’s approval. … Love is not an approval to continue living a sinful life. Love is the power that possesses you to change everything. … Love is not a stamp of approval but a fire that consumes.” 

“Hosea was not becoming the culture, he was bringing love to a dark place. Jesus was a friend of sinners. How can we win a world that we are distanced from? We do not embrace immorality to reach people; that is a ridiculous idea. However, we are called to love all people and to be a light in the darkness. It is time to get out of the pews and show Jesus in the streets.” 

“Feelings are fleeting things that we buy into. Emotions then begin to disguise themselves as truth. When we start listening to our emotions, we even weigh them against the voice of God. It then becomes difficult to discern which voice is leading you—your own or God’s?” 

“Do not let what’s happened in your past stop you from receiving God in your present.” 

“Loneliness is not the result of being alone but of not letting God fill that missing void. … No other person can fill the emptiness that plagues our souls. Don’t put that pressure on another human being. Fulfillment is the job of the Almighty; submission is our job.” 

“Love does not magically change things in your life. It does not do the work for you. Love is an altering agent that must be received and applied. Love has to be in charge. Once this love is in you, then it can do work within you. Once it is working within you, it must come out of you. You are not loved just so you can walk around being loved. You are loved so you can be love. The places where love does not reach go unchanged.” 

8 More Quotes From “Whisper”

In Whisper, Mark Batterson gives us seven love languages which God uses to speak to us (check out my review of Whisper here). Mark always does a masterful job of weaving together Scripture, quotes from other authors, historical and his own personal accounts. Here are some of the quotes he shared from others.

“The voice of the Spirit is as gentle as a zephyr. So gentle that unless you are living in a perfect communion with God, you never hear it.” —Oswald Chambers

“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” —Blaise Pascal

“The best translation of the Hebrew in Genesis 1 was not ‘and God said’ but ‘and God sang.’” —Leonard Bernstein

“How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos!” —G.K. Chesterton

“Vocatus atque non vacates, Deus aderit. Bidden or not bidden, God is here.” —Desiderius Erasmus

“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” —Martin Luther

“No crooked table legs or ill-fitting drawers ever, I dare swear, came out of the Carpenter’s shop at Nazareth.” —Dorothy Sayers

For more quotes from Whisper, click here.

7 Quotes From “Whisper”

Mark Batterson’s newest book—Whisper—is all about learning to hear what God is speaking to you. Check out my review of Whisper by clicking here.

“Is God’s voice the loudest voice in your life? That’s the question. If the answer is no, that’s the problem.”

“If you aren’t willing to listen to everything God has to say, eventually you won’t hear anything He has to say.”

“When someone speaks in a whisper, you have to get very close to hear. … And that’s what God wants.”

“God is great not just because nothing is too big; God is great because nothing is too small. God doesn’t just know you by name; He has a unique name for you. And He speaks a language that is unique to you.”

“We worry way too much about what people think, which is evidence that we don’t worry enough about what God thinks. It’s the fear of people that keeps us from hearing and heeding the voice of God. We let the expectations of others override the desires God has put in our hearts.”

“Every thought that fires across our eighty-six billion neurons is a tribute to the God who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. But when we have a thought that is better than our best thoughts on our best day, it might be from God. That doesn’t make it equal with Scripture, but it’s a step above a ‘good idea.’ Is it easy differentiating between good ideas and God ideas? No, it’s not. And again, even what we perceive to be God ideas must be screened by Scripture. But when God gives us ideas that we don’t believe originated with us, we must be careful to give credit where credit is due. And it’s our job to take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.”

“If your life is off-key, maybe it’s because you’ve been deafened by the negative self-talk that doesn’t let God get a word in edgewise. Maybe you’ve listened to the voice of shame so long that you can’t believe anything else about yourself. Or maybe it’s the enemy’s voice of condemnation that speaks lies about who you really are.”

More quotes from Whisper coming soon!

Whisper (book review)

Does God still speak to people today? If He does, how can you learn how to hear His voice? Mark Batterson has some answers to those questions in his newest book Whisper—How to hear the voice of God.

As he usually does, Mark weaves Whisper together with sources from biblical accounts, personal life lessons, modern-day findings in various scientific fields, and insights from other noted authors across the spectrum of literature. One sentence in the opening pages sums up the value of this book: “Learning how to hear the voice of God is the solution to a thousand problems!”

Whisper is divided into two broad sections. In the first section, you will learn the power that is available to anyone who will learn how to listen to God’s voice. In the second section, Mark shares the seven languages God uses as He communicates with us. Some of these “love languages” will resonate more with you than others, depending on how God has hardwired you, but all seven languages together give all of us a comprehensive picture of how to become more tuned-in to what God is saying to us.

If you are longing to hear God speak to you more clearly, Whisper is for you!

I am a Multnomah book reviewer.

Saturday In The Psalms—God’s Voice Of Peace

Lord, You have been favorable … You have forgiven … You have covered all their sin. Selah (Psalm 85:1-2).

God’s favor, forgiveness, and covering of sin. Justice would say that God doesn’t have to do any of these things. The people sinned—they violated the holy law—and thus deserve death. But pause and consider this [that’s what Selah means]: God instead shows His favor, deliverance, and forgiveness. All His anger has been turned away!

How do we respond to this? The psalmist asks for restoration and revival. Revival comes when we turn back to God and turn away from our sin, and here we see God initiating revival … making revival possible.

Listen to God’s voice: He speaks peace, which allows us to experience revival. Jesus didn’t say, “Go and sin no more; I do not condemn you.” No! He said, “Neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

The removal of the wrath of condemnation makes the revival of the soul possible!

Once we hear God’s voice of peace, we can then know His…

  • … mercy
  • … truth
  • … righteousness
  • … goodness
  • … pathway
  • … freedom

God, You are so good! So loving, kind, merciful! Showing Your favor to all who will listen to Your words of peace!

Thursdays With Oswald—Hearing God’s Voice

Oswald ChambersThis 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.

Hearing God’s Voice

     Very few of us hear the call of God because we are not in the place to answer. …

     Most of us have no ear for anything but ourselves, anything that is not “me” we cannot hear. We are dead to, and without interest in the finest music, we can yawn in a picture gallery, and be uninspired by a sunrise or a sunset. That is true not only of the soul’s denseness to natural beauties, or to music and art and literature, but true with regard to the awakening of the soul to the call of God. To be brought within the zone of God’s voice is to be profoundly altered. … 

     The call to service is the result of my obedience to the realized call of God. … God does not have to come and tell me what I must do for Him, He brings me into a relationship with Himself wherein I hear His call and understand what He wants me to do, and I do it out of sheer love to Him. To serve God is the deliberate love gift of a nature that has heard the call of God.

From So Send I You

According to Oswald Chambers, we can hear God’s voice clearly when: (a) we make it a priority to remain in His presence, and (b) we listen to God’s voice with an attitude of loving obedience. What do you think?

One thing absolutely clear: responding to God’s voice is always “I get to!” and never “I have to.”

Thursdays With Oswald—Public And Private

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.

Public and Private 

   My worth to God in public is what I am in private.

From Run Today’s Race

Run Today’s Race contains short statements from Oswald Chambers intended to stimulate Christians to ponder things like:

  • Do I spend enough time alone with God, or am I too quick to run off to accomplish my tasks?
  • Am I listening to what God really wants to tell me in private?
  • Am I applying those private lessons to my public life?
  • Jesus spent much time in solitude with His Father; am I spending enough time in solitude with God?

I Know You

jesus-always

A wonderfully encouraging reminder…

“I call you by name and lead you. I know you—I know every detail about you. You are never a number or statistic to Me; My involvement in your life is far more personal and intimate than you can comprehend. So follow Me with a glad heart. After My resurrection, when Mary Magdalene mistook Me for the gardener, I spoke one word: ‘Mary.’ Hearing Me say her name, she recognized Me and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means teacher). Beloved, I also speak your name in the depths of your spirit. When you read your Bible, try inserting your name into appropriate passages. … Take time to ‘hear’ Me speaking to you personally in Scripture, reassuring you of My love.” —Jesus (in Sarah Young’s book Jesus Always)

Links & Quotes

link quote

 [VIDEO] John Maxwell has a special message for veterans as he talks about heroism—

“God never says ‘no’ to us unless ‘no’ will make us ultimately happier.” —Jon Bloom

“You may remember the Old Testament story of the Israelite spies sent to scout out the Promised Land. They came back saying, ‘Yes, it’s a land flowing with milk and honey. But it’s also full of giants and walled-up cities. We’re not able to go up against these people. Compared to them, we’re mere grasshoppers’ (see Numbers 13). Now, these men didn’t accuse God. They never said, ‘God isn’t able. He isn’t strong enough.’ They dared not voice such unbelief. Instead, they focused on themselves, saying, ‘We’re not able. We’re like little bugs in our enemies’ sight.’ Yet that is not humility. And it isn’t innocent, harmless talk. Rather, it’s an affront to the One who is the Light of the world, who commands us to believe, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’ (Philippians 4:13).” —David Wilkerson

“The voice of God indeed daily calls to us; calls to the world to abandon sins and seek the Kingdom of God wholeheartedly.” —C.S. Lewis

J. Warner Wallace uses his skill as a cold-case detective to examine the testimony of the New Testament Gospel writers. Here is his case for why the Gospels were written fairly soon after Christ’s ascension.

Unfortunately, this is true: The First Amendment Is Dying.

[VIDEO] Was Jesus a myth?—

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