6 Quotes From “Joy To Your World”

In Joy To Your World, T.M. Moore encourages Christians to view joy as the fuel for their testimony to others about their vibrant relationship with Jesus. Check out my book review by clicking here.

“The Christian life is joy, the joy Jesus glimpsed as He went to the Cross, that sustained Him through all His betrayal and suffering, and in which He now dwells, at the right hand of God.”

“The joy which infects those who receive the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ causes them to see creation and all culture in an entirely new light. Whereas formally such things were merely taken for granted and used as we saw fit, now they are received as gifts and servants of the joy-giving God, to be redeemed, renewed, and redeployed with joy to the praise of His glorious grace.”

“First, we need to make sure our own lives makes sense, that the way we live supports the reasons we might give for why we live this way. … Second, we must make sure that we know the Gospel. … Finally, we need to make sure we can explain the Gospel’s impact on our own lives. How has the Gospel brought new hope, new purpose, new direction, and new life to us?”

“It is not our task to convert those who ask a reason for the hope that is within us. It is our task to make sure, to the best of our ability, that we have explained the Good News of Jesus as clearly as we can.”

“Joy is not determined by what we can see in our immediate environment. Instead, joy is a condition that attaches to knowing the Lord and being able to see past or through what is seen to engage what is not seen (Hebrews 12:1).”

“When, because of our knowledge of God, the joy that fills our souls comes to expression as joy lived, then our lives will make sense, our salvation will be visible to the watching world, and we can offer any who may ask, sound reasons for how that joy can be theirs as well.”

11 Quotes From “Shade Of His Hand”

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible can be a challenging read for many people. In Shade Of His Hand, Oswald Chambers walks us through this biblical book of wisdom chapter-by-chapter. Shade is a great companion for your personal Bible study time in Ecclesiastes. Check out my full book review by clicking here.

Below are just a few of the many (many!) passages I highlighted in Shade. Some of the longer passages I have already shared in my weekly “Thursdays With Oswald” posts. You can read those by clicking here.

“We always get out of touch with the Bible attitude to things when we come to it with our own conclusions.”

“The intellectual order of life does not take things as it finds them, it makes us shut our eyes to actual facts and try to live only in the ideal world. … Solomon is fearless in facing facts as they are. … It is not a question of living a blind life in the brain away from actuality, not of living in dawns or on mountain tops; but of bringing what you see there straight down to the valley where things are sordid, and living out the vision there.”

“Unless you bank your faith in God, you will not only be wrongly related in practical life and have your heart broken, but you will break other things you touch.”

“Almighty God does not matter to me, He is in the clouds. To be of any use to me, He must come down to the domain in which I live; and I do not live in the clouds but on the earth. The doctrine of the Incarnation is that God did come down into our domain. The Wisdom of God, the Word of God, the exact expression of God, was manifest in the flesh.”

“To serve God in order to gain heaven, is not the teaching of Christianity. Satisfaction cannot be found in gain, but only in a personal relationship to God. … A man is not to serve God for the sake of gain, but to get to the place where the whole of his life is seen as a personal relationship to God.”

“Whenever we put theology or a plan of salvation or any line of explanation before a man’s personal relationship to God, we depart from the Bible line, because religion in the Bible is not faith in the rule of God, but faith in the God Who rules.”

“Sometimes it is cowardly to speak, and sometimes it is cowardly to keep silence. In the Bible the great test of a man’s character is his tongue (see James 1:26). The tongue only came to its right place with in the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ, because He never spoke from His right to Himself. He Who was the Wisdom of God Incarnate, said ‘the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself.’ … We are either too hasty or too slow; either we won’t speak at all, or we speak too much, or we speak in the wrong mood. The thing that makes us speak is the lust to vindicate ourselves.”

“The general history of Christianity is that it has been tried and abandoned because it is found to be difficult; but wherever it has been tried and honorably gone on with, it has never failed.”

“The Christian faith is exhibited by the man who has the spiritual courage to say that that is the God he trusts in, and it takes some moral backbone to do it.” 

“We reap terrific damage to our own characters when we vow and do not perform. … Promises are a way of shirking responsibility.”

“It is appalling to find spiritual people when they come into a crisis taking an ordinary common-sense standpoint as if Jesus Christ had never lived or died.”

More quotes from Shade Of His Hand are coming soon…

Putting Afflictions In Perspective

gurnall-afflictionsWe all go through difficult times. There is not one person on planet Earth who doesn’t face times of adversity and trial. But Christians can put these challenging times in perspective…

“Job found his legacy through the grief he experienced. He was tried that his godliness might be confirmed and validated. In the same way, my troubles are intended to deepen my character and to clothe me in gifts I had little of prior to my difficulties. … Apparent adversity will ultimately become an advantage for those of us doing what is right, if we are willing to keep serving and to wait patiently.” —Lettie Cowman

“Afflictions are a spade which God uses to dig into His people’s hearts to find the gold of faith.” —William Gurnall

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” —2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The Philosophy Of Sin (book review)

The Complete Works Of Oswald ChambersIt’s not often that philosophy and theology appear in the same sentence, let alone in the same book! But a special mind like Oswald Chambers is one who can masterfully pull that off, and he does so in his book The Philosophy Of Sin.

Chambers describes sin and salvation from sin like this: “Sin is the radical twist with a supernatural originator, and salvation is a radical readjustment with a supernatural Originator.” Philosophy is the science of getting to the root of the matter, applying all the wisdom we can muster. As you might image, in this book Chambers digs deeper than most theologians do, and thinks wider than most philosophers do.

Chambers takes a graduate-level look at topics like sin, redemption, salvation, judgment, backsliding, temptation, conscience, and humanity. This book is a real paradigm-expander and shouldn’t be read by anyone who is looking for some “light” reading. You will need to have your Bible open as you read this book, because Chambers will shine a light on biblical passages probably unlike anyone else has. But, wow!, what a payoff you will have from working through this weighty book!

If you are a seasoned Christian who is ready for a mental challenge, The Philosophy Of Sin is for you.

Thursdays With Oswald—A New Perspective Of Calvary

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.

A New Perspective Of Calvary

     If Jesus Christ were only a martyr, His Cross would be of no significance; but if the Cross of Jesus Christ is the expression of the secret heart of God, the lever by which God lifts back the human race to what it was designed to be, then there is a new attitude to things. … 

     There are any number of amateur skeptics, and the men who are seeing the difference between “believing their beliefs,” and “believing God,” men, who, through the turmoil and the stress, are seeing that rationalism is not the basis of thing. According to the Bible, the basis of things is tragedy, and the way out is the way made by God in Redemption. The New Testament does not say that the human race is evolving, but that the human race is a magnificent ruin of what it was designed to be. …

     Paul says the fundamental revelation of the New Testament is that God redeemed the whole human race when they were spitting in His face, as it were. … 

     The majority of people who have never been touched by affliction see Jesus Christ’s death as a thing beside the mark. When a man gets to his wits’ end and things go hard with him, his thick hide is pierced and he is stabbed wide awake, then for the first time he begins to see something else—“At last I see; I thought that He was stricken, smitten of God and afflicted; but now I see He was wounded for my transgressions.” … 

     Jesus Christ did not come to give us pretty ideas of God, or sympathy with ourselves; He came from a holy God to enable men, by the sheer power of His Redemption, to become holy.

From The Shadow Of An Agony

Oswald Chambers wrote these words in the midst of The Great War (what we now refer to as World War I), when everyone’s belief in rationalism was shaken to the core. Tragedy has a tendency to do that to us.

Chambers says that trouble in this world should point us to the unshakable, inescapable truth that this world is “a magnificent ruin of what it was designed to be,” and the only security and hope we have is a new life with God though the Redemption Jesus paid for at Calvary.

May any pain, suffering, or confusion you feel in this world help you see the Cross of Christ in a whole new light.

9 More Quotes From “Every Man’s Battle”

Every Man's BattleFellas, don’t use the “I’m a guy and I can’t help it” excuse for your lust or your pornography viewing. You can do better than that! Check out my review of Every Man’s Battle by clicking here, and then read some of the quotes I highlighted below.

“Regarding sexual purity, God knows the provision He’s made for us. We aren’t short on power or authority, but what we lack is urgency. We must choose to be strong and courageous to walk into purity. The millisecond it takes to make that choice, the Holy Spirit will start guiding you and walking through the struggle with you.”

“Some hard questions:

  • How long do I intended to stay ensnared?
  • How long must my family wait?
  • How long before I can look God in the eye?
  • How long are you going to stay sexually impure?
  • How long will you rob your wife sexually?
  • How long will you stunt the growth of oneness with your wife, a oneness you promised her years ago?”

“God is waiting for you. But He is not waiting by the altar, hoping you’ll drop by and talk for a while. He is waiting for you to rise up and engage in the battle.”

“Holiness is not some nebulous thing. It’s a series of right choices. You needn’t wait for some holy cloud to form around you. You’ll be holy when you choose not to sin.”

“You can expect an inner ‘urge to fail.’ You’re accustomed to satisfying a portion of your sexual hunger through your eyes, anytime and anywhere you please. Your body will fight for these highs. As you advance in purity, the part of your sexual hunger, once fed by your eyes, remains unfed and doesn’t just disappear. This demanding hunger runs to the only available pantry left to you: your wife.”

“The magazines at the supermarket checkout might say, ‘Fantasize to a better sex life.’ The talk shows may say, ‘Let variety improve your sex life—adultery can be good!’ But in God’s kingdom, obedience always ends in joy, peace, and in this case, thrills. You can count on a sexual payoff from obedience.”

“Your mind is orderly, and your world-review colors what comes through it. The mind will allow these impure thoughts only if they ‘fit’ the way you look at the world. As you set up the perimeter of defense for your mind, your brain’s world-view will be transformed by a new matrix of allowed thoughts, or ‘allowables.’ Within the old matrix of your thinking, lust fit perfectly and in that sense was ‘orderly.’ But with a new, purer matrix firmly in place, lustful thoughts will bring disorder. Your brain, acting as a responsible policeman, nabs these lustful thoughts even before they rise to consciousness. Essentially the brain begins cleaning itself, so elusive enemies like double entendres and daydreams, which are hard to control on the conscious level, simply vanish on their own.”

“God loves pop quizzes, but He doesn’t test our knowledge with them. He tests our character.”

“Great marriages may seem rare these days, but God didn’t intend it that way. By God’s way of thinking, a vibrant, cherishing relationship is quite normal and should be quite common because, believe it or not, you already have what it takes to walk faithfully. … You and your wife already have what it takes to sculpt a glorious image of Christ’s relationship to the church, a masterpiece so lovely it will draw men and women to Christ simply by their looking at the two of you together.”

You can read other quotes from this book by clicking here.

Poetry Saturday—The Oyster

Pearl oysterThere once was an oyster, whose story I’ll tell,
Who found that some sand had gotten into his shell.
It was only a grain, but it gave him great pain,
For oysters have feelings, although they are plain.
Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him to such a deplorable state?
“No,” he said to himself, “since I cannot remove it,
I’ll lie in my shell and think how to improve it.”
They years rolled around, as the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate destiny… stew.
Now the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.
This tale has a moral, for isn’t it grand,
What an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?
Think… what could we do, if we’d only begin
With some of the things that get under our skin. —Anonymous (I heard this poem as a part of a brilliant message on dealing with life’s irritations)
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