Thursdays With Spurgeon—“Follow Me”

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

“Follow Me”

     “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him” [Matthew 9:9]. … I know another man, not named Matthew, but Charles, and the Lord said to him, “Follow Me,” and he also arose and followed Him. I do not know all that He saw when He looked upon me. I fear that He saw nothing in me but sin and evil and vanity, but I believe that He did say to Himself concerning me, “I see one to whom I can teach My truth, and who, when he gets ahold of it, will grip it fast and never let it go, and one who will not be afraid to speak it wherever he is.” So the Lord saw what use He could make of me. There is an adaptation in men, even while they are unconverted, that God has put into them for their future service. Luke was qualified to write his gospel because he had been a physician, and Matthew was qualified to write the particular gospel that he has left us because he had been a publican. There may be something about your habits of life, and about your constitution and your condition that will qualify you for some special niche in the church of God in the years to come. Oh, happy day, when Jesus shall look upon you and call you to follow Him! Happy day, when He did look upon some of us, and saw in us what His love meant to put there, that He might make of us vessels of mercy meet for the Master’s use! 

From The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon

What was true of the apostle Matthew and Charles Spurgeon in past history is true of you today! 

God has plans for you. He has implanted a combination of gifts, talents, and personality in you that is unique to anyone else on this planet. He did this because He foresaw how you could be of use in fulfilling His plans for His kingdom.

Listen! Do you hear Him calling? He is saying to YOU, “Follow Me.” Will you answer that call? 

Soul And Spirit

If I were to ask you to define the material/physical part of you versus the immaterial part of you, it probably wouldn’t be too difficult. Obviously, we can touch the physical part but we cannot touch the immaterial part. 

But human as a three-part being—we have a body, a soul, and a spirit. So if I were to now ask you to describe the “dividing line” between the two immaterial parts of us (the soul and the spirit), you would probably have a more difficult time coming up with a definition. 

Both terms are used throughout the Bible. Sometimes it seems the words soul and spirit are almost used interchangeably, but they are most assuredly two separate parts of what makes us us. 

Please check out this chart that I shared with my friends at Calvary Assembly of God, and perhaps even take a few minutes to watch the video below. If you would like to download a PDF version of this chart, you may do so by clicking here → Soul and spirit side-by-side

Verses referenced—Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7; Ezekiel 18:20; Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 4:12

Thursdays With Oswald—The Enormous Need To Be A Christian

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.

The Enormous Need To Be A Christian 

     All we can deal with in psychology is consciousness, but God does not limit our salvation by our consciousness. The need to be a Christian is not simply that Jesus Christ’s salvation may work on our conscious life, but that the unconscious realm of our personality may be protected from supernatural powers of which we know nothing. …  

     We are much more than we are conscious of, and if Jesus Christ only came to alter our conscious life, then the Redemption is “much ado about nothing.” But when we come to examine the New Testament we find that Redemption does infinitely more than alter our conscious life; it safeguards the unconscious realm which we cannot touch. … 

     Part of our personal life is conscious, but the greater part is unconscious, and every now and again the unconscious part emerges into the conscious and upsets us because we do not know where it comes from or where it leads to, and we get afraid of ourselves. … 

     There is only one Being Who understands us, and that is our Creator. … 

     Have we ever awakened to the fact that there are forces of evil around us greater than we can control? Jesus Christ by His Redemption not only saves us completely, but keeps us oblivious of the awful dangers there are outside. … 

     Unless we hand over the keeping of our personality to God to garrison, there are a hundred and one influences which can come into us which we never can control but which will soon control us. … 

     It is impossible to guard our spirit, the only One who can guard its entrances is God. If we hand ourselves over to His keeping we shall be kept not only from what we understand as dangers, but from dangers we have never even imagined. … 

      These aspects revealed the need to be a Christian as an enormous need. Thank God for the amazing security of His salvation! It keeps us not only in conscious life but from dangerous of which we know nothing, unseen and hidden dangers, subtle and desperate. 

From The Soul Of A Christian

Thank God for the amazing security of His salvation! Do you know this security? If not, don’t wait another day to invite Jesus Christ into your life.

Thursdays With Oswald—Life-Altering Regeneration

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.

Life-Altering Regeneration 

     Personality merges, and you only get your real identity when you are merged with another person. A man has his individuality transfigured when he falls in love. When love or the Spirit of God strikes a man or woman, they are transformed, they no longer insist on their separate individuality. Christianity is personal, therefore it is un-individual. … Our Lord never spoke in terms of individuality…but in terms of personality, “that they all may be one.” … 

     We are much more than we are conscious of being. Our Lord said the Holy Spirit would bring back into our conscious mind the things He had said. We never forget anything although often we cannot recall it; we hear it and it goes into the unconscious mind. Things go on in our unconscious minds that we know nothing about, and at any second they may burst up into our conscious life and perturb us. The Spirit of God enters into a man below the threshold of his consciousness. When He will emerge into a man’s conscious mind no one can say; when He does, there is an earthquake, and the man has to readjust his life in every particular. The Spirit of God entering into the spirit of a man brings a totally new relationship to things. … 

     If all Jesus can do is to tell me that I must be holy, be what I never can be, present me with an ideal I cannot come anywhere near, His teaching plants despair; He is nothing more than a tantalizer and I wish He had never come. But if He is a Regenerator, One who first of all can put into me His own heredity, then I see what He is driving at in the Sermon on the Mount—that the disposition He puts in is like His own. … 

     The Spirit of Christ comes into me by regeneration, then I have to begin to form the mind of Christ, begin to look at things from a different standpoint.

From The Shadow Of An Agony

Our Heavenly Father will never force His love on us. Jesus Christ will never make us receive Him. The Holy Spirit will never change us against our will.

But our Heavenly Father will direct our lives to bring us to our wits’ end. Jesus Christ will constantly woo us with His love. And the Holy Spirit will continually bring to our conscious mind all that Jesus says to us.

The choice is mine—Will I continue to live my life my way, or will I yield to the life-altering regeneration that the the Father, Son and Spirit lovingly offer to me?

16 Insightful Quotes From “Intentional Living”

Intentional LivingJohn Maxwell’s books always contain so many great quotes from other wise men and women. Here are a few that caught my highlighter in Intentional Living.

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” —Soren Kierkegaard

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” —T.S. Eliot

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” —Steve Jobs

“One of the best places to start to turn your life around is by doing whatever appears on your mental ‘I should’ list.” —Jim Rohn

“You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of a referee.” —Napoleon Hill

“Most people don’t aim too high and miss. They aim too low and hit.” —Bob Moawad

“Anybody can do their best. God helps us do better than our best.” —Catherine Bramwell-Booth

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it makes some difference that you have lived and lived well.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it.” —Rabbi Harold Kushner

“People who matter most are aware that everyone else does, too.” —Malcolm Forbes

“Selfishness is the greatest challenge for a coach. Most players are more concerned with making themselves better than the team.” —John Wooden

“There is a direct relationship between your own level of self-esteem and the health of your personality. The more you like and respect yourself, the more you like and respect other people. The more you consider yourself to be a valuable and worthwhile person, the more you consider others to be valuable and worthwhile as well. The more you accept yourself just as you are, the more you accept others just as they are.” —Brian Tracy

“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” —Mother Teresa

“Choose the way of life. Choose the way of love. Choose the way of caring. Choose the way of hope. Choose the way of belief in tomorrow. Choose the way of trusting. Choose the way of goodness. It’s up to you.” —Leo Buscaglia

“We’re concerned with how things turn out; God seems more concerned with how we turn out.” —Philip Yancey

“Most hockey players follow the puck on the ice. I never skate to where the puck is. I skate to where it is going.” —Wayne Gretzky

John Maxwell has a lot of great quotes himself! Here is the first batch of quotes I shared from Intentional Living. And be sure to check out my review of this outstanding book.

A Half Dozen Quotes From C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis at his deskWhenever is it not a good day for some quotes from C.S. Lewis?!

“It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” —C.S. Lewis

“Obedience is the road to freedom, humility the road to pleasure, unity the road to personality.” —C.S. Lewis

“The work of a Beethoven and the work of a charwoman become spiritual on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God, of being done humbly ‘as to the Lord.’ This does not, of course, mean that it is for anyone a mere toss-up whether he should sweep rooms or compose symphonies. A mole must dig to the glory of God and a cock must crow. We are members of one body, but differentiated members, each with his own vocation.” —C.S. Lewis 

“The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the Acts. The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christians brought.” —C.S. Lewis

“An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God. But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God—that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him. You see what is happening. God is the thing to which he is praying—the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on—the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal. So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers. The man is being caught up into the higher kinds of life—what I called Zoe or spiritual life: he is being pulled into God, by God, while still remaining himself.” —C.S. Lewis

“Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the truth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’” —C.S. Lewis

10 Quotes From John Maxwell In “Teamwork 101”

Teamwork 101The 101 Series of book from John Maxwell is a great introduction to the many topics which he address in greater depth in other books. Here are some quotes from Dr. Maxwell which I especially enjoyed.

“I believe that insecurity, rather than poor judgment or lack of intelligence, most often causes leaders to surround themselves with weak people.”

“On good teams, trust is a nonnegotiable. On winning teams, players extend trust to one another. Initially that is a risk because their trust can be violated and they can be hurt. At the same time that they are giving trust freely, they conduct themselves in such a way to earn trust from others. They hold themselves to a high standard. When everyone gives freely and bonds of trust are developed and are tested over time, players began to have faith in one another. They believe that the person next to them will act with consistency, keep commitments, maintain confidences, and support others. The stronger the sense of community becomes, the greater their potential to work together. Developing a sense of community in a team does not mean there is never conflict. All teams experienced disagreements. All relationships have tension. But you can work them out.”

“Create an environment that unleashes new leaders.” 

“Teams that don’t bond can’t build.”

“For a team to be successful, the teammates have to know they will look out for one another.” 

“In a sport such as basketball, the players on the team recognize that scoring is what is important. When a team is more effective at scoring than the opponent, it wins. Because the team members know that, they spend their time in improving and perfecting their ability to score. That is their focus. In contrast, in many organizational settings, the team members don’t know what it means to ‘score.’ They may have a list of duties, but they don’t know how those duties go together to make a score. It would be the equivalent of a basketball player who knew how to set a pick, dribble, and pass, but who never knew all the skills were used together to score baskets. If just one player on a basketball team doesn’t know what is important to the team, it makes him ineffective. And when he is in the game, it is impossible for the team to succeed. The same is true in any organization. Anyone who doesn’t know what’s important to the team not only fails to contribute to the team, but actually prevents the team from achieving success. That is why it is so important for leaders of the team to identify what is important to the team and to communicate that information to her team members.”

“People on the team must be made to feel that they are in an environment where it is safe to offer suggestions or criticism without feeling threatened.” 

“The key to being competitive is channeling it in a positive way. If you squash it, you lose an edge that motivates you to do some of your best work. If you let it run wild, you run over your teammates and alienate them. But if you control it and directed, competitiveness can help you succeed.”

“Don’t let the personality of someone you work with cause you to lose sight of the greater purpose, which is to add value to the team and advance the organization. If that means listening to the ideas of people with whom you have no chemistry, or worse, a difficult history, so be it. Set aside your pride and listen. And in cases where you must reject the ideas of others, make sure you reject only the idea and not the person.” 

“Being an encouraging leader and leading across is not about getting your own way. It’s not about winning at all costs. It’s about winning respect and influence with your peers so that you can help the whole team win. Should you be passionate and determined, believing in yourself and your ability to contribute? Definitely. Should you hold on to your deeply held values and stand on principle when those are in jeopardy? Absolutely. But never forget that having a collaborative spirit helps the organization. When you think in terms of our idea instead of my idea or her idea, you’re probably on track to helping the team win.”

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