Poetry Saturday—The Spirit-Filled Life

O the Spirit-filled life; is it thine, is it thine?
Is thy soul wholly filled with the Spirit Divine?
O thou child of the King, has He fallen on thee?
Does He reign in thy soul, so that all men may see
The dear Savior’s blest image reflected in thee?
Has He swept through thy soul like the waves of the sea?
Does the Spirit of God daily rest upon thee?
Does He sweeten thy life, does He keep thee from care?
Does He guide thee and bless thee in answer to prayer?
Is it joy to be led of the Lord anywhere?
Is He near thee each hour, does He stand at thy side?
Does He gird thee with strength, has He come to abide?
Does He give thee to know that all things may be done
Through the grace and the power of the Crucified One?
Does He witness to thee of the glorified Son?
Has He purged thee of dross with the fire from above?
Is He first in thy thoughts, has He all of thy love?
Is His service thy choice, and is sacrifice sweet?
Is the doing His will both thy drink and thy meat?
Dost thou run at His bidding with glad eager feet?
Has He freed thee from self and from all of thy greed?
Dost thou hasten to succor thy brother in need?
As a soldier of Christ dost thou hardness endure?
Is thy hope in the Lord everlasting and sure?
Hast thou patience and meekness, art tender and pure?
O the Spirit-filled life may be thine, may be thine,
In thy soul evermore the Shekinah may shine;
It is thine to live with the tempests all stilled,
It is thine with the blessed Holy Ghost to be filled;
It is thine, even thine, for thy Lord has so willed. —Lettie Cowman

Thursdays With Oswald—Christ’s Temptations And Ours

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.

Christ’s Temptations And Ours

     The first temptation of Our Lord comes to us on this line—“Be sensible, You are here for the service of men, and surely it is the most practical thing to feed them and satisfy their needs.” The clamor abroad today is all on this line, “Put man’s needs first; never mind about the first commandment, the second commandment is the all-important one” (see Mark 12:29-31). … The insistent demand in the world today to put men’s needs before God’s will is the outcome of the reasoning of human wits and wisdom…. So long as our wits and human solutions are on the throne, to satisfy the needs of men is ostensibly the grandest thing to do. … 

     Our Lord was then asked to compromise: “You will become the King of men and the Savior of the world by judicious compromise; build Your kingdom on broad-minded lines; be judicious, You know there is evil in the world; then use it wisely, and don’t be so intense against sin; don’t talk about the devil and hell; don’t be so extreme and say a man needs to be born from above. Tolerate my rule of the world, call things ‘necessary evils’; tell man sin is not anarchy, but a disease; fall down and worship me and my way of looking at things, and I will withdraw and the whole world will be Yours.” … Will the Church that bows down and compromises succeed? Of course it will; it is the very thing that the natural man wants. … 

     satan tried to put Jesus Christ on the way to becoming King of the world and Savior of men in a way other than that pre-determined by God. The devil does not tempt us to do wrong things; he tries to make us lose what God has put into us by regeneration, the possibility of being of value to God. When we are born from above the central citadel of the devil’s attack is the same in us as it was in Our Lord—to do God’s will in our own way. … 

     Every temptation of satan will certainly seem right to us unless we have the Spirit of God. Fellowship with our Lord is the only way to detect them as being wrong. 

From The Psychology Of Redemption

Wow! Lots to contemplate here!

What do you think about the temptation of Jesus? Have you seen the same sort of temptations come your way?

One more thought from Chambers: “Temptation must come, and we do not know what it is until we meet it. When we do meet it, we must not debate with God, but stand absolutely true to Him no matter what it costs us personally, and we will find that the onslaught will leave us with higher and purer affinities than before.

Week Of Prayer—Wednesday

WOP_2016_Slide_WedOur week of prayer continues today with this prayer focus—

Give thanks that even in the midst of brokenness God can shape His purposes in your life to bring fulfillment and joy.

All week long we’ve been praying God’s Word for each of these prayer points. Today, perhaps you could pray something like this:

Heavenly Father, I know that in everything that is happening to me, You are working circumstances for the good. I know that You love me, and that You have a distinct purpose for my life [Romans 8:28]

Sometimes, in order to keep me from becoming too reliant on my own abilities, You send “a thorn in the flesh” to me. But even in the midst of that You say to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.” Therefore I will boast about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults hurled at me, in all my hardships, in my persecutions, in my difficulties. For when I am weak in my own ability, then I am strong in You [2 Corinthians 12:7-10]

Even though this is a difficult time for me, I still rejoice in what You are going to accomplish in my life. I pray this Jesus’ name, Amen.

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.

Links & Quotes

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In The Screwtape Letters, in which an older demon is writing to an apprentice demon, the ‘Enemy’ is God, and the ‘Father’ is the devil. “The Enemy’s demand on humans takes the form of a dilemma; either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy. Ever since our Father’s first great victory, we have rendered the former very difficult to them. The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing up as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually shortlived, experience which they call ‘being in love’ is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding. This idea is our parody of an idea that came from the Enemy. The whole philosophy of Hell rests on recognition of the axiom that one thing is not another thing, and, specially, that one self is not another self. My good is my good and your good is yours. What one gains another loses. Even an inanimate object is what it is by excluding all other objects from the space it occupies; if it expands, it does so by thrusting other objects aside or by absorbing them. A self does the same. With beasts the absorption takes the form of eating; for us, it means the sucking of will and freedom out of a weaker self into a stronger. ‘To be’ means ‘to be in competition.’” —C.S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters

“Commend me to the Christian who says, ‘I bless God I am saved; now what can I do for others?’ The first thing in the morning he prays, ‘God help me to say a word to some soul this day.’ During the day, wherever he may be, he is watching his opportunity, and will do good if he can. He is concerned about his children: it sometimes breaks his heart to think that they are not saved. If he happens to have an ungodly wife, it is his daily burden, ‘O God, save my wife!’ When he goes to a place of worship he does not expect the minister to make sermons always on purpose for him, but he says, ‘I shall sit here and pray God to bless the word,’ and if he looks round the chapel and sees one that he loves, he prays for him, ‘God send the word home to him.’ When service is over, a man of this kind will waylay the unconverted, and try to get a personal word with them, and see if he cannot discover some beginnings of grace in their souls. This is how earnest Christians live; and let me tell you, as a rule, though they have the griefs of other men’s souls to carry, they do not have much grief about their own; they are watering others and they are watered themselves also. May this be your work and mine!” —Charles Spurgeon

“Paul wrote to the Ephesians about the true character of a healthy, growing church. He said nothing about numbers of people, size of budget, variety of programs and facilities, or whether or not it had a great worship band. He emphasized two characteristics—unity and maturity—which are in short supply in America’s churches today (Ephesians 4:11-16).” —T.M. Moore

Dr. George O. Wood says, “If even the angels do not know, and Jesus did not know, why do we have so many ‘date-setters’ even today? You can research and discover that there have been numerous false prophecies in the past centuries where authors and so-called prophets set a date for the return of Christ. Date-setters will always be wrong; you can count on it.” Read the rest of his post about Christ’s return here.

I like this: 5 reasons the church should embrace science.

Fight The New Drug asks: Is there a difference between pornography and prostitution?

Links & Quotes

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“Be not satisfied, my dear friends, with being saved; desire to know how you are saved, why you are saved, the method by which you are saved. It is a rock on which you stand, I know, but think upon the questions—how you were put upon that rock, by whose love you came there, and why that love was set on you. I would to God that all the members of this church were not only in Christ Jesus, but understood Him, and knew by the assurance of the understanding whereunto they have attained.” —Charles Spurgeon

“I get the impression that some Christians think there are two kinds of history, two kinds of time. First, there is Bible time, and Bible history. Things happened in the Bible that were unique, and that we don’t expect to see happen in normal time and history, where we live, you know, today. Things like God doing extraordinary acts of deliverance, help, and support, or extraordinary empowerments for witness or service. Like Moses leading the people out of Egypt, or Joshua leading them to subdue the land of promise, or David leading an entire nation to build a glorious temple for the Lord. That was then, many Christians seem to think; this is now. But when we think this way we may be cutting ourselves off from one of the most powerful resources for visionary leadership, and that is the promise of the past … Visionary leaders understand that God has done remarkable, nearly incredible things in the past, and they reach back and recall those mighty works of God in order to encourage His people in the present. They recognize that the straight line of the covenant continues from Scripture through Church history right down to our day.” —T.M. Moore

“The psalmist does not yield. He battles unbelief with counterattack. In essence, he says, ‘In myself I feel very weak and helpless and unable to cope. My body is shot and my heart is almost dead. But whatever the reason for this despondency, I will not yield. I will trust God and not myself. He is my strength and my portion’ [Psalm 73:26]. … God has put these testimonies in the Bible so that we might use them to fight the unbelief of despondency.” —John Piper

Yesterday I posted a book review about our brains. Here is 11 things you need to know to keep your brain healthy.

“If homosexuals are bullied, we need to protect them. If they’re unjustly discriminated against, we need to help them. If they’re treated with contempt, the person hurting them should be stopped. If a family member comes out as gay and then is belittled, harmed, or vilified, then the offending family needs to be corrected. If Christians ridicule people who identify as gay or lesbian, they need to admonished. If a church doesn’t welcome seekers of all stripes (including people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual), then it needs to change. But none of these circumstances are reasons to reinterpret Scripture to affirm homosexuality” (emphasis mine). Read more in Bad Reasons To Adopt Pro-Gay Theology.

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