Sit Walk Stand [re-launch]

Sit Walk StandThis coming Sunday we re-start a series at Calvary Assembly of God which we first began in 2014, and re-launched in 2015, called Sit Walk Stand: A Study In The Book Of Ephesians.

Why Ephesians? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who preached 232 sermons on this book to his packed-out church, said, “It is very difficult to speak of Ephesians in a controlled manner because of its greatness. Many have tried to describe it. One writer has described it as the crown and climax of Pauline theology. Another has said that it is the distilled essence of the Christian religion, the most authoritative and most consummate compendium of our holy Christian faith. What language! And it is by no means exaggerated.”

It is my desire that our congregation be as biblically literate as I can encourage and resource them to be. So Tom Kaastra, a 38-year veteran pastor, is going to co-teach with me again this year as we continue our attempt to master this powerful epistle.

The name of our series—Sit Walk Stand—comes from Watchman Nee, who wrote, “Of all Paul’s epistles, it is in Ephesians that we find the highest spiritual truths concerning the Christian life. The letter abounds with spiritual riches, and yet at the same time is intensely practical.”

Please join us at Calvary Assembly of God this Sunday at 10:30am.

Whether you were with us last year or not, I posted some sermon recaps each week which will help prepare you as we re-launch this series. Click on the links below:

From 2014—

From 2015—

Sit Walk Stand [re-launch]

Sit Walk StandThis coming Sunday we re-start a series at Calvary Assembly of God which we began last year called Sit Walk Stand: A Study In The Book Of Ephesians.

Why Ephesians? Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, who preached 232 sermons on this book to his packed-out church, said, “It is very difficult to speak of Ephesians in a controlled manner because of its greatness. Many have tried to describe it. One writer has described it as the crown and climax of Pauline theology. Another has said that it is the distilled essence of the Christian religion, the most authoritative and most consummate compendium of our holy Christian faith. What language! And it is by no means exaggerated.”

It is my desire that our congregation be as biblically literate as I can encourage and resource them to be. So Tom Kaastra, a 38-year veteran pastor, is going to co-teach with me again this year as we continue our attempt to master this powerful epistle.

The name of our series—Sit Walk Stand—comes from Watchman Nee, who wrote, “Of all Paul’s epistles, it is in Ephesians that we find the highest spiritual truths concerning the Christian life. The letter abounds with spiritual riches, and yet at the same time is intensely practical.”

Please join us this Sunday at 10:30am.

Whether you were with us last year or not, I posted some sermon recaps each week which will help prepare you as we re-launch this series. Click on the links below:

12 More Quotes From “Purple Fish”

Purple FishMark O. Wilson had some great heart-stirring thoughts on evangelism in his book Purple Fish (you can read my full book review by clicking here). He also did a great job incorporating thoughts from others in his book. Here are some of the quotes he cited in Purple Fish.

“Christians and non-Christians have something in common: we are both uptight about evangelism.” ―Becky Pippert 

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” ―Brennan Manning

“If you change how you see people, the people you see will change.” ―Rick Warren

“God wants us to have an encounter, so that we become an encounter, so that others can have an encounter.” ―Kevin Dedmon

“Prayer is the supreme way to be workers together with God.” ―Wesley Duewel

“Prayer evangelism is talking to God about our neighbors before we talk to our neighbors about God.” ―Ed Silvoso

“Nothing has done greater damage to our Christian testimony than our trying to be right and demanding right of others.” ―Watchmen Nee

“There is no point trying to size people up because souls defined measuring.” ―Ann Vovkamp

“Like it or not, you represent the entirety of Christianity to that person in that moment; that’s a lot of responsibility.” ―Christian Piatt

“If your weakness troubles you, cast yourselves on God. And trust in Him. The apostles were mostly unlearned fisherman, but God gave them learning enough for the work they had to do. Trust in Him, depend on His providence; fear nothing.” ―Francis de Sales

“You don’t fail when you invite people to repent and follow Christ and no one response. You fail when you don’t invite people to repent and follow Christ.” ―Craig Groeschel

“I define evangelism as ‘nudge’ and evangelists as ‘nudgers.’ Evangelism is awakening each other to the God who is already there. Evangelism is nudging people to pay attention to the mission of God in their lives into the necessity of responding to that initiative in ways that birth new realities.” ―Leonard Sweet

I also shared some quotes from Mark Wilson in a previous post, which you can read by clicking here.

Book Reviews From 2014

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

“We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine love may rest ‘well pleased.’ To ask that God’s love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled, by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable.” —C.S. Lewis

“Our old history ends with the Cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.” —Watchman Nee

Chick-Fil-A closed for a very honorable reason.

A bit scary: Muslims’ attitude toward non-Muslims.

“It’s easy, and perhaps comforting, to think of all the things the church is doing to try to change the world. But the real question is, what are you doing? Sure, you go to church and try to live a good life. But how intentional are you when it comes to actually impacting the lives of the lost people you rub shoulders with every day?” —Mark Atteberry

“Whatever the currents of public opinion and governmental action, God’s message is constant and glorious. Whether it is a crime to defy Scripture or to defend it, the Church must preach it—both in season and out of season. This is her calling.” —Kairos Journal

7 Final Quotes From “The Ministry Of God’s Word”

The Ministry Of God's WordI’ve been sharing some of the many quotes I highlighted in Watchman Nee’s book The Ministry Of God’s Word. You can read previous quotes by clicking here, here, here, here, and here. This is a book that I have called a must read for pastors, and you can read my full book review by clicking here.

“A minister of the Word ought to be attentive to how he speaks. The words he speaks must come through discipline, since God creates the words for us through His disciplining us. … How much you can speak depends upon how much you have learned inwardly. … It is more than your preaching His Word; you as a person must be so chiseled and tested by Him that the word which comes out of you is God’s Word.” 

“Let us realize that the minister of the Word must be tried first. Without any trial there can be no word. If other brothers and sisters should enter into trial before you, you have nothing to help them. Even if you should try to say something, it falls as an empty word. What use is an empty word? Word is formed in fire. … Hence the ministers of the Word are those who are chosen by God to be dealt with first, to be tried first, and to know the Lord first, so that they may minister Christ to God’s children. … If we expect to have a big ministry we should be ready to receive more dealings.”

“The Word of God is full of emotion. It should not be recited verbatim in a mechanical way. It ought to be pressed out through deep feeling. … One’s emotion must be so refined that he can rejoice when God’s Word is joyful and wail when the Word of God is sorrowful. His feeling follows the Word of God closely. This is not performance. Please never learn to perform. … The more spiritual a man is, the richer his feeling. … The more lessons one learns before God the more enriched his feeling will be.” 

“A minister of the Word should know that God is building up his ministry through each trial and difficulty. Do not be so foolish as to deem it best to flee from trial. If no thorn, then no grace, hence no power and little ministry. You may speak the Word but you do not possess the strength of the spirit to push it out. You need the Word; you also need a usable spirit.”

“In preaching the gospel, if you make men a little bigger, you make the gospel somewhat smaller. … Spiritual humility comes through our being enlightened by God to a real knowledge of our self, where as soulish self-abasement is the result of looking at man, comparing ourselves with others, and being afraid of men.” 

“We need to take good care of our mind that it may be usable when God wants it.”

“He who desires to minister the Word must learn how to speak simply. … Always remember that God’s Word is for men to understand, not for them to become confused about. … Hence a very important point in ministering the Word is to climb high before God. The higher we climb the more God’s Word is released. God rejects low thought, low-quality persuasion, cheap metaphors or words. Reach high and yet be clear.” 

 

7 More Quotes From “The Ministry Of God’s Word”

The Ministry Of God's WordWhat a fascinating book Watchman Nee wrote in The Ministry Of God’s Word. In fact, it’s one of the rare books that I called a must read for pastors (you can read my book review by clicking here). To whet your appetite I’ve been sharing some quotes from this book.

“This is an enormous task, a task which far surpasses human ability. Every servant of God must realize his incompetency. He should prostrate himself before God, knowing how incompetent he is in supplying Christ, even though he may be well able to speak on the doctrines or teachings of the Bible. Let us look to God’s mercy today. We need to reevaluate everything. We must see how absolutely useless we are. We are utterly helpless without His mercy. To be a minister of the Word is too serious a matter to be taken lightly. It is not an easy task which can be fulfilled just by reading the Bible so many times. A minister of the Word must be able to supply Christ and help people to touch Christ by his words.”

“To obtain a pure minister of the Word God has to so work in a person that his outward man is broken. Hence it is necessary for a minister of the Word to accept the discipline and control of God; otherwise he will surely destroy God’s Word by the mingling in of his own undealt flesh. … The Holy Spirit has been able to work to such a depth that when that man stands to speak, people hear the Lord speaking.”

“Ministry requires our seeing something before God and in freshness presenting this thing to the church. … Each time I minister I need to receive special revelation for the occasion. … Continuous revelation begets continual ministry.” 

“The same message with the same delivery may not produce the same result; only the same anointing will.”

“God never intends to give us small revelations. If He grants revelation, His revelation is big; its scope and content is rich. How can anything inglorious come forth from the God of glory? The normal portion God gives man is a cup running over. God is forever rich, great, and all-inclusive.” 

“Man’s mental strength acts like his physical strength. If his arm can only lift fifty pounds of weight, then he cannot handle anything heavier, not even one additional pound. So is our mental strength limited. If we exhaust its energy on other things we will have nothing left with which to spend on the things of God; and hence we will not be able to translate God’s light into thought.”

“In the things spiritual, natural eloquence is useless. God must give words. … Hence we must wait on God and read the Bible, asking Him to grant us the words. When the words do come, we are instantly assured of what we should speak today. … The greater the lack of revealed words the longer should be the waiting before God. Pray, commune, wait, and lay the Bible before God. This is not an ordinary waiting, nor ordinary prayer and communion. This is waiting before God with the Bible, praying to God with the Bible, and communing with God over the Bible.” 

You can read the other quotes I’ve posted by clicking here, here, here, and here.

10 More Quotes From “The Ministry Of God’s Word”

The Ministry Of God's WordPastor, if you haven’t read The Ministry Of God’s Word by Watchman Nee yet, you need to put this on your To Do list. It’s one of the very few books I have labeled a must read for pastors (you can read all about it in my book review by clicking here). Here are a few more quotes from this fascinating book.

“There is no assurance that the Word previously anointed by the Holy Spirit will again be anointed each time it is spoken. Let us remember that the Word of revelation we earlier received is not guaranteed to always be such a word whenever it is uttered. The Word remains, but revelation does not linger. You may repeat the Word, yet you cannot repeat the revelation or the anointing. Revelation and anointing are in God’s hand. You can only repeat the words, you cannot recall revelation.” 

“A minister is one in whom there is light, revelation, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When he arises and speaks on the Bible, God is willing to speak through the Bible. This is how a minister supplies the church with God’s Word.”

“One reason for the prevailing impotency of the church is that our Lord does not find a way through us.”

“Do not be a professional preacher. Once you turn professional you speak not because you have something to say from God but because you are obliged to utter something.”

“Serving the church with God’s Word is ministering the Son of God. … If the Bible is divorced from the Person of Christ it becomes a dead book.” 

“The task is not simply presenting a book to men, rather is it presenting the Son of God in the Book.”

“What you preach must be what you truly know.” 

“The Word of God is not something people hear by just being present. Physical presence does not insure the hearing of the Word.”

“You are sure that the Lord wants you to minister this Word and He will providentially arrange the time and opportunity for you to deliver it. And thus the Word you preach shall become Christ in others. This is the ministry of the Word in us.

“One cannot minister the Christ one does not know, nor can one serve with only a fragmentary knowledge of Christ. Ministry cannot be based on fragmentary knowledge. … For God to reveal His Son in us is not the result of research or searching; it is entirely a matter of mercy and revelation. It is an inward seeing, an inner knowing. And thereafter the Bible becomes a new and living Book.”

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

5 More Quotes From “The Ministry Of God’s Word”

The Ministry Of God's WordThere was simply too many passages I highlighted in The Ministry Of God’s Word by Watchman Nee to share in just one post. Pastor, you must read this book! You can read my full book review by clicking here.

“Each man’s special characteristic is brought out only when he is subject to the Holy Spirit.” 

“No one today can have God’s Word extraneous to the Bible; even the New Testament cannot exist alone, nor can the words of Paul. You cannot cut the Old Testament away and retain much of the New Testament; neither can you excise the four Gospels and keep the letters of Paul. … All the ministries in the Bible are interdependent; none possesses an unconnected revelation totally unrelated to the others and entirely disconnected.”

“How does God interpreted the Bible? How does He explain the words of the Old Testament to the New Testament minister? There are at least three distinct ways of interpretation in the New Testament: (1) prophetic interpretation, (2) historical interpretation, and (3) comprehensive interpretation. When New Testament ministers study the Old Testament words, they will approach the Scriptures from these different angles: they look to the Holy Spirit for interpretation of prophetic words, historical records, or comprehensive messages.” 

“Let us remember that ministry of the Word in our day ought to be richer than that of those who wrote the New Testament. … How, then, do we say that today’s ministry of the Word should be richer? Because Paul had in his hand only the Old Testament as the basis of his speaking, but we have in our hand the writings of Paul and Peter and others in addition to the Old Testament. Paul had only 39 books in his hand, but we have 66 books. Hence our ministry should be richer in Word. We have more materials at the disposal of the Spirit of God, more opportunities for God’s Spirit to explain. Our ministry therefore ought not be poorer but richer.”

“One should never deceive himself by thinking he can be a minister of God’s Word if he simply reads the Bible. The question is not whether he has read the Bible: it is instead, how has he read it?”

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

8 More Quotes From “The Ministry Of God’s Word”

The Ministry Of God's WordI stand by what I said: The Ministry Of God’s Word by Watchman Nee is a must read for anyone who preaches the Bible. You can read my full review of this book by clicking here. Below are some more quotes from this amazing book.

“Should anyone fail to see the necessity of having himself dealt with by God, fail to see how his habits, temperament and life need to be pruned and refined, he is of no use to the Word of God.”

“Never forget what the ministry of the Word is. It is the outflowing of the Spirit of God in man as well as in the Word. One part of it consists of God’s Word and the other part of man’s ministry. The Word of God comes to man, who adds in his ministry, and then the two flow out together. God’s Word is not delivered if it is just the Word without the human ministry.”

“Having been set apart as a minister of God’s Word from our mother’s womb, none of us can afford to be foolish before God.”

“A minister of the Word needs to rise very high before God; only then will His Word come through. The pureness of the Word released depends on the amount of discipline received before God. The more the man is broken, the purer the Word; the less that has been learned, the more corrupt its release. The ministry of the Word is based on the condition of the man before the Lord.”

“When the Holy Spirit finds it possible to put the Word in a person’s mouth because the emotion, thought, will, and spirit of that man are under His control, then there is revelation.”

“Every area of our life must therefore be dealt with by God. Always remember that to be a minister of the Word is not a cheap matter.”

“God does not put His Word in man for him to repeat verbatim. He puts His Word in man for the latter to search out with his mind. He gives light to man that man may grasp it and think on it. He places a burden in man for him to find appropriate words to express that burden. It is man who thinks, searches, and speaks; even so, God is able to acknowledge that it is in truth His very own Word.”

“If you as a person have not been pruned and refined by God, your opinion will not be dependable. Any bit of its projection will spoil the Word of God. How God has trusted you as His minister! He gives you a light and burden, and then allows you to think out and feel His Word, even permitting you to form your own opinion. He trusts you. He still works in you that all your opinion, thought and feeling will be like His. This is New Testament prophesying, New Testament ministry of the Word.”

You can read some previously posted quotes from this book by clicking here.

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