Links & Quotes

link quote

For my pastor friends: “A growing church is a work of God. We, His servants, matter only to the extent that we are faithful in our callings.” —T.M. Moore

“Maintaining doctrinal purity is good but it is not the whole picture for a New Testament church. The apostles wanted to do much more than simply ‘hold the fort,’ as the old gospel song says. They asked God to empower them to move out and impact an entire culture.” Read more from Jim Cymbala’s post His Hand Of Love.

“Read whatever chapter of Scripture you will, and be ever so delighted with it—yet it will leave you as poor, as empty and unchanged as it found you unless it has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and brought you into full union with and dependence upon Him.” —William Law

Pastor Chilly Chilton has an important reminder: Being Mean Is MEAN.

If you are fasting during Lent, or if you simply fast on a regular basis, this post is helpful: Kingdom Fast: Caffeine.

Very helpful: Want To Get Your Dream Job? Do These 4 Things.

Ever been here? How To Pray When You Don’t Feel Like It.

Thoughtful words from Seth Godin: Kicking And Screaming (vs. singing and dancing).

Funny, but true, from Truth Facts

Tax forms

William Law On Prayer

William LawSome quotes from William Law on prayer …

“There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.” —William Law

“He who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life.” —William Law

“The greatest saint in the world is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives alms, or is more eminent for temperance, chastity, or justice. It is he who is most thankful to God.” —William Law

12 Quotes From “Pouring Holy Water On Strange Fire”

Pouring Holy Water On Strange FireIn Pouring Holy Water On Strange Fire, Frank Viola uses an extensive array of sources, both ancient and contemporary, in his critique of John MacArthur’s book Strange Fire. You can read my full book review by clicking here. I hope you will enjoy these quotes as much as I did.

“For some do certainly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe, and join themselves to the church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic utterances. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. And what shall I more say? It is not possible to name the number of the gifts which the church throughout the whole world has received from God, in the name of the Jesus Christ (2.32.4) … For this reason does the apostle declare, who speak wisdom among them that are perfect, terming those persons perfect who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit of God do speak in all tongues, as he used himself also to speak. In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of tongues, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of God, whom also the apostle terms spiritual, they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit (5.6.1).” —Irenaeus, Against Heresies

“Now was absolutely fulfilled that promise of the Spirit which was given by the word of Joel: ‘In the last days will I pour out My Spirit upon all flesh, and their sons and their daughters shall prophesy; and upon My servants and upon My handmaids will I pour out of my Spirit.’ Since then the Creator promised the gifts of His Spirit in the latter days; and since Christ has in these last days appeared as the dispenser of spiritual gifts … it evidently follows in connection with this prediction of the last days, that this gift of the Spirit belongs to Him who is the Christ of the predictors … Let Marcion then exhibit, as gifts of his god, some prophets, such as have not spoken by human sense, but with the Spirit of God, such as have both predicted things to come, and have made manifest the secrets of the heart; let him produce a psalm, a vision, a prayer—only let it be by the Spirit, in an ecstasy, that is, in a rapture, whenever an interpretation of tongues has occurred to him; let him show to me also, that any woman of boastful tongue in his community has ever prophesied from amongst those specially holy sisters of his. Now all these signs of spiritual gifts are forthcoming from my side without any difficulty, and they agree, too, with the rules, and the dispensations, and the instructions of the Creator; therefore without doubt the Christ, and the Spirit, and the apostle, belong severally to my God. Here, then, is my frank avowal for any one who cares to require it (Bk. 5, Ch. 8).” —Tertullian, Against Marcion

“Anyone who cuts out portions of Scripture is guilty of very grievous sin … I say once more, there, that to hold such a view [cessationism] is simply to quench the Spirit.” —D. Martin Lloyd-Jones

“Therefore to say that because we now have all the writings of Scripture complete we no longer need the miraculous inspiration of the Spirit among men as in former days is a degree of blindness as great as any that can be charged upon the scribes and the Pharisees. … There is no degree of delusion higher than that which is evidenced by those who profess to teach from the divinely inspired Scriptures that the immediate, continual illumination and working of the Spirit in men’s hearts ceased when the canon of Scripture was complete. To deny the present prophetic gift in the church is to deny also that very manifestation of Christ today to His own which the Scriptures teach is the only means to the reality of Gospel Christianity.” —William Law

“But He has left to us the same power He possess. This [the indwelling Holy Spirit to continue Jesus’s life and ministry and to perpetuate miracles] is the mighty gift of our ascended Lord. This is the supreme need of the church today … the constitution of the church is identical with the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians. … We cannot leave out any part of the gospel without weakening the rest; and if there ever was an age when the world needed the witness of God’s supernatural working, it is the day of unbelief and satanic power.” —A.B. Simpson

“The devil only bothers to counterfeit that which is real and a threat to his kingdom.” —Frank Viola

“A Bible-based sermon can be equal in truth if rooted in Scripture, but not equal in authority to the Bible.” —Frank Viola

“Spirit can embrace intellect, but human intellect won’t comprehend Spirit.” —A.W. Tozer

“We need to learn that truth consists not in correct doctrine, but correct doctrine plus the inward enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.” —A.W. Tozer 

“We cannot make too much of this matter of revelation, illumination, seeing. It is basic in salvation (Acts 26:18). It is essential to effective ministry (2 Corinthians 4:6) and it is indispensable to full knowledge and full growth (Ephesians 1:17)…. The kind of seeing to which we refer is an epoch, an encounter, a revelation, a crisis. There is no power on this earth which could have changed that rabid, fanatical, bigoted Saul of Tarsus, a ‘Pharisee of the Pharisees,’ into ‘the apostle of the Gentiles’ (Romans 11:13)…. Argument would not have done it. Neither persuasion nor persecution nor martyrdom would have effected it. But it was done! That ‘conversion’ stood the test of all persecutions, sufferings, and adversities possible to man for the rest of his life…. Indeed, a fundamental and preeminent work of the Holy Spirit has to do with spiritual enlightenment and supremely as to the significance of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. It is all in the Scriptures, but still our eyes may be holden…. We can be governed by objective truth. It can be ‘the truth’—orthodox, sound, Bible truth. We can be governed by that simply because it is taught; we do it objectively. But there is something more than that. There is such a thing as the Holy Spirit taking hold of the truth of God and making it something that lives in us…. Many Christians are just Christians: that is, after they are saved, their Christian life consists in doing as they are told by the minister because it is presented to them as the thing they should do. But there is a much higher level of life than that. The thing is right, but it is altogether transformed when the Holy Spirit brings it home to us in an inward way, and adjusts us to it. We no longer do it because it has got to be done: we do it because the Lord has done something in us, and shown us that that is the thing that He wants done… it is no more mechanical, it is vital!” —T. Austin Sparks

“To downplay and criticize a genuine desire to know our Lord in greater capacity and to receive clear direction from God’s Spirit in greater measure is contrary to the exhortation and examples found in Scripture. Certainly, spiritual contentment and complacency would have drawn from Paul the strongest reproof. And it did so from Jesus in the book of Revelation.” —Frank Viola

“One thing the charismatic movement has been sent to do, I believe, is to alert us all to the fact that God, when trusted, will show His hand in many thrilling ways, and we should be expecting Him to do that, though without dictating to Him what He must do in particular situations.” —J.I. Packer

15 Quotes From “Spirit Rising”

Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala makes a compelling case for diving into the full life in Christ that can only come through the power of the Holy Spirit (you can read my full review of this book by clicking here).

Here are 15 of my favorite quotes from this book (unless otherwise noted, the quotes are from Pastor Cymbala):

“No outward teaching can compare to the inward power of the Holy Spirit.”

“The Christian religion is hopeless without the Holy Ghost.” —Samuel Chadwick 

“We are not such fools to refuse good bank notes because there are false ones in circulation; and although we see here and there manifestations of what appears to be nothing more than mere earthly fire, we none the less prize and value, and seek for the genuine fire which comes from the altar of the Lord.” —William Booth

“An undeniable expression of Spirit-controlled living is that we will be lifted above the limitations of mere natural talents and abilities.”

“When we see only what we want to see in the Bible, it loses all power to transform us.”

“Thousands stand ready to split doctrinal hairs and instruct others in the fine meaning of Scriptural words—but there are so few through whom the Holy Spirit can work to bring [people] to new birth in the kingdom of God.” —William Law

“Paul warned, ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God’ (Eph. 4:30). If the Spirit is grieved, He’s vexed and sad. Although we know our salvation isn’t lost by our sin, we also become painfully aware that there’s a strain in our relationship. Communion with God is affected, and we feel an uncomfortable emptiness. The sun is still there and shining, but we no longer feel its warmth. It is as if a cloud blocks it.”

“Without the Holy Spirit’s power, we’ll never have enough of what we need to become the people God wants us to be.”

“I believe one of the reasons Jesus picked those men [the twelve apostles] was specifically because they lacked natural resources. They would have to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“The Holy Spirit was sent to accomplish many divine purposes, but at the top of the list was the empowering of God’s people to reach the world with the gospel of Christ. …If we lose sight of God’s heart of love for the world—including our own cities and neighborhoods—we will experience little of the Spirit’s power, since we are on a different page than our Lord is on.”

“It’s interesting to note the first reason Mark gives for appointing the Twelve [Mark 3:13-15]. That they might be with Him. When Jesus called someone, fellowship came before ministry.”

“It’s easy to understand how prayers can be stopped in public schools filled with unbelieving students and teachers. But when God’s own people and Christian churches have little or no time for prayer, that’s another story. The angels must weep when they see our disinterest in prayer! Do we realize we’re forfeiting the help and strength promised by a faithful God to those who will simple take time to ask?”

“We are never really men of prayer in the best sense until we are ‘filled with the Holy Ghost.’” —Samuel Chadwick

“We can easily settle for ‘church’ instead of God. And every succeeding generation shaped in that mold makes it harder for anyone to dare ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’”

“Without the Spirit, Christianity is reduced to head knowledge about God, empty traditions, and a social club mentality.”

Start It With Me

Pastors, I wrote earlier about the idea that you have to preach your message to yourself before you preach it you’re your congregation (you may read that post here). But I want to back up a step to the motivation for that.

These words from William Law are challenging —

“The first business of a clergyman awakened by God into a sensibility and love of the truths of the Gospel, and of making them equally felt and loved by others, is to thankfully, joyfully, and calmly adhere to and give way to the increase of this new-risen light, and by true introversion of his heart to God, as the sole Author of it, humbly beg of Him that all that he feels a desire of doing to those under his care may be first truly and fully done in himself.”

God, if You want to do something in my congregation, start it with me. Right here, right now, in the privacy of my study, begin with me. When I come before my congregation this weekend, may my life be the example of the work You want to do in us all.

From The Library Of A.W. Tozer (book review)

From The Library Of A.W. Tozer is an incredible gift from James Stuart Bell to not only fans of A.W. Tozer, but anyone who loves the spiritual classics.

A.W. Tozer was a prolific and influential author in the Pentecostal evangelical circles beginning in the 1960s, but his writings are still influencing thousands today. In reading Tozer, it is obvious that the Scripture is his first and foremost text, but it is equally as obvious that Tozer was a well-read student of the classics. In this compilation, James Stuart Bell gives us access to Tozer’s library. We can read for ourselves the writings that influenced the fertile and productive mind of Aiden Wilson Tozer.

Nicely arranged in eight broad sections, you will read the profound thoughts of Augustine, John Bunyan, Martin Luther, William Law, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight Moody, A.B. Simpson, and G. Morgan Campbell, to name just a few of my favorites. This is a book that you will not only pick up often, but one that will whet your appetite to read more of these classic works yourself.

A wonderful read!

I am a Bethany House book reviewer.

A Season Of Thanks

a-season-of-thanksWe’re starting a 3-week Thanksgiving series at Bethel A/G this Sunday morning called “A Season Of Thanks.” The idea is that — just like salt — a spirit of thanks seasons everything we do and everyone we’re around. This week we’ll look at how a part of our brain (the reticular activating system, or RAS) literally allows us to see what is wonderful and praiseworthy around us, or only allows us to see what is lousy and wrong in our world. We can program our RAS by choosing to be thankful (that word literally means full of thanks).

“The greatest saint in the world is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives alms, or is more eminent for temperance, chastity, or justice. It is he who is most thankful to God.” — William Law

If you are around the Burton, Michigan, area over the next three Sundays, we would love to see you at 10:30 AM on November 16, 23, & 30.

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