To Be A Christian

4 05 2011

“To me to live is Christ”
(Apostle Paul, Philippians 1:21)

To be a Christian is nothing less than to have the glorified Christ living in us in actual presence, possession and power. It is to have Him as the Life of our life in such a way and to such a degree that we can even say as Paul did, “To me to live is Christ.” To be a Christian is to grow up into Christ in all things: it is to have that divine seed which was planted in our innermost spirit blossom out into a growing conformity to His perfect Life. To be a Christian is to have Christ the Life of our minds, our hearts, our will, so that it is Christ thinking through us, living through us, willing through us. It is increasingly to have no life but the Life of Christ within us filling us with ever-increasing measure.

–Ruth Paxson, Life On The Highest Plane

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Your Serve

7 08 2009

“And a scribe came up and said to Him, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'”
(Matthew 8:19,20)

stain_glass“Jesus has many who love His kingdom in heaven, but few who bear His cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share His feast, but few His fasting.

All desire to rejoice with Him, but few are willing to suffer for His sake. Many follow Jesus to the breaking of the bread, but few to the drinking of the cup of His passion. Many admire the miracles, but few follow Him to the humiliation of the cross. Many love Jesus as long as no hardship touches them.”

–Thomas a Kempis





Not A Cakewalk

15 06 2007

Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”
(Matthew 8:21)

There are moments that significantly test our resolve to be fully devoted followers of Christ. Following Christ is a cakewalk when He leads us through familiar terrain or comfortable passages. But when followership means that we have to give up something important to us, or it challenges the familiar or comfortable, or it flies in the face of reason or natural instincts, then we find ourselves at a strategic crossroads on our pilgrimage. When responding as a fully devoted follower, we advance to new levels of effectiveness. But when we cling to what is safe, secure and familiar, we put our followership on hold and face ineffectiveness and disappointment.

–Joseph Stowell, Following Christ: Experiencing Life The Way It Was Meant To Be, p135





Daring To Be Holy

30 05 2007

“Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.”
(Hebrews 12:14)

Say not that you have royal blood in your veins and are born to God, except you can prove your pedigree by daring to be holy.

–William Gurnall, 17th century English Puritan





Looking For Signs

19 05 2007

“Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you.  You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thornbushes.  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds.”
(Matthew 7:15-20, CEV)

Before we follow any man we should look for the oil on his forehead. We are under no spiritual obligation to aid any man in any activity that has not upon it the marks of the cross.dead-tree.jpg

–A.W. Tozer

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deception.

–Machiavelli





Roses At Ravensbruck

16 05 2007

“But now, if You will only forgive their sin—but if not, blot me out of the book that You have written!”
(Exodus 32:32)

ravensbruck.jpg

In the Ravensbruck Nazi concentration camp—the camp where an estimated ninety-two thousand men, women and children were murdered—a piece of wrapping paper was found near the body of a dead child. On the paper was written this prayer:

“O Lord, remember no only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not only remember the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we bought, thanks to this suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.”

–Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p224





Any Cross In Your Christianity?

7 05 2007

“To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.”
(1 Corinthians 4:11-13)

Are you making any sacrifices? Does your religion cost you anything? I put it to your conscience in all affection and tenderness. Are you willing to give up anything which keeps you back from God, or are you clinging to the Egypt of the world, and saying to yourself, Are you, like Moses, preferring God to the world, or not?“I must have it, I must have it: I cannot tear myself away”?

Is there any cross in your Christianity? Are there any sharp corners in your religion, anything that ever jars and comes in collision with the earthly-mindedness around you? Or is all smooth and rounded off, and comfortably fitted into custom and fashion? Do you know anything of the afflictions of the gospel? Is your faith and practice ever a subject of scorn and reproach? Are you thought a fool by anyone because of your soul? Have you left Pharaoh’s daughter, and heartily joined the people of God? Are you venturing all on Christ? Search and see.

–J.C. Ryle
Holiness