Waiting

31 03 2009

Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.
(Luke 24:46-49) 

“This season of waiting is always an essential qualification for successful service. God would have His children realizewaiting-on-god the utter inadequacy of all human means to accomplish His gigantic purposes, that thus the praise and glory might be afterwards ascribed exclusively to Him. The disciples were given ten days to review the field of battle, to recognize the difficulties that bristled round on every side, to measure the adversaries’ strength, and to understand their own helplessness and weakness; thus were they driven to their knees in earnest, anxious prayer. Then came the answer. The promise was fulfilled, and the power stored up in the almighty Savior was brought down to His disciples in the person of the Holy Spirit.”

-Hugh D. Brown

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Whatever

6 10 2007

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narrow-gate.jpg 

“And they immediately left the nets and followed Him.”
(Matthew 4:20) 

“Lord, I am willing
To receive what You give,
To lack what You withhold,
To relinquish what You take,
To suffer what You inflict,
To be what You require.”

–from an ancient hymn
quoted in Jerry Bridge’s Transforming Grace, p185





Who’s He To You?

23 06 2007

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
(Revelation 2:4,5)

If I let my work to get between my heart and the Master, it will be little worth. We can only effectually serve Christ as we are enjoying Him. It is while the heart dwells upon His powerful attractions that the hands perform the most acceptable service to His name…True, he may preach a sermon, deliver a lecture, utter prayers, write a book, and go through the entire routine of outward service, and yet not minister Christ. The man who will present Christ to others must be occupied with Christ for himself.

–C.H. Mackintosh, Genesis to Deuteronomy: Notes on the Pentateuch, p155; quoted from Heartcry! Life Action Ministries’ Journal on Renewal and Spiritual Awakening, Spring 2007





Another Religion

17 06 2007

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
(1 Timothy 4:16)

I once had another religion, mincing, lisping, baited breath, proper, hunting the Bible for hidden truths, but no obedience, no sacrifice.

ct-studd.jpg–C.T. Studd (1860-1931), English missionary to China, India and Africa





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





Fasting for Life

12 05 2007

“But this kind does not go out but by prayer and fasting.”
(Matthew 17:21)

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When we fast, we are intentionally relinquishing the first right given to the human family in the Garden—the right to eat. We say no to food because we are intent upon others receiving a far greater nourishment. We are committed to breaking every yoke and setting the captives free. Our fasting is a sign that nothing will stop us in our struggle in behalf of the broken and oppressed.

We are depriving ourselves for the sake of a greater good. Our fasting has weight with God and effect upon others…Our fasting is part of our wrestling with God. It is part of the birth pangs we endure in order to see new life come forth.

–Richard Foster
Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p226





A Liturgy That Shapes Us

4 04 2007

“My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!”
(Galatians 4:19, ESV)

The operating biblical metaphor regarding worship is sacrifice. We bring ourselves to the altar and let God do to us what God will. We bring ourselves to the eucharistic table, entering into that communion.jpggrand fourfold shape of the liturgy that shapes us: taking, blessing, breaking, giving—the life of Jesus taken and blessed, broken and distributed; and that eucharistic life now shapes our lives as we give ourselves, Christ in us, to be taken, blessed, broken and distributed in lives of witness and service, justice and healing.

–Eugene Peterson