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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Whatever

6 10 2007

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“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





The Nature of Worship

26 06 2007

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
(John 4:21-24)

Worship is not what you feel when you look at the ocean or when you are enjoying a wonderful mountain lakworship-at-the-beach.jpge. It’s not the way you feel smelling the cut grass of a perfectly manicured golf course or hearing the squeak of perfect snow under your skis. Many of us confuse worship with inspiration. Inspiration occurs when God illumines our lives with His gracious presence. Worship is our response to those moments. If we truly want to honor the God who gave us perfect swells, clear trout streams, ski slopes, golf greens, beautiful children, and loving spouses, we should enjoy those things six days a week and then give God the worship He commands on the seventh. Worship always includes gathering with God’s people and participating in “spirit and in truth.”

–Tod E. Bolsinger, It Takes A Church To Raise A Christian: How The Community of God Transforms Lives, pp93-4





Christ Is The Reward

18 04 2007

“Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant–dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him…”
(Philippians 3:8,9 The Message)

buriedtreasure.jpgThe reward of Christianity is Christ. Do you journey to the Grand Canyon for the souvenir T-shirt or the snow globe with the snowflakes that fall when you shake it? No. The reward of the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon. The wide-eyed realization that you are part of something ancient, splendid, powerful, and greater than you. The cache of Christianity is Christ. Not money in the bank or a car in the garage or a healthy body or a better self-image. Secondary and tertiary fruits perhaps. But the Fort Knox of faith is Christ. Fellowship with Him. Walking with Him. Pondering Him. Exploring Him. The heart-stopping realization that in Him you are part of something ancient, endless, unstoppable, and unfathomable. And that He, who can dig the Grand Canyon with His pinkie, thinks you’re worth His death on Roman timber. Christ is the reward of Christianity.

–Max Lucado
Grace For The Moment, Volume II





Arminians And Calvinists Hugging

28 03 2007

We are told that when John Wesley was dying, he tried to sing, but his voice was nearly gone. He was almost ninety. He had traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on horseback, preaching three or four times daily in founding a great church. He was plainly Arminian in his theology, but as his Christian family and friends gathered around his bed, he was trying to sing the words of an old Calvinist hymn:

I will praise my Maker while I’ve breath, And when my soul is lost in death, Praise shall employ my nobler powers.

That is why I cannot get all heated up about contending for one theological side or another on that issue. If Isaac Watts, a Calvinist, could write such praise to God and John Wesley, an Arminian, could sing it with yearning and they both can meet and hug one another in glory, why should I allow anyone to force me to confess, “I don’t know which I am!” Why should anyone bother me with an issue like that?

I was created to worship and praise God. I was redeemed that I should worship Him and enjoy Him forever.

That is the primary issue, my brother or sister. That is why we earnestly invite men and women to become converted, taking Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

–A.W. Tozer





For The Tired Of Pacing

9 03 2007

I found Foster’s prayer refreshing. I’m making it my prayer today…perhaps it is yours as well…

Blessed Savior,

I pace back and forth at the altar of commitment. I really do want a fixed habit of prayer. At least, that is what I want right now. I’m not sure if that is what I will want two weeks from now. I do know thatfeetandsurf.jpg without some kind of consistent communion with You I will not know holy obedience. So, as best I can, I promise to set aside time regularly for prayer, meditation and spiritual meditation. Strengthen me in this covenant. Help me to so delight in Your presence that I will want to come home to You often.

In Your Name and for Your sake I make this covenant.

Amen.

–Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p77 (Chapter Seven: “Covenant Prayer”)





Holy Is The Lord!

6 02 2007

Holy is the Lord – Chris Tomlin

Worship today…Holy is the Lord!

(hint: for slower speed internets, just put video on pause until it buffers completely. Come back in five minutes and watch it minus the skipping…thanks to my son, the techno-geek, who taught his dullard father this trick)