Posted by jerrywhite on Apr 28, 2011
“Charles G. Finney was born August 29, 1792, and heard almost no gospel preaching during his early years. At the age of twenty-six he joined a law office in the small town of Adams, New York. Here he was able to attend church services and prayer meetings regularly. He constantly analyzed the Christians’ prayers and could not see that they were being answered.
The church members asked him if he did not want them to pray for him. He told them, ‘No. I suppose I need to be prayed for, for I am conscious that I am a sinner; but I do not see that it will do any good for you to pray for me, for you are continually asking, what you do not receive. You have been praying for revival of religion ever since I have been in Adams, and yet you have it not. You have been praying for the Holy Spirit to descend upon yourselves and yet complaining of your leanness…You have prayed enough since I have attended these meetings to have prayed the devil out of Adam, if there is any virtue in your prayers. But here you are praying on, and complaining still.’”
Revival Fire, 93-94
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11: 24 (ESV)
Asking the Father without faith prevents answers to prayer. Asking selfishly, or contrary to God’s will, results in heaven’s silence. Asking in faith and according to God’s will with a persistent heart will bring answers to prayer. Christians can ask in a way that is no more than wishful hoping. Genuine faith lays hold of God and uses His promises with a determination that for His glory He must answer. As our Father, He is not reluctant to answer, but He wants us to mature in persistent faith and thereby learn how absolutely faithful He is when we honor Him with steadfast confidence. We please Him when we trust that He will answer in His perfect time in the very best way.
Do you see your prayers answered?
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Posted by jerrywhite on Apr 25, 2011
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3:16 (ESV)
“Agape means that God offers the world the love of the cross and never withdraws it—but that does not mean that all men will be saved. There are always those men who will reject God’s love, preferring their comfortable sins and their selfishness.
True love is not simple and soothing like a lullaby; it is demanding. To see love for what it is—the reckless self-giving so wonderfully shown on Calvary—is to realize that selfishness is not an option. No one can persist in seeking the best for himself while he keeps before him what Christ has done for him on Calvary. Love does not mean that there is no judgment; love guarantees judgment, because it points up the ugliness of sin like nothing else does. Sin against one’s fellowman or against oneself is bad enough, but sin against the sacrificial love of God is infinitely worse. The man who spurns the love he sees on Calvary writes a damning judgment against himself.”
Testaments Of Love, 167
The foundation for walking with God is twofold. It comes from knowing deep within that God loves you with all that He is, and secondly, from knowing deep within that you love God with all that you are. When these two factors are joined together, then your walk is stable, fulfilling and fruitful. The Lord becomes the longing of your heart and the delight of your soul. You crave to drink regularly from His living water so that you can be an expression of His wonderful love to those around you—family, friends and anyone else you meet along the way. The alternative is to walk in selfishness, self-centeredness and sin.
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Posted by jerrywhite on Apr 20, 2011
“The first thing for all of us to do is to present ourselves to God as alive from the dead and our bodies as living sacrifices. The path of blessedness can be entered by no other gate. Only as we refuse to be conformed to this world, and yield ourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, can we learn all that God will do for us. He is prepared to be and do all things in us, if only we will lie open to Him as the land lies open to the summer sun.
Those who live the yielded life do not need to ascertain God’s will by signs. They recognize it by the whisper of His voice and the touch of His hand. As we refuse to be molded by the world, we give ourselves up to the transfiguring Spirit of God, that we might prove what is good, acceptable, and perfect. But more than that, we begin to live for others and draw by faith from the fullness of God that we may minister to them correctly.
We can never realize divine ideals of service merely through reluctant, begrudging obedience. We must be compelled by a holy love for our Lord and one another. That holy love comes from Him.”
The Best of F. B. Meyer, 108
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 (Amplified Bible)
The wording of this verse indicates this is a decisive act. It is a definite act done as deliberately as giving yourself in marriage. It is the only appropriate response in view of all the mercies of God expressed through the Good News of Jesus Christ. If our Lord gave Himself for us in order to give Himself to us, then can we do less for Him?
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Posted by jerrywhite on Apr 17, 2011
“Our Lord Jesus Christ is both God for man and man for God; he is God’s incarnate Son, fully divine and fully human. We know him as both the mediator of divine grace and the model of human godliness. And what is human godliness, the godliness that is true holiness, as seen in Jesus? It is simply human life lived as the Creator intended—in other words, it is perfect and ideal humanness, an existence in which the elements of the human person are completely united in a totally God-honoring and nature-fulfilling way. (Since God made humanity for himself, godliness naturally fulfills human nature at the deepest level. As experience proves, no contentment can match the contentment of obeying God, however costly this may prove.)….
Genuine holiness is genuine Christ-likeness, and genuine Christ-likeness is genuine humanness—the only genuine humanness there is. Love in the service of God and others, humility and meekness under the divine hand, integrity of behavior expressing integration of character, wisdom with faithfulness, boldness with prayerfulness, sorrow at people’s sins, joy at the Father’s goodness, and single-mindedness in seeking to please the father morning, noon, and night, were all qualities seen in Christ, the perfect man.
Christians were meant to become human as Jesus was human. We are called to imitate these character qualities, with the help of the Holy Spirit, so that the childish instability, inconsiderate self-seeking, pious play acting, and undiscerning pigheadedness that so frequently mar our professedly Christian lives are left behind. ‘Holiness, rightly understood, is a beautiful thing, and its beauty is the beauty and tenderness of divine love’ [James Philip, Christian Maturity, 65]—which is precisely the beauty of truly mature humanity. I need to remember all this, and take it to heart, and set my sights accordingly.”
J. I. Packer
Rediscovering Holiness, 26-29
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV)
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Posted by jerrywhite on Apr 14, 2011
Thirst is a metaphor often used in the Bible to speak of deep spiritual longing. It is found in both Testaments. This kind of compelling desire to know God and to experience His presence can become the driving force in one’s life and be the habitual focus of one’s heart.
David wrote in his devotional journal, My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night (Psalm 63:5). Does this confession sound strange to you? Meditative thoughts about the Lord while lying on his bed was as richly satisfying to David’s soul as rich and fat food was satisfying to his palate, taste buds and mouth? The reason for this was because David greatly thirsted for God and the result was that he sought Him earnestly (Psalm 63:1). He knew by experience that God’s steadfast love for him was better than life itself (Psalm 63: 3).
From The Parallel Commentary on the Psalms by Walter Mark comes the following:
“Thirst is an insatiable longing after that which is one of the most essential supports of life; there is no reasoning with it, no forgetting it, no despising it, no overcoming it by stoical indifference. Thirst will be heard; the whole man must yield to its power; even thus is it with that divine desire which the grace of God creates in regenerate men; only God himself can satisfy the craving of a soul really aroused by the Holy Spirit. My flesh longeth for thee; by two words soul and flesh, he denotes the whole of his being.”
Do you thirst? Our merciful and gracious God can stir your heart to thirst like David’s. It matters not how much you have going on in your life, it is possible for you to thirst for God like a man without water in the desert. The Lord who spoke creation into existence can create in your soul a wonderful thirst for Him, and then He can satisfy it beyond your highest imagination. If you thirst for God like this you are a blessed one (Matthew 5:6). If you do not thirst this way, why not ask your merciful and gracious Father right now to stir your heart until you do? Persist in asking until your heart craves His fellowship and presence. You will be satisfied as with fat and rich food.
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