You Cannot by G.D. Watson (1845-1924)
If God has called you to be really like Jesus,
He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be
able to measure yourself by other Christians; and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which he will
never let you do.
Christians and ministers, who seem very religious and useful, can push themselves, pull wires and work schemes to carry out
their Christian goals, but these things you simply cannot do.
Others may boast of their work or their writings or their success, but the Holy Spirit will not allow
you to do any such thing, and if you ever try it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise
yourself and all your good works.
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, but most likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to
have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him and the joy of seeing Him supply your needs day
by day out of an unseen Treasury.
The Lord may let others be honored and keep you hidden and unappreciated because He wants to produce some choice,
fragrant fruit for his coming glory, which can only produce in the shade. He may let others do a work for Him and get the
credit for it, but He will make you work on and on without knowing how much you are doing; and then, to make your work still
more precious, He may let others get the credit for the work which you have done, and thus make your reward ten times greater
when Jesus comes.
Holy Spirit will rebuke you for little words or deeds or even feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never
seem to be concerned about, but you must make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and He has a right to do whatever
He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in the way He deals with you,
but if you will just submit yourself to Him in all things, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and bestow upon you many
blessings which come only to those who are very near to His heart.
Settle it, then, that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing
your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that your
secret heart becomes pleased and delighted with this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the
Holy Spirit over your life, then you will have entered the very vestibule of heaven itself.
Dying to Self by Bill Britton
When you are forgotten, neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting or hurt with the oversight, but
your heart is happy being counted worthy to suffer for Christ;
That is dying to self.
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed, and
you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence;
That is dying to self.
When you lovingly and patiently
bear any disorder, any irregularity, any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual
insensibility, and endure it as Jesus did;
That is dying to self.
When you are content with any food, and offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, any interruption
by the will of God;
That is dying
never care to refer to yourself in conversation or record your own good works or itch after commendation, when you can truly
love to be unknown;
That is dying
can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question
God, while your own needs are far greater and you are in desperate circumstances;
That is dying to self.
When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature
than yourself and can humbly submit, inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your
That is dying to self.
for a Burning Heart by A.W. Tozer
previously said that any Christian who desires to, may experience a radical spiritual renascence, and this altogether independent
of the attitude of his fellow Christians.
The important question now is How? Well, here are some suggestions which anyone
can follow and which, I am convinced, will result in a wonderfully improved Christian life.
1. Get thoroughly dissatisfied
Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress. The contented soul is the stagnant soul. When speaking
of earthly goods, Paul could say, “ I have learned … to be content”; but when referring to his spiritual
life, he testified, “I press toward the mark.” Stir up the gift of God that is in thee.
2. Set your
face like a flint toward a sweeping transformation of your life.
Timid experimenters are tagged for failure before they
start. We must throw our whole soul into our desire for God. “The Kingdom of God suffereth violence, and the violent
take it by force.”
3. Put yourself in the way of the blessing.
It is a mistake to look for grace to
visit us as a kind of benign magic, or to expect God’s help to come as a windfall apart from conditions known and met.
There are plainly marked paths which lead straight to the green pastures; let us walk in them. To desire revival, for instance,
and at the same time to neglect prayer and devotion is to wish one way and walk another.
4. Do a thorough job of
Do not hurry to get it over with. Hasty repentance means shallow spiritual experience and lack of certainty
in the whole life. Let godly sorrow do her healing work. Until we allow the consciousness of sin to wound us, we will never
develop a fear of evil. It is our wretched habit of tolerating sin that keeps us in our half-dead condition.
Make restitution wherever possible.
If you owe a debt, pay it, or at least have a frank understanding with your creditor
about your intentions to pay, so that your honesty will be above question. If you have quarreled with anyone, go as far as
you can in an effort to achieve reconciliation. As fully as possible make the crooked things straight.
your life into accord with the Sermon on the Mount and such other New Testament Scriptures as are designed to instruct us
in the way of righteousness.
An honest man with an open Bible and a pad and pencil is sure to find out what is wrong
with him very quickly. I recommend that the self-examination be made on our knees, rising to obey God’s commandments
as they are revealed to us from the Word. There is nothing romantic or colorful about this plain downright way of dealing
with ourselves, but it gets the work done. Issac’s workmen did not look like heroic figures as they digged in the valley,
but they got the wells open, and that was what they had set out to do.
7. Be serious – minded.
well afford to see fewer comedy shows on TV. Unless you break away from the funny boys, every spiritual impression will continue
to be lost to your heart, and that right in your own living room. The people of the world used to go to the movies to escape
serious thinking about God and religion. You would not join them there, but you now enjoy spiritual communion with them in
your own home.
The devils ideals, moral standards, and mental attitudes are being accepted by you without you knowing
it. You wonder why you can make no progress in your Christian life. Your interior climate is not favorable to the growth of
spiritual graces. There must be a radical change in your habits or there will not be any permanent improvement in your interior
8. Deliberately narrow your interests.
The Jack-of-all-trades is the master of none. The Christian life
requires that we be specialists. Too many projects use up time and energy without bringing us nearer to God. If you will narrow
your interests, God will enlarge your heart.
“Jesus only” seems to the unconverted man to be the motto of
death. But a great company of happy men and women can testify that it became to them a way into a world infinitely wider and
richer than anything they had ever known before.
Christ is the essence of all wisdom, beauty and virtue. To know Him
in growing intimacy is to increase in appreciation of all things good and beautiful. The mansions of the heart will become
larger when their doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it.
9. Begin to witness.
Find something to do for God and your fellow men. Refuse to rust out. Make yourself available to your pastor and do anything
you are asked to do. Do not insist upon a place of leadership. Learn to obey. Take the low place until such time as God sees
fit to set you in a higher one. Back your new intentions with your money and your gifts, such as they are.
Have faith in God.
Begin to expect. Look up toward the throne where your Advocate sits at the right hand of God. All
heaven is on your side. God will not disappoint you.
If you will follow these suggestions, you will most surely experience
revival in your own heart. And who can tell how far it may spread? God knows how desperately the church needs a spiritual
resurrection. And it can only come through the revived individual.
HOW GET RID OF THE SELF, LIFE? By F.B. Meyer
I will show you. There are three steps: the cross, the Spirit, the contemplation
of the risen Christ. May we take them now; may the Spirit of God reveal to each one this blessed secret!
First, the cross.
Now understand that I hold that on the cross Jesus Christ offered a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
But there is a second meaning significant in the cross. Turn to Rom.8:3-4 : "What the law could not do in that it was
weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." God sent
His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin. "For sin" is substitutionary; “In 'the likeness
of sinful flesh" is the reference of the cross to sanctification. On the cross God nailed in the person of Christ the
likeness of our sinful flesh. I cannot explain it to you more than that; but I know this--that next to seeing Jesus as my
sacrifice, nothing has revolutionized my life like seeing the effigy of my sinful self in the sinless, dying Savior. I say
"God has nailed the likeness of my self life to the cross. The cross is the symbol of degradation and
curse. Cursed is everyone that hangs on the cross. If then God has treated the likeness of my sinful self, when borne by the
sinless Christ, as worthy of His curse, how terrible in God's sight it must be for myself to hug it and embrace it and
live in it!"
Oh, wondrous cross! But that is not all.
Christ and I are one. In Him I hung there. I came to
an end of myself in Christ, and kneeling at His cross I took the position of union with Him in His death, and I consigned
my self-life to the cross. It was as though I took my self-life with its passions, its choices, its yearnings after perfection,
its wallowing, its fickleness, its judgment of others, its uncharity,--I took it as a felon, and said:
cursed, thou shalt die. My God nailed thee to that cross. Come, thou shalt come. I put thee there by my choice, by my will,
by my faith. Hang there."
After that moment--you remember in Galatians it is the aorist tense: "They that are
Christ's, crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts "-after that moment, that decisive moment in my life,
I have ever reckoned that my self life is on the cross, and that the death of Christ lies between me and it.
Let me make
that perfectly clear. Supposing a woman has been married to a felon, a drunkard, a libertine. After years of sorrow there
comes a moment of liberty when she seeks and obtains a divorce. She now enters into union with a perfectly lovely blessed
man who becomes to her everything. Whenever her former husband reels along the street and seeks again to get her back into
his power, she points to a moment, the moment when the divorce was granted, and she says:
"From that moment I became
divorced from you. Touch me if you dare."
If he comes reeling across the street, she only clutches closer the arm
of the true man she loves, and puts him on the other side between the sot and herself. She counts from the moment of deliverance.
Now think about it, pray about it. Later I am going to publish the marriage bans between you and Christ, and to show how
Christ takes the place of self. But we must move together, my friends. You must allow me to be persistent. You will not benefit
by this teaching unless you act as the result of any separate address in the direction it indicates. So kneel down before
the cross of Jesus, and realize why your Christian life has been a failure. The cause of your darkness and sorrow and desertion
is to be found here: you have never consigned the self, life where God consigned it. In your will, with streaming eyes, with
reverent face, unite yourself with the death of Christ. Doing so, remember you will do what Jesus said Peter must do. Peter
said: "Thou art the Christ."
"Well and good," Christ replied. "I am going to die.”
Peter said: “You must not think of it. Spare Thyself."
Ah, that is what you will hear said to you a thousand
Jesus said: "Get thee behind me. That is Satan: it is the spirit of the pit. If a man will
come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me."
You may say what you like about Christianity,
but I undertake to affirm it has been shamefully misrepresented, both by Protestant and by any other class of Christians.
They have thought that Christianity depended in the objective, whereas it is subjective largely, equally. They have thought
that it depended on trusting Christ to put away your sin, whereas it also consists in trusting Christ to deliver you from
yourselves, who are the center and curse of your life.
Whenever the self, life obtrudes, reckon yourself dead to it;
reckon that the cross stands between you and it.
But you say: " Sir, I do not see how I am to live like that. I
shall always be on pins and needles, always in agony whether this is self or not, and I do not see how I am to live."
Ah, I thought you would say that! I said that my__ self, and here comes the second point: the Holy Spirit.
ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." And again: "The Spirit lusteth against the
It was by the Eternal Spirit that Christ offered Himself without spot to God, and it is by the Eternal Spirit
that the cursed spirit of self is going to be antagonized in your life and mine. Just as in a scarlet fever case you take
carbolic acid, and the carbolic acid antagonizes the germs of disease, so turning from that curse I kneel before the Holy
Ghost, and say:
"Spirit of God, infill, infill, INFILL my entire being, deeper, deeper, deeper yet. In the depth
of my nature, when I am least thinking about it, go on day by day as the antiseptic of my flesh or self-life. Antagonize it,
work against it, keep it out of sight, keep it under Christ."
The Holy Ghost will do it.
But you say: “Mr.
Meyer, I am so afraid that if I am always dealing with the self-life, it will hurt me. It will be like standing by a bier
and seeing death disintegrate a corpse."
This reads me to my third point, and I reply,--and this is the beauty of
it,--that whilst the Spirit of God in the depth of your heart is antagonizing the self life, He does it by making Jesus Christ
a living bright reality. He fixes your thoughts upon Jesus. You do not think about the Spirit, you hardly think about self,
but you think much about your dear Lord; and all the time that you are thinking about Him, the process of disintegration and
dissolution and death of self is going on within your heart.
A dear sister said to me once: "I am going to spend
a whole day praying for the Holy Ghost."
She went to a hut in a wood, and she came back to me at night and said:
"I have had a grand day, but I am a bit disappointed. I do not feel that I have more of the Holy Ghost now than I did."
"But," I said, "is Jesus much to you?"
"O," she replied, "Jesus never was so sweet
and precious as He is now."
" Why, my dear woman," I said, " that is the Holy Ghost, because He glorifies
Christ, and when the Holy Ghost works most, you do not think about the Holy Ghost, but you think about your dear Lord."
O, man and woman, forgive me! It is a very broken, broken way of putting the deepest mystery in the Bible, but I can only
ask that the Holy Spirit may make you know what it is to have Jesus as the center and origin of your life. The fountain and
origin hitherto has been self, has it not? O cursed self, Barabbas, Barabbas, to the cross! The world says: "Not Christ,
but Barabbas, self." The Christian says: "Not Barabbas, but Christ."
May God explain this to you, for
His name's sake.
Gal.2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life
which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
May the Words
of My Mouth by
Tim Hughes and Rob Hill
the words of my mouth, and the thoughts of my heart,
Bless Your name, bless Your name, Jesus
And the deeds of the
day, and the truth in my way
Speak of You, speak of You, Jesus
For this is what I’m glad to do, it’s time to live
a life of love that pleases You.
And I will give my all to You, surrender everything I have and follow You,
Lord, will You be my vision, Lord will You be my Guide?
Be my hope, be my life, and the Way.
I’ll look not riches, nor praises on the earth,
Only You’ll be the first of my heart.
For this is what I’m
glad to do, it’s time to live a life of love that pleases You.
And I will give my all to You, surrender everything
I have and follow You,
I’ll follow You.
I will follow, I will follow You. I will follow,
I will follow You.
I will follow, I will follow You. JESUS, I will follow, I will follow You.
this is what I’m glad to do, it’s time to live a life of love that pleases You.
And I will give my all
to You, surrender everything I have and follow You,
I’ll follow You. I’ll
take up my cross, Lord, and follow You!
Surrender by Marc James
I'm giving You my heart and all that is within
I lay it all down for the sake
of You my King
I'm giving you my dreams, I'm laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride for the
promise of new life
And I surrender
All to You, all to You
I’m singing You this song, I’m waiting at the cross
And all the
world holds dear, I count it all as loss
For the sake of knowing You for the glory of Your name
To know the
lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain
And I surrender
All to You, all to You"When kingdoms have crumbled for the last time, His mercy endureth forever. When dictators
have waged their wicked battles for the last time, His mercy endureth forever. When the stars have fallen like untimely figs
from a tree shaken by the wind, His mercy endureth forever. When the sun refuses to shine and the moon has turned as black
as sackcloth of hair, His mercy endureth forever. When people shall die no more and cemeteries shall not dot the horizon,
His mercy endureth forever. When shoulders shall never stoop, nor brows wrinkle, nor faces become furrowed, His mercy endureth
forever. When all of us awake in His likeness to live forever around His throne, His mercy endureth forever. Blessed be God!
His mercy endureth forever!" ~ Jack Hyles
"Moreover when the work
presses, and the battle thickens, and the day seems long in coming, it is good for the heart to remember that the present
conflict is with defeated foes, and that there is no room for question as to the final issue, for the Man of Nazareth is not
only seated in the place of authority, He carries forward the work of active administration. This is a fact too often forgotten
amid the turmoil and the strife. High over all the thrones of earth, stands that throne of the Eternal, and seated on it is
the ascended Man, watching, ordering, preventing, and through all the apparent chaos, moving surely towards the ultimate triumph
of the Infinite Love. He initiates the true policies, selects the proper agents, and even when man least understands, moves
ever onward.” ~ G. Campbell Morgan, "The Crisis of the Christ,"
“Some people do not like
to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching
repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.” ~ Matthew Henry
"Whatever weakens your
reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish for spiritual things
then it is sin for you, however, innocent it may be in itself." ~ Suzanna Wesley
"Nothing can be more cruel
than the leniency which abandons others to their sins. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls
another Christian in one's community back from the path of sin." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The nature of Christ's
salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from
sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no
desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness." ~ A.W. Pink
"God has one destined end for mankind
- holiness! His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing- machine for men. He did not come to save
men out of pity. He came to save men because He had created them to be holy." ~ Oswald Chambers
"No man should desire to
be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving
to Christ the matter of how happy he should be." ~ A. W. Tozer
"It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine
that comes from God, leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God." ~ George
"The pure, mere love of God is that alone from which sinners are justly to expect that no sin will pass unpunished,
but that His love will visit them with every calamity and distress that can help to break and purify the bestial heart of
man and awaken in him true repentance and conversion to God. It is love alone in the holy Deity that will allow no peace to
the wicked, nor ever cease its judgments till every sinner is forced to confess that it is good for him that he has been in
trouble, and thankfully own that not the wrath but the love of God has plucked out that right eye, cut off that right band,
which he ought to have done but would not do for himself and his own salvation." ~ William Law (1686-1761)
“Whatever call a man may
pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry.” ~ Charles
"Many Christians have what we might call a "cultural holiness". They adapt to the character and behavior
pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more
or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing
less than conformity to the character of God." ~ Jerry Bridges
"You knew one thing about a man who was carrying
a cross out of the city... you knew he wasn't coming back." ~ A.W. Tozer
"Don't presume upon the mercy of God
and so encourage yourself in sin." ~ Jonathan Edwards
Enduement for Service by D.L. Moody
I suppose if I could put the question and ask those who are filled
with the Spirit to respond, very few if any would be heard from. And yet we read in Ephesians 5:18 that this is a command:
"Be ye filled with the Spirit." God commands us to be filled with the Spirit; and if we are not filled, it is because
we are living beneath our privileges. I think that is the great trouble with Christendom today: we are not living up on the
plane where God would have us live. In the 20th chapter of John's Gospel, and the 22nd verse, are these words: "And
when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." Now, those men had already
the Holy Ghost dwelling in them. They would never have left their fishing smacks and followed Christ during those three years
of humiliation and suffering if it hadn't been for the Spirit of God working in them. But almost the first thing after
the resurrection, when our Lord appeared to His disciples and showed them His pierced hands and His wounded side, He breathed
upon them and said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." Yet again, after that, as we see in Luke 24:49, He said: "Behold,
I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
If those men needed to be endued with power, do you think we are going to be used without it? The great trouble with many
of us is, that we are working for God without power. We are sons of God - no doubt about that - and daughters of God. We can
"read our titles clear to mansions in the skies," but we are sons and daughters without power. That is the trouble.
Now look at Acts 1:8: "Ye shall receive
power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Notice, Christ said that to the Apostles after they had been with
Him three years, and after He had breathed upon them and said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." There are two ways in
which the Holy Spirit comes to a man. The Spirit dwelling in him is one thing, and the Spirit on him for power is another
thing. I think that is where Christian people are misled. The trouble is, they are not looking for the Spirit of God for service.
When the disciples were about to begin their great work, our Lord said: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy
Ghost is come upon you." How many, do you suppose, would have been converted on the day of Pentecost if Peter had gone
and preached without this power? Not one. The disciples were commissioned to go and preach, but they were to wait till they
were recommissioned and endued with power by the Holy Ghost. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part
of the earth." How quickly this whole world would be reached if we were just looking to God for this same Apostolic power!
Turn to the second chapter of Acts and see how the promise was fulfilled. "Our Gospel that we are preaching is a supernatural
Gospel, and we have got to have supernatural power to preach it."
They tarried as they were bidden, waiting and praying for the Holy Ghost, when suddenly the power came,
and they were ready for work. And there was more work done in one day than in all the three years while they were with Christ.
The Lord had said: "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall
he do; because I go unto My Father." "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I
will send Him unto you." When the power came upon the Apostles, they did greater things than the Master ever did. There
was a time when I thought the raising of Lazarus was the greatest work ever done on this earth. But I think the conversion
of those 3,000 Jews on the day of Pentecost was more wonderful still. Those hard-hearted Jews were full of hatred and unbelief;
many, no doubt, were the same men who murdered Christ. And yet they were swept down by the mighty power of the Spirit. We
have got the same obstacles to contend with as the Apostles had. Our Gospel that we are preaching is a supernatural Gospel,
and we have got to have supernatural power to preach it.
There is a class of people who say: "Yes; I know the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, but He came in miraculous
power; and we are not warranted in looking for anything like that today." If you turn to the fourth chapter of Acts you
will find that this wonderful work went right on after the day of Pentecost. Peter and John were cast into prison, and brought
before the Sanhedrim. The Council didn't dare to stone them to death because there were so many young converts. So they
gave them this order: "Now, you can preach in the Temple or wherever you like, but upon one condition - don't you
preach any more in this man's name." The Apostles went forth from the Sanhedrim to the other disciples, and they
had a little prayer meeting. What was the result? "The place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they
were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." In the second of Acts it says that
"they were all filled with the Holy Ghost," and here, in the fourth of Acts, it says again, "they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost." They had either lost their power or had got greater capacity - I don't know which. There
are a great many men who had power five years ago that haven't got it now. They are like Samson robbed of his strength,
or like fishermen working with old, broken nets. Notice, again, that about ten years after, Peter went out to Caesarea and
told Cornelius the words whereby he and his house were saved. While he was speaking, what happened? "The Holy Ghost fell
on all them that heard the word." That was about ten years after the day of Pentecost, and yet they received the special
gift of the Holy Ghost. I firmly believe that if we had this building filled with men and women expecting the Pentecostal
power, we would get it. I believe if this building was filled with men and women hungry for the Spirit of God, we would have
this place shaken, and there would be an influence felt not only in this land, but in foreign lands. It wouldn't take
long to reach the whole world. Talk about twenty years. It needn't take twenty years if the Church of God is baptized
"Notice that those
who are filled with the Holy Ghost immediately begin to testify of Jesus Christ." Notice that those who are filled with
the Holy Ghost immediately begin to testify of Jesus Christ. Elisabeth, when visited by the Virgin, was "filled with
the Holy Ghost," and spoke of the coming Lord. Zacharias also was "filled with the Holy Ghost," and quoted
Scripture in reference to the Messiah. Stephen was "filled with the Spirit," and received such unction that the
men of the synagogue "were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." He was able to stand
before the whole Sanhedrim, and the power of God was on him in a wonderful degree while he testified of Christ. When Peter
was "filled with the Spirit" he went out to preach Christ - he couldn't help it. All through the New Testament
we are told that the Apostles were again and again filled with the Spirit. And as they preached "much people were added
to the church." That always follows. There will be conversions breaking out in all the churches if we are filled with
the Spirit. Let us pray that we may receive power for service. Let us not be satisfied with only the power by which we are
"sealed unto the day of redemption;" but let us pray that we may be baptized with that power from on high by which
we can do great things for the Master.
is important to know whether the work we are doing is the work God would have us do. I remember that one time when Dr. Kirk
came to Chicago, his old power came back upon him, and he just shook that city as I had never seen it shaken. I suppose if
he had stayed, there would have been thousands and thousands converted. The Mayor of the city and the leading men all came
to hear him, and they said: "If we could have that kind of preaching we would be glad to hear it." But he went back
to his pastoral work. I believe that man was meant for an evangelist; yet he went back to visit the widow and the fatherless.
That was an important work, but others could have done it. Some men are gifted one way and some another. One man has got gifts
as a pastor, and another has got gifts as an evangelist, while another is specially qualified to stir up Christians. Let every
one ask, "Am I in the right place? Am I where God wants me to be?" If we would do that, it might break up a good
many pastorates. Are you ready - ready to cut the tie? When I was in Chicago I used to take a circuit out in the country,
and preach during the week evenings; but I think I made a great mistake in binding myself too closely to my regular work.
There was time after time when there would be a hundred inquirers in the country, and yet I would hurry away so as to preach
in my own place in the city on Sunday night, and then perhaps only find myself beating against the air. Let us be ready to
go anywhere - to go wherever the Master calls.
you want this power for service God will give it to you. Just say: "Here I am, Lord. Send me where you please - only
give me souls. Give me power to win souls for Jesus Christ." When that is the uppermost thought in our hearts He won't
disappoint us. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely
give us all things." If He gave us His Son, will He withhold the Spirit? "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye
bear much fruit." Are you toiling all night and catching nothing? Cast the net on the right side. Come, my friend, are
you ready to go anywhere? Can you say: "Lord, send me to whom you will - only send me. Let that power come upon me, that
I may win souls for Jesus Christ?" May we have no will but God's sweet will. Oh, that our wills may be swallowed
up in God's will. I believe if Gabriel should tell me that for the rest of my days I could have my way, I wouldn't
have it. I don't know enough about the future. I want to pray: "Father, not my will, but Thine." May we all
be ready to run if He wants us to run, or to stand still if He wants us to stand still. May we say: "Here we are, Lord;
take us - take us - fill us - use us." I think, if I know my own heart, I would rather die at once and be buried right
off than to live without power. Oh, it is an awfully sad thing for a man to outlive his usefulness - to be laid aside as a
vessel no longer meet for the Master's use. There are a good many Christians God can't use as He used them once. He
has got a good many children that were full of power a year ago or five years ago, but they are not right now. How He wants
to use them! Oh, I pray from the depths of my soul that as long as I live I may be filled with the Holy Ghost. Let us pray
that we may be filled with this power from on high; and that we may be always ready - ready for anything.
The Ministry of the
Night by A. W. Tozer
If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace
you may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than less favored ones are called upon to endure.
And right here let me anticipate
the objection someone is sure to raise, viz., that God has no "specials" among His children. The Holy Scriptures
and Christian history agree to show that He has. Star differs from star in glory among the saints on earth as well as among
the glorified in heaven. Without question the differences exist; but whether they are by the decree of God or by His foreknowledge
of the degree of receptivity He will find among His children I am not prepared to say with certainty, though I would lean
strongly to the latter view.
God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers.
A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and
the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.
To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from
your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious
treasures used to be.
not to teach the sanctifying power of poverty. If to be poor made men holy every tramp on a park bench would be a saint. But
God knows the secret of removing things from our hearts while they still remain to us. What He does is to restrain us from
enjoying them. He lets us have them but makes us psychologically unable to let our hearts go out to them. Thus they are useful
without being harmful.
God will accomplish at the expense of the common pleasures that have up to that time supported your life and made it zestful.
Now under the careful treatment of the Holy Spirit your life may become dry, tasteless and to some degree a burden to you.
While in this state you will exist by a kind of blind will to live; you will find none of the inward sweetness you had enjoyed
before. The smile of God will be for the time withdrawn, or at least hidden from your eyes. Then you will learn what faith
is; you will find out the hard way, but the only way open to you, that true faith lies in the will, that the joy unspeakable
of which the apostle speaks is not itself faith but a slow-ripening fruit. of faith; and you will learn that present spiritual
joys may come and go as they will without altering your spiritual status or in any way affecting your position as a true child
of the Heavenly Father. And you will also learn, probably to your astonishment, that it is possible to live in all good conscience
before God and men and still feel nothing of the "peace and joy" you hear talked about so much by immature Christians.
How long you continue in this night of the soul will depend upon a number of factors, some of which you may be able later
to identify; while others will remain with God, completely hidden from you. The words "The day is thine, the night also
is thine" will now be interpreted for you by the best of all teachers, the Holy Spirit; and you will know by personal
experience what a blessed thing is the ministry of the night.
But there is a limit to man's ability to live without joy. Even Christ could endure the cross
only because of the joy set before Him. The strongest steel breaks if kept too long under unrelieved tension. God knows exactly
how much pressure each one of us can take. He knows how long we can endure the night, so He gives the soul relief, first by
welcome glimpses of the morning star and then by the fuller light that harbingers the morning.
Slowly you will discover God's love in your suffering.
Your heart will begin to approve the whole thing. You will learn from yourself what all the schools in the world could not
teach you—the healing action of faith without supporting pleasure. You will feel and understand the ministry of the
night; its power to purify, to detach, to humble, to destroy the fear of death and, what is more important to you at the moment,
the fear of life. And you will learn that sometimes pain can do what even joy cannot, such as exposing the vanity of earth's
trifles and filling your heart with longing for the peace of heaven.
What I write here is in no way original. This has been discovered anew by each generation of Christian
seekers and' is almost a cliché of the deeper life. Yet it needs to be said to this generation of believers often
and with emphasis, for the type of Christianity now in vogue does not include anything as serious and as difficult as this.
The quest of the modern Christian is likely to be for peace of mind and spiritual joy, with a good degree of material prosperity
thrown in as an external proof of the divine favor.
Some will understand this, however, even if the number is relatively small, and they will constitute the hard core
of practicing saints so badly needed at this serious hour if New Testament Christianity is to survive to the next generation. ~ A. W. Tozer, from his book "That Incredible Christian"
God by Amy Carmichael
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat
fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads
faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
Afflictions work for our good by Thomas Watson
"We know that in all things God works for
the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
As the hard frosts in winter
bring on the flowers in the spring, as the night ushers in the morning star, so the evils of affliction produce much good
to those who love God. I shall show you several ways how affliction works for good.
Affliction is our preacher and tutor. Affliction teaches what sin is. In the Word preached, we hear what a dreadful thing sin is, that
it is both defiling and damning, but we fear it no more than a painted lion. Therefore, God lets loose affliction, and then
we feel sin to be bitter through the fruit of it. A sickbed often teaches more than a sermon.
Affliction teaches us to know ourselves. In prosperity we are for the most part strangers to ourselves. God makes us know affliction so
that we may better know ourselves. We see the corruption in our hearts in the time of affliction that we would not otherwise
believe was there.
Afflictions work for our good in that they conform us to Christ. God’s
rod is a pencil to draw a more lifelike image of Christ upon us. It is good that there should be symmetry and proportion between
the Head and the members. Would we be parts of Christ’s mystical body and not like Him? His head was crowned with thorns;
do we think to be crowned with roses? It is good to be like Christ, even though it be by sufferings.
Afflictions work for
our good in that they are destructive of sin. There is corruption in the
best heart: Affliction by degrees works it out, as the fire works out the dross from the gold. Afflictions are the medicine
that God uses to carry off our spiritual diseases.
Afflictions work for good in that they are the means of loosening our hearts
from the world. When you dig away the earth from the root of a tree, it is
to loosen the tree from the earth. So God digs away our earthly comforts to loosen our hearts from the earth. God would have
the world hang as a loose tooth that, being twitched away, does not trouble us much. Is it not good to be weaned?
Afflictions work for
good in that they make way for comfort. “Your grief will turn to joy”
(John 16:20). Here is the water turned into wine. After a bitter pill, God gives sugar. Paul had his prison songs. God’s
rod has honey at the end of it.
Afflictions work for good in that they magnify us.
God magnifies us by affliction in three ways. First, think how He condescends so low as to take notice of us. It is an honor
that God would pay attention to dust and ashes. It is a magnifying of us that God thinks us worthy to be smitten.
Second, afflictions also magnify
us in that they are ensigns of glory, signs of sonship. “Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons”
(Hebrews 12:7). Every print of the rod is a badge of honor.
Third, afflictions tend to magnify the saints in that they make them renowned in
the world. Soldiers have never been so admired for their victories as the saints have been for their sufferings.
Afflictions work for
good in that they are the means of making us happy. “Blessed is the
man whom God corrects” (Job 5:17). It may be said, “How do afflictions make us happy?” We reply that, being
sanctified, they bring us nearer to God. The magnet of mercy does not draw us so near to God as the cords of affliction.
When God sets our worldly comforts on fire, then we run to Him, and make our peace with Him. When the prodigal was pinched
with want, then he returned home to his father (see Luke 15:11–32). When the dove could not find any rest for the sole
of her foot, then she flew to the ark (see Genesis 8:8–9). When God brings a deluge of affliction upon us, then we fly
to the ark of Christ. Thus affliction makes us happy in bringing us nearer to God. Faith can make use of the waters of
affliction—to swim faster to Christ. Thus we see afflictions are not harmful—but beneficial, to the saints.
We should not so much look at the evil of affliction, as the good. The worst that God does to His children—is to whip
them to heaven!
Afflictions work for good in that they put to silence the wicked.
How ready are they to asperse and calumniate the godly, that they serve God only for self-interest. Therefore God will have
His people endure sufferings for religion so that He may put a padlock on the lying lips of wicked men. How it puts a damper
on wicked men when they see that the godly will keep close to God in a suffering condition and that, when they lose all, they
yet will hold fast their integrity.
Afflictions work for good in that they make way for glory (see 2 Corinthians 4:17). As plowing prepares the earth for a crop, so afflictions prepare and make us fit for glory.
As the painter lays his gold upon dark colors, so God first lays the dark colors of affliction, and then He lays the golden
color of glory. The vessel is first seasoned before wine is poured into it; the vessels of mercy are first seasoned with affliction,
and then the wine of glory is poured in.
Thus we see afflictions are not prejudicial but beneficial to the saints. We should not so much look
at the evil of affliction as the good; not so much at the dark side of the cloud as the light.
Temptations work for our good by Thomas Watson
"And we know
that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
Even temptations are overruled for
good, to the children of God. A tree which is shaken by the wind is more settled and rooted. Just so, the blowing of a temptation
does but settle a Christian the more in grace.
Temptations are overruled for good in eight ways:
sends the soul to prayer. The more furiously Satan tempts, the more fervently the saint prays. The deer being shot
with the dart—runs faster to the water. When Satan shoots his fiery darts at the soul—it then runs faster to the
throne of grace. When Paul had the messenger of Satan to buffet him, he says, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to
take it away from me" (2 Cor. 12:8). That which makes us pray more, works for good.
(2.) Temptation to sin,
is a means to keep from the perpetration of sin. The more a child of God is tempted—the more he fights against
the temptation. The more Satan tempts to blasphemy, the more a saint trembles at such thoughts, and says, "Away from
me, Satan!" When Joseph's mistress tempted him to lust—the stronger her temptation was, the stronger was his
opposition. That temptation which the devil uses as a spur to sin—God makes a bridle to keep back a Christian from sin!
(3.) Temptation works for good—as it abates the swelling of pride. "To keep me from getting
puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud!" (2
Cor. 12:7). The thorn in the flesh was to puncture the puffing up of pride! Better is that temptation which humbles me—than
that duty which makes me proud! Rather than a Christian shall be haughty minded—God will let him fall into the devil's
hands awhile, to be cured of his swelling pride!
(4.) Temptation works for good—as it is a touchstone to
try what is in the heart. The devil tempts—that he may deceive us; but God allows us to be tempted—that
He may try us. Temptation is a trial of our sincerity. It argues that our heart is chaste and loyal to Christ—when we
can look a temptation in the face, and turn our back upon it. Many have no heart to resist temptation. No sooner does Satan
come with his bait—but they yield; like a coward who, as soon as the thief approaches, gives him his purse. But he is
the valorous Christian, who brandishes the sword of the Spirit against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The valor and
courage of a saint is never more seen than on a battlefield, when he is fighting the red dragon, and by the power of faith
puts the devil to flight. That grace is tried gold, which can stand in the fiery trial, and withstand Satan's fiery darts!
(5.) Temptations work for good—as God makes those who are tempted, fit to comfort others in the same distress.
A Christian must himself be under the buffetings of Satan, before he can speak a word in due season to him who is weary. Paul
was well-versed in temptations. "We are very familiar with his evil schemes" (2 Cor. 2:11). Thus he was able to
acquaint others with Satan's cursed wiles (1 Cor. 10:13). A man who has ridden over a place where there are bogs and quicksands—is
the fittest to guide others through that dangerous way. He who has felt the claws of Satan, the roaring lion, and has lain
bleeding under those wounds—is the fittest man to deal with one who is tempted. None can better discover Satan's
subtle devices—than those who have been long in the fencing school of temptation.
(6.) Temptations work
for good—as they stir up fatherly compassion in God to those who are tempted. The child who is sick and bruised—is
most looked after. When a saint lies under the bruising of temptations, Christ prays, and God the Father pities. When Satan
puts the soul into a fever, God comes with a cordial; which made Luther say, that "temptations are Christ's embraces,"
because He then most sweetly manifests Himself to the soul.
(7.) Temptations work for good—as they make
the saints long more for heaven. There they shall be out of gunshot; heaven is a place of rest, no bullets of temptation
fly there. The eagle which soars aloft in the air, and sits upon high trees—is not troubled with the stinging of the
serpent. Just so, when believers are ascended to heaven, they shall not be molested by the old serpent, the devil. In this
life, when one temptation is over, another comes. This makes God's people wish for death—to call them off the battlefield
where the bullets fly so quick—and to receive a victorious crown, where neither the drum nor cannon—but the harp
and violin, shall be eternally sounding.
(8.) Temptations work for good—as they engage the strength of
Christ. Christ is our Friend, and when we are tempted, He sets all His power working for us. "Since He Himself
has gone through suffering and temptation, He is able to help us when we are being tempted" (Heb. 2:18). If a poor soul
was to fight alone with the Goliath of hell, he would be sure to be vanquished! But Jesus Christ brings in His auxiliary forces—He
gives fresh supplies of grace. "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!" (Romans 7:37). Thus the evil
of temptation is overruled for our good.
Question. But sometimes Satan foils a child of God. How does this work for good?
Answer. I grant that, through the suspension of divine grace, and the fury of a temptation—a saint may be overcome;
yet this foiling by a temptation shall be overruled for good. By this foil, God makes way for the augmentation of grace. Peter
was tempted to self-confidence; he presumed upon his own strength; and Christ let him fall. But this wrought for his good—it
cost him many a tear. "He went out, and wept bitterly" (Matt. 26:75). And now he grows less self-reliant. He dared
not say he loved Christ more than the other apostles. "Do you love me more than these?" (John 21:15). He dared not
say so—his fall into sin broke the neck of his pride!
The foiling by a temptation causes more circumspection and
watchfulness in a child of God. Though Satan did before decoy him into sin—yet for the future he will be the more cautious.
He will beware of coming within the lion's chain any more! He is now more vigilant and fearful of the occasions of sin.
He never goes out without his spiritual armor—and he girds on his armor by prayer. He knows he walks on slippery ground,
therefore he looks wisely to his steps. He keeps close sentinel in his soul, and when he spies the devil coming—he grasps
his spiritual weapons, and displays the shield of faith (Eph. 6:16).
This is all the hurt the devil does when he foils a saint by temptation—he
cures him of his careless neglect; he makes him watch and pray more. When wild beasts get over the hedge and damage the grain—a
man will make his fence the stronger. Just so, when the devil gets over the hedge by a temptation, a Christian will be sure
to mend his fence; he will become more fearful of sin, and careful of duty. Thus the being worsted by temptation, works for
Objection. But if being foiled works for good, this may make Christians careless whether they are overcome by temptations
Answer. There is a great difference between falling into a temptation, and running into a temptation. The falling
into a temptation shall work for good—not the running into it. He who falls into a river is fit for help and pity—but
he who desperately runs into it, is guilty of his own death. It is madness running into a lion's den! He who runs himself
into a temptation is like king Saul—who fell upon his own sword.
From all that has been said, see how God disappoints
the old serpent—by making his temptations turn to the good of His people. Luther once said, "There are three things
which make a godly man—prayer, meditation, and temptation." The wind of temptation is a contrary wind to that of
the Spirit; but God makes use of this cross wind, to blow the saints to heaven!
~ This excerpt
comes from Thomas Watson’s book A Divine Cordial (1663). Thomas Watson (1620-1686) was a 17th-century Puritan pastor and author who ministered in London. C.H. Spurgeon once
described his writings as “a happy union of sound doctrine, heart-searching experience, and practical wisdom.”
What Kind of Revival Do We Need? By Andrew Murray
How is the church to be lifted up to the abundant life in Christ, which will fit her for the work that God is putting
before Her? Nothing will help but a revival, nothing less than a tremendous spiritual revival. Great tides of spiritual energy
must be put into motion if this work is to be accomplished. Now there may be great differences in what we understand by revival.
Many will think of the work of evangelists like Moody and Torrey. We need a different and mightier revival than those were.
In them the chief object was the conversion of sinners, and incidentally, the quickening of believers. But the revival that
we need calls for a deeper and more entire upheaval of the Church. The great defect of those revivals was that the converts
were received into a Church that was not living on the high level of consecration and holiness, and speedily sank down to
the average standard of ordinary religious life. Even the believers who had been roused by it, also gradually returned to
their former life of clouded fellowship and lack of power to testify for Christ.
The revival we need is a revival of holiness, in which the consecration
of the whole being is to the service of Christ, and that for the whole life shall be counted possible. And for this there
will be needed a new style of preaching in which the promises of God to dwell in His people, and to sanctify them for Himself,
will take a place which they do not now have. When our Lord Jesus gave the promise of the Holy Spirit, He spoke of the New
Covenant blessing that would be experienced - God dwelling in His people. "If a man love Me, he will keep my words; and
My Father will love him." So Paul also writes: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith . . . that you might
be filled with all the fullness of God." With the Reformation, the great truth of justification by faith was restored
to its place. But the other great truth of sanctification has never yet taken its place in the preaching and practice of the
Church which God's Word claims for it. It is for this that we need a revival, that the Holy Spirit may so take possession
of us that the Father and the Son can live in us, and that the fellowship with Them, and devotion to Their will and service
shall be our chief joy. This will be in very deed a holiness revival.
The Moravian community (at Herrnhut) owed its birth to a holiness revival. There were gathered
together a number of Bohemian refugees, and along with them a number of Christian of different sects. It was not long before
disputes arose, and Herrnhut became a scene of contention and divisions. Zinzendorf felt this so deeply that he went down
to live among them. In the power of God's Spirit he succeeded in restoring order and in binding them together in the power
and devotion of Jesus Christ and of love to each other. More than once they had remarkable manifestations of the presence
of the Spirit, and their whole life became one of worship and praise. After they had for a couple of years been having their
nightly fellowship meetings, they were lead to the consecration of the whole body to the service of Christ's kingdom.
It was in this holiness revival that the Moravian missionary idea was born. When John Wesley visited them he wrote: "God
has given me the desire of my heart. I am with a church whose conversation is in heaven, in whom is the mind that was in Christ,
and who so walk as He walked. Here I continually met what I sought for - living proofs of the power of faith, persons saved
from inward as well as outward sin, by the love of God shed abroad in their hearts. I was extremely comforted and strengthened
by the conversation of this lovely people."
A holiness revival! What was the great evangelistic revival in England through Whitefield and Wesley but this? They
had together at Oxford been members of the "Holy Club". With their whole heart they had sought deliverance from
the guilt of sin, but also from the power of sin. When their eyes were opened to see how faith can claim the whole Christ
in all fullness, they found the key to the preaching which was so mightily effectual for the salvation of men. What John Wesley
did for the Methodism, General Booth, and his disciple, did for the Salvation Army. Looking at the material on which he had
to work, it was amazing how, with his teaching of the clean heart and full salvation, he was able to inspire tens of thousands
with a true devotion to Christ and the lost. There may be great differences of doctrine, but no one can be blind to the seal
God has set upon the intense desire to preach a full salvation and an entire consecration.
A revival of holiness is what we need. Such preaching of the claim
that Christ Has on us, shall lead us to live entirely for Him and His kingdom; such an attachment of love to Him as shall
make His fellowship our highest joy; such faith in His freeing us from the dominion of sin as shall enable us to obey His
commandments; such yielding to the Holy Spirit as to be led by Him in all our daily walk - these will be some of the elements
of the revival of true holiness for which the Church must learn to seek as for the pearl of great price.
And how is it to be found? It will cost much prayer. It will
cost more than that - much sacrifice of self and of the world. It will need a surrender to Christ Jesus to follow Him as closely
as God is able to lead us. We must learn to look upon a life like Christ's, having the very same mind that was in Him,
as the supreme object of daily life. It is only when a prayer such as Robert Murray McCheyne's becomes ours, "Lord
make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be," and begins to be offered by an increasing number of ministers and believers,
that the promise of the New Covenant will become a matter of experience.
The Need of Personal
Revival by Richard Baxter
I know not what others think, but for my own part I am ashamed of my stupidity, and wonder at myself that I deal
not with my own and others souls as one that looks for the great day of the Lord; and that I can have room for almost any
other thoughts and words; and that such astonishing matters do not wholly absorb my mind. I marvel how I can preach of them
slightly and coldly; and how I can let men alone in their sins; and that I do not go to them, and beseech them, for the Lord's
sake, to repent, however they may take it, and whatever pain and trouble it should cost me.
I seldom come out of the pulpit but my conscience
smiteth me that I have been no more serious and fervent. It accuseth me not so much for want of ornaments and elegancy, nor
for letting fall an unhandsome word; but it asketh me, 'How couldst thou speak of life and death with such a heart? How
couldst thou preach of heaven and hell in such a careless, sleepy manner? Dost thou believe what thou sayest? Art thou in
earnest, or in jest? How canst thou tell people that sin is such a thing, and that so much misery is upon them and before
them, and be no more affected with it? Shouldst thou not weep over such a people, and should not thy tears interrupt thy words?
Shouldst thou not cry aloud, and show them their transgressions; and entreat and beseech them as for life and death?'
myself, as I am ashamed of my dull and careless heart, and of my slow and unprofitable course of life, so, the Lord knows,
I am ashamed of every sermon I preach; when I think what I have been speaking of, and who sent me, and that men's salvation
or damnation is so much concerned in it, I am ready to tremble lest God should judge me as a slighter of His truths and the
souls of men, and lest in the best sermon I should be guilty of their blood. Me thinks we should not speak a word to men in
matters of such consequence without tears, or the greatest earnestness that possibly we can; were not we too much guilty of
the sin which we reprove, it would be so.
Truly this is the peal that conscience doth ring in my ears, and yet my drowsy soul will not be awakened.
Oh, what a thing is an insensible, hardened heart! O Lord, save us from the plague of infidelity and hard-heartedness ourselves,
or else how shall we be fit instruments of saving others from it? Oh, do that on our souls which thou wouldst use us to do
on the souls of others.
The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
BEING SENSIBLE THAT I AM UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING WITHOUT GOD' S HELP, I DO HUMBLY ENTREAT HIM BY HIS
GRACE TO ENABLE ME TO KEEP THESE RESOLUTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY ARE AGREEABLE TO HIS WILL, FOR CHRIST' S SAKE.
Remember to read over these
Resolutions once a week.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure,
in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved
to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever
difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and
invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions,
to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more,
but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve
it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be
afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had
been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I
will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing
my own sins and misery to God. July 30.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend
Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to
be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a
gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out
fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger
towards irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account
except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as
I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do any
thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the
strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion
to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven
Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might,
vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to
take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original
intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do
any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do
so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly,
what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against
Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the
glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as
that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor
to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer
it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion,
and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly
agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of
my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it
to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs
20:6, A faithful man who can find? may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving
peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak
any thing but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is
thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except
I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been
negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec.
22 and 26, 1722.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day.
Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend,
at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness
of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could,
with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein
I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made
at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made
this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and
altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion,
shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise
than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection
at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.
46. Resolved, never to allow
the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the
least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor, to
my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented
and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even,
patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine
strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness
and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an
interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.
49. Resolved, that this never
shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the
future world. July 5, 1723.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.
July 8, 1723.
I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that
I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
53. Resolved, to improve every
opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust
and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I
confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy
in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I
had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken,
my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have
done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned
about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger
in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.
59. Resolved, when I am most
conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times,
to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at
other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of
the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July
4, and 13, 1723.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully
and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be
done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly
and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man: knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive
of the Lord. June 25 and July 13, 1723.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time,
who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster,
and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would
do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.
64. Resolved, when I find those
‹groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those breakings of soul for the
longing it hath, of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that
I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and
August 10, 1723.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I
am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears,
hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26,
and Aug.10 1723.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places,
and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I
am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself
all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole
case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others
do it. August 11, 1723.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.
“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift
that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these
things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine;
continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Tim. 4:13-16)
“See that the work of saving grace be thoroughly wrought
in your own souls. Take heed to yourselves, lest you be void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others, and be
strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach; and lest, while you proclaim to the world the necessity
of a Saviour, your own hearts should neglect him, and you should miss of an interest in him and his saving benefits. Take
heed to yourselves, lest you perish, while you call upon others to take heed of perishing; and lest you famish yourselves
while you prepare food for them.”~ Richard Baxter
What is Revival?
By Martyn-Lloyd Jones
We can define it as a period of unusual blessing and activity in the life of the
Christian Church. Revival means awakening, stimulating the life, bringing it to the surface again. It happens primarily in
the Church of God, and amongst believing people, and it is only secondly something that affects those that are outside also.
Now this is a most important point, because this definition helps us to differentiate, once and for all, between a revival
and an evangelistic campaign.
An evangelistic campaign is the Church deciding to do something with respect to those who
are outside. A revival is not the Church deciding to do something and doing it. It is something that is done to the Church,
something that happens to the Church.
So then, what is it that happens? The best way of answering that question is to
say that it is in a sense a repetition of the day of Pentecost. It is something happening to the Church, that inevitably and
almost instinctively makes one look back and think again of what happened on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2.
The essence of a revival is that the Holy Spirit comes down upon a number of people together, upon a whole church, upon
a number of churches, districts, or perhaps a whole country. That is what is meant by revival. It is, if you like, a visitation
of the Holy Spirit, or another term that has often been used is this--an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
What the people
are conscious of is that it is as if something has suddenly come down upon them. The Spirit of God has descended into their
midst, God has come down and is amongst them. A baptism, an outpouring, a visitation. And the effect of that is that they
immediately become aware of His presence and of His power in a manner that they have never known before.
I am talking
about Christian people, about church members gathered together as they have done so many times before. Suddenly they are aware
of His presence, they are aware of the majesty and the awe of God. The Holy Spirit literally seems to be presiding over the
meeting and taking charge of it, and manifesting His power and guiding them, and leading them, and directing them. That is
the essence of revival.
And what does that mean? Well, there are general characteristics which you will find in every
revival that you can ever read about. The immediate effect is that the people present begin to have an awareness of spiritual
things such as they have never had before.
They have heard all these things before, they may have heard them a thousand
times, but what they testify is this: "You know, the whole thing suddenly became clear to me. I was suddenly illuminated,
things that I was so familiar with stood out in letters of gold, as it were. I understood. I saw it all in a way that I had
never done in the whole of my life." The Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and the understanding. They begin not only to
see these things clearly but to feel their power.
What are these things of which they become so aware? First and foremost,
the glory and the holiness of God. Have you ever noticed, as you read your Bibles, the effect on these people as they suddenly
realized the presence of God? Like Job, they put their hands on their mouths or like Isaiah they say, "Woe is unto me!
For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips." They have just had a realization of the holiness and of the majesty
and the glory of God. That always happens in a revival.
There can be a lot of laughing and lightness, and obvious organization
in evangelistic campaigns. Not so in a revival, but rather awe, reverence, holy fear, the consciousness of God in His majesty,
His glory, His holiness, His utter purity.
And that, as we have seen, leads inevitably to a deep and terrible sense of
sin, and an aweful feeling of guilt. It leads men and women to feel that they are vile and unclean and utterly unworthy and,
above all, it leads them to realize their utter helplessness face to face with such a God.
Or, like the publican depicted
by our Lord in the parable, they are so conscious of all this that they cannot show their faces. They are far back near the
door somewhere, beating their breasts and saying, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
The holiness of God, their
own utter sinfulness and wretchedness, their own unworthiness; they realize they have never done anything good at all. Before,
they thought they had done a great deal, now they see that it is nothing--useless. Like Paul they begin to talk about it as
dung and filthy rags. In their utter helplessness and hopelessness, they prostrate themselves and cast themselves upon the
love and mercy and compassion of God.
This is the convicting work of the Spirit who takes charge of the situation. People
may be held in that state for some time--not only for hours but sometimes for days and weeks, and months. They may become
Then they are given a clear view of the love of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ and especially of
His death upon the cross. At last they see it. Oh, they had always believed it theoretically, but it had never truly become
real for them. They had honestly believed it, yes, but they had never felt its power, they had never known what it was to
be melted by it, to be broken by it. They had never known what it was to weep with a sense of unworthiness and then of love
and joy as they realized that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in
Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Suddenly it all becomes real to them, and they are given to know
that the Son of God has loved them and has given Himself for them. It becomes an individual and a personal matter: "He
died for me, even my sins are forgiven," and peace comes into their hearts; joy enters into them and they are lost in
love and in a sense of praise of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
This now becomes the one thing
that absorbs them. If they meet anyone they talk about it at once; everybody is talking about it, it is the main topic of
conversation, it is the thing that absorbs all their interest. They desire to be together now and to talk about these things
and so they get together, and they hold meetings. They meet every night to talk about these things and to praise God and to
sing hymns to His glory.
Then they begin to pray, and there they are, hour after hour, night after night, longing to
finish work so they might get together with other people who have experienced this movement of the Spirit of God. And that,
of course, in turn leads them to have a great concern about others who are outside and who do not know these things.
am giving you a synopsis of what you read in the books. They begin to get a concern for the members of their own family--husband,
wife, father, mother, children, brother, sister--who do not know that they are outside. They tell them about it; they feel
they must. There is a constraint that is driving them. They talk about it to people, to friends and to everybody, and they
begin to pray for them. Prayer is always a great feature of every revival, great prayer meetings, intercession hour after
hour. They pray for these people by name and they plead, and they will not let God go, as it were. They are intent on this
with a strange urgency.
And then, after a while, hearing of all this and seeing the change in those whom they have known
for so long, these others who are outside begin to join the meetings and to say, "What is this?" So they come in,
and they go through the same experience. And so it happens and thousands upon thousands are converted. Indeed, the whole neighborhood
seems to be full of the Holy Spirit. He seems to be everywhere.
People are not only converted in meetings, some are converted
as they are walking to the meetings, before they have even got there. Some are converted at their work, in a coal-mine, on
top of a mountain. Some are awakened in the middle of the night. They went to bed feeling as usual, but they are awakened
with an aweful sense of sin, and they have to get up and pray and plead with God to have mercy. Nobody has spoken to them
at that moment--it is the Spirit of God that is acting. He is dominating the whole area. He is filling the lives of all the
That is what happens in revival and thus you get this curious, strange mixture, as it were, of great conviction
of sin and great joy, a great sense of the terror of the Lord, and great thanksgiving and praise.
Always in a revival
there is what somebody once called a divine disorder. Some are groaning and agonizing under conviction, others praising God
for the great salvation. And all this leads to crowded and prolonged meetings. Time seems to be forgotten. People seem to
have entered into eternity.
A meeting may start at six thirty in the evening, and it may not end until daybreak the next
morning with nobody aware of the passing of the hours. They did not have to provide coffee once or twice halfway through.
When the Holy Ghost organizes things, time, the body, and the needs of the flesh are all forgotten.
A revival, then,
really means days of heaven upon earth. Let me give you one of the greatest descriptions ever written of what is true of a
town when there is such a revival or a visitation of the Spirit of God. It was written by the great and saintly Jonathan Edwards
about the little town of Northampton in Massachusetts in 1735.
This work soon made a glorious alteration in the town.
So that in the spring and summer following, the town seemed to be full of the presence of God. It never was so full of love
nor so full of joy and yet so full of distress as it was then.
There were remarkable tokens of God’s presence in
almost every house. It was a time of joy in families on account of salvation being brought to them. Parents rejoicing over
their children as newborn, husbands over their wives and wives over their husbands.
The doings of God were then seen
in His sanctuary. God’s day was a delight and the congregation was alive in God’s service. Everyone earnestly
intent on the public worship. Every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth. The assembly
in general were from time to time in tears while the Word was preached. Some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with
joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors.
This is God visiting His people. Days of
heaven on earth, the presidency of the Holy Spirit in the Church, life abundant given to God’s people without measure.
A revival is a miracle. It is the hand of the Lord, and it is mighty. It can only be explained as the direct action and
intervention of God. Men can produce evangelistic campaigns, but they cannot and never have produced a revival. A revival,
by definition, is the mighty act of God and it is a sovereign act of God. It is as independent as that. Man can do nothing.
God, and God alone, does it.
But not only can men not produce a revival, they cannot even explain it, and that again
is most important. If you can explain what is happening in a church, apart from this sovereign act of God, it is not revival.
A revival is something which, when it happens, leads people to say, as the townspeople said in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost,
"What is this? What is it?" It is something that comes like a tornado. It is almost like an overflowing tide; it
is like a flood. Miraculous things happen, things that are beyond the explanation and the wit of men.
Finally, look at
it as it is described in Acts 2. Here are the apostles meeting together for prayer in the upper room. They had been doing
it for ten days. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing, mighty wind, and it filled all the house where
they were sitting. That is it. Not always the sound, but always the consciousness of the mighty wind of God. The Spirit of
God descends upon preacher, prayers, praying people, those meeting in conference.
Do we know anything about that, my
friends? Do we believe in God coming in and doing things that we not only cannot do, but cannot even understand, nor control,
nor explain. Yea, I ask you, do you long to know such things? To see such things happening again today? Are you praying for
such a visitation? For, believe me, when God hears our prayers and does this thing again, it will be such a phenomenon that
not only will the Church be astounded and amazed, but even those who are outside will be compelled to listen and to pay attention,
in a way that they are not doing at the present time, and in a way that men left to themselves can never persuade them to
This is what God can do. This is what God has done. Let us together decide to beseech Him, to plead with Him to do
this again. Not that we may have the experience or the excitement, but that His mighty hand may be known and His great name
may be glorified and magnified among the people.
Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats? by Charles
Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail
to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until
the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission
is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.
From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually
toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now
she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.
My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken
of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into
all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That is clear enough. So it would have been if He
had added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found.
It did not seem to occur to him.
Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors
and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent
concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr
providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude
of the church to the world? Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not
swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.
Had Christ introduced more of
the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching
nature of His teaching. I do not hear him say, "Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style
of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people.
Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow." Jesus pitied sinners, sighed
and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.
In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement!
Their message is, "Come out, keep out, keep clean out!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence.
They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.
After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church
had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, "Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent
recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for
arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside
down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference! Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on
her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.
Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works
havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify.
Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment
has been God's link in the chain of the conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces
no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the
one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men
us never forget that the Husbandman is never so near the land as when he is plowing it, the very time when we are tempted
to think He hath forsaken us. His plowing is a proof that He thinks you of value, and worth chastening: for He does not waste
His plowing on the barren sand. He will not plow continually, but only for a time, and for a definite purpose. Soon, aye soon,
we shall, through these painful processes and by His gentle showers of grace, become His fruitful land.” ~ Lettie
B. Cowman (1870-1960)
“We are prepared to serve the Lord only by sacrifice. We are fit for the work of God only when we have wept over it,
prayed about it, and then we are enabled by Him to tackle the job that needs to be done. May God give to us hearts that bleed,
eyes that are wide open to see, minds that are clear to interpret God's purposes, wills that are obedient, and a determination
that is utterly unflinching as we set about the tasks He would have us do.” ~ Alan Redpath
"All God's giants have been
weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them." ~ Hudson Taylor
“If the Lord sets you to guard
a lonely post in perfect stillness from all active work, you ought to be just as content as to be in the midst of the active
warfare. It is no virtue to love the Master's work better than the Master's will.” ~ Hannah Whitall
will allow His servant to succeed when he has learned that success does not make him dearer to God nor more valuable in the
total scheme of things. We cannot buy God’s favor with crowds or converts or new missionaries sent out or Bibles distributed.
All these things can be accomplished without the help of the Holy Spirit. A good personality and a shrewd knowledge of human
nature is all that any man needs to be a success in religious circles today.
Our great honor lies in being just what Jesus was and is. To be accepted by those who accept Him,
rejected by all who reject Him, loved by those who love Him and hated by everyone that hates Him. What greater glory could
come to any man?” ~A.W. Tozer
"There's only one proof of the Holy Ghost in your life and that's a holy life." - Leonard
Word written is not only a rule of knowledge, but a rule of obedience; it is not only to mend our sight, but to mend our pace.
Reading without practice will be but a torch to light men to hell." ~ Thomas Watson
be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their
knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for." ~ Charles Spurgeon
"O easy, luxurious, comfortable Christian! While
you are lolling on your couch the sinner is going down to woe! While you are soothing your conscience with the opiates of
religious routine; or pampering the flesh; or killing time in mirth and music, or social party; or idling days in sport; or
talking politics; or drinking in the applause of public opinion; - MEN ARE DYING." ~ Horatius Bonar
"A hundred thousand souls a day
are passing one by one away
in christless guilt and gloom
O Church of Christ, what wilt thou say,
that awful judgment day
They charge thee with their doom?"
"The fire shall ever be
burning upon the altar; it shall never go out."—Leviticus 6:13.
“Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow
their fires here, there-fore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer, of vital and
Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent,
and undisturbed. Effectual prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the Church, the ministry, your
own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbours, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world.
Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion
burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go
with weeping, and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer.
For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar,
and lessen our influence both in the Church and in the world.
The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This
is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing towards Himself. Let us give to God our hearts,
all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not
keep it burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the unseen hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil,
it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart's fire, they are live coals; let
us attend sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.” ~ CH Spurgeon
True revival by Henry T. Blackaby
We have several generations who know nothing, experientially, of true revival and spiritual awakening. The following are
descriptions of prominent features of revival scenes, which should stir your hearts to long for their repetition in our day.
Pervasive, Fervent Praying. All revival begins, and continues, in the prayer meeting. Some have also called prayer the
"great fruit of revival." In times of revival, thousands may be found on their knees for hours, lifting up their
heartfelt cries, with thanksgiving, to heaven.
The accounts of revivals abound with illustrations of pervasive and fervent
praying. In George Whitfield's time, overwhelmed by the Presence of God, people would pray and cry out to God throughout
the night. Following a young girl's prayer, a youth meeting in South Africa was filled with the Presence of God, and the
young people continued to pray for hours, issuing in the greatest revival during Andrew Murray's ministry. The great Moravian
revival of 1727 began in prayer, and so overwhelmed were the people with the Presence of God, they were convicted to pray
24 hours a day, 7 days a week—and this lasted over 100 years, with astounding results around the world. In the 1904
revival in Wales, prayer was deep and crushing in the coal mines, in homes, in barns, along the roads, and in almost every
place where people met. In Ulster (1859), more than 100 prayer meetings began instantly, even in graveyards and gravel pits.
In New York City (1857), more than 30,000 people gathered daily to pray, and were "filled with the awesome Presence of
God." Near the end of a prayer meeting in the city of Arnol, on the Scottish Isle of Lewis (1940s), a local blacksmith
cried out: "Lord, Your honor is at stake!" At that moment the house shook and "dishes rattled...as wave after
wave of Divine Power swept through the house." When this group of people closed the prayer meeting and went outside,
they found the community alive with the Presence of God; it was 5 a.m. in the morning.
Powerful, Scriptural Preaching.
Powerful preaching is a hallmark of true revival. Revival preachers demonstrate their commitment to the authority and sufficiency
of the Scriptures, with bold, urgent, and uncompromising preaching, as they set before God's people the way of life and
death. Powerful, Spirit-filled sermons concerning sin, Christ and the cross penetrate the hearts of the saved and lost alike
with the realities of eternity. Concerning a sermon Whitfield preached in Scotland (1742), one present reported: "During
the time of divine worship, solemn, profound reverence overspread every countenance. Many cry out in the bitterness of their
soul. Some...from the stoutest men, to the tenderest child, shake and tremble and a few fall down as dead....when the ...preacher
speaks of redeeming Love, and talks of the precious Savior...all seem to breathe after Him...."
Confessions. When Holy God draws near in true revival, people come under terrible conviction of sin. The outstanding feature
of spiritual awakening has been the profound consciousness of the Presence and holiness of God, "so overwhelming at times
that people were afraid to open their mouths lest they utter words that would bring upon them the judgements of God. Sinners,
overwhelmed by the Divine Presence, would fall helplessly, crying for mercy." Under the crushing gravity of even the
smallest sins, people may be found for hours groaning and in awful distress, weeping bitterly and uncontrollably, sighing
and sobbing anxiously and painfully. Entire congregations deal face-to-face with God about their sins, in open brokenness
and contrition, with urgent prayers of repentance, pleading to God for mercy. Under deep conviction, missionaries, pastors,
elders, and evangelists are found publically confessing their sins. A missionary in Korea in 1907 wrote: "As the prayer
continued, a spirit of heaviness and sorrow for sin came upon the audience. On one side, someone began to weep, and in a moment
the whole audience was weeping. Man after man would rise, confess his sins, break down and weep, and then throw himself down
on the floor and beat the floor with his fists in perfect agony of conviction." All are painfully (and joyfully) aware
that this deep conviction is solely the work of God in their midst, and find great peace and joy in forgiveness.
Radical Conversions. During true revival, thousands of lost people are suddenly swept into the Kingdom of God. Scenes of the
lost coming to the Savior in great, and unprecedented numbers, are common. In the eastern states, during the revivals of 1858,
conversions and baptisms quadrupled. During the Great Awakening in New England in the 1700s, between 25,000 and 30,000 were
converted. When God visited Wales in 1859, it is estimated that 110,000 were added to the churches. In Korea between 1906
and 1910 the net gain of all the churches was nearly 80,000.
Revival conversions demonstrate the radicalness of becoming
a new creation in Christ. Crime in awakened communities falls dramatically, sins and worldly pleasures are abandoned, and
joyful worship and service to Christ and demonstrable love for one another become the way of life. Of one Parish where Duncan
Campbell was used of God in the late 1940s, we read: "Revival had surely come! Campbell conducted four services nightly
(for 5 weeks)—at 7 p.m., 10 p.m., midnight, and 3 a.m., returning home between 5 and 6 a.m.... Simultaneously (with
'desperate praying') the Spirit of God swept through the village. People could not sleep; houses were lit all night;
people walked the streets in great conviction; others knelt by their bedsides crying for God to pardon them!.... Within 48
hours the drinking house was closed. Today it is in ruins. Fourteen young men who had been drinking there, were gloriously
converted....; within 48 hours nearly every young person between the ages of 12 and 20 had surrendered to Christ, and it was
reckoned that every young man between the ages of 18 and 35 could be found in the prayer meetings!"
The above scenes
are the common experience of all true revivals: Persevering prayer, mighty preaching, agonizing confessions followed by the
joy of forgiveness, and this pervading the believing and unbelieving community alike. O Lord, in mercy, visit again your people
in our day. For further reading, see Revival, A People Saturated with God, by Brian H. Edwards (Evangelical Press, 1990).
of Revivals by Richard M. Riss
Riss has written books on revival including A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America (Peabody,
1988) and Images of Revivals (Revival Press, 1997). His doctoral research at Drew University includes study of the
Revivals and Misrepresentations
During the course of my study of revivals over
the past twenty-three years, one of the things that has fascinated me is the extent to which they are misrepresented. These
misrepresentations are usually widely believed, creating stumbling blocks which prevent many people from partaking in the
forgiveness, love, joy, refreshing, healing, reconciliation, character development, and other benefits which are freely
available through a move of God of this kind.
Jonathan Edwards wrote of this phenomenon in connection with the
outset of the Great Awakening, which began at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts in December of 1734. In the introductory
portion of his Narrative of the Surprising Work of God, he said that the Great Awakening was being "exceedingly misrepresented
by reports that were spread . . . [to] distant parts of the land." These reports were spread by other Christians, many
of whom were in positions of leadership in the churches. Edwards wrote that, "When this work of God first appeared, and
was so extraordinarily carried on among us in the winter, others round about us seemed not to know what to make of it, and
there were many that scoffed at and ridiculed it; and some compared what we called conversion to certain distempers. "Because
people really didn't understand what was happening, they began to say negative things about it.
reports spread throughout the entire country, and this had a lasting effect on peoples' willingness to accept that what
was happening was a work of God. He wrote, "A great part of the country have not received the most favorable thoughts
of this affair, and to this day many retain a jealousy concerning it, and prejudice against it." Unfortunately, when
people begin to become predisposed against something, it is no longer an easy matter for them to benefit from it, and they
will sometimes attempt to put a stop to it.
In the concluding remarks of the same work, Edwards referred again
to "the innumerable misrepresentations which have gone abroad" concerning the revival that began in his church.
He stated that because of this, it had been necessary for him to go into great detail about what God was actually doing within
the context of the beginning of what we now know as the Great Awakening.
One of the reasons that
people misunderstand revival is that it tends to create a great deal of chaos and disorder. Normal church programs are usually
suspended. People are caught up in the things of God. They often fall to the ground or make unusual noises; they weep or laugh
or act as though drunk. This was as true for the Great Awakening as it was for any other revival (for details, see Images
During the Second Awakening in America, Charles Finney said some of the same
things about misrepresentation of what God was doing. He lamented in his Memoirs that "it has been common for good men,
in referring to those revivals, to assume that although they were upon the whole, revivals of religion, yet . . . they were
so conducted that great disorders were manifest in them, and that there was much to deplore in their results. Now all this
is an entire mistake."
This is a very common phenomenon during revivals. People will assume, based upon
misleading reports, that there is a great deal of mixture in them and that there is "much to deplore in their results."
Yet, one could be a perfect leader and still encounter storms of criticism; this is exactly what happened to Jesus Christ.
A little bit later, Finney wrote,
"Until I arrived at Auburn, I was not fully aware of the amount of opposition I was destined to meet from the ministry;
not the ministry in the region where I had labored, but from ministers where I had not labored, and who knew personally nothing
of me, but were influenced by the false reports which they heard." Finney found it amazing that his critics would believe
so many of the reports that they had heard.
However, there is a sense in which this phenomenon is not surprising
at all. The spread of false reports and negative attitudes with respect to a work of God is a sure sign that it is genuine,
because it indicates that the enemy is at work, attempting to discredit it.
The temptation to belittle
the work of God is greatest among those who might have a tendency to feel that they would have something to lose if people
were allowed to partake in it. There are strong temptations to jealously even among Christian leaders. Those who yield to
such temptations are in danger of undermining the work of God by belittling the very thing that is bringing life and blessing
to those who love Him.
God, in His wisdom, has His own reasons for allowing false reports to arise concerning
His work. The stumbling blocks will therefore inevitably come, but woe to those through whom the stumbling blocks come.
following summary indicates characteristics common to revivals and awakenings.
of Revivals and Awakenings
1. How Awakenings Arise
always emerge against a backdrop of very serious spiritual decline or intense spiritual dryness.
b. They are the product of intense prayer.
people pray for reawakening, God seems to give the answer to their prayers in places that they least expect it.
d. At the beginning of an awakening, there is often an exhilarating sense of expectancy.
e. Revivals are often brought about by telling people about the revivals of the past.
f. There is often a specific point in time at the outset of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit at which God's
presence is suddenly recognized by the people. The power of God falls spontaneously.
g. Revivals of this kind seem to emerge at the same time in many different places.
a. The Lord breathes new life into the
b. He brings multitudes of new believers into His body.
who are already Christian enter more deeply into the fullness of salvation.
d. People recognize a similarity of the revival to any previous revivals they have experienced.
e. Backsliders are reclaimed.
f. People often come out of
curiosity or skepticism and become believers.
g. There are
conversions of ministers.
3. The Spread of the News
the outset of revival, there is very little organization.
is largely by word of mouth.
c. People are sometimes drawn
to the scene of revival by an irresistible power.
come from miles away.
e. People flock from everywhere.
f. There are crowds.
g. It is contagious.
h. There are often secular newspaper accounts of an awakening.
4. Conviction of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment
a. Revival is characterized by widespread repentance and brokenness.
b. There is a great deal of meditation upon God's character.
is an awakening of conscience.
d. There is conviction of
e. People are given an immediate revelation of God's glory and of their own sinfulness and inadequacy before him.
f. In some cases, people for blocks around are confronted with their own sin and God's majesty.
g. People suddenly become deeply convinced of their lostness.
awesome fear of God and His judgment comes upon everyone.
bring the individual face to face with the eternal questions of one's nature and destiny.
j. People suddenly become aware of the terrors of hell.
is accompanied by deep distress over one's wickedness.
urge to pray, especially for salvation, is irresistible.
are sometimes manifestations of shaking or trembling.
are often strange manifestations of emotion in people in response to these experiences, including laughter, weeping, barking
or yelping, and roaring.
o. People therefore seek forgiveness from
God through Christ's shed blood.
p. They then find redemption
in His blood; they are given assurance of forgiveness of sin and of salvation.
q. This is accompanied with joy and peace.
the skeptical and stubborn will also grieve over their sins until they find assurance.
a. God frees people from bondage to sinful
habits, bad attitudes, and emotional disturbances, ‘breaking the power of cancelled sin,’ as Charles Wesley put
b. Old prejudices are changed radically.
c. Broken homes are reunited.
d. There is widespread reconciliation.
e. There comes a depth of
love for one's brothers and sisters in Christ beyond measure.
receive a fresh sense of the unity of believers in all times and places.
g. It puts an end to cursing, blasphemy, drunkenness and uncleanness in a town. There is a cessation of fighting,
clamor, bitterness, and so forth.
h. Rather, joy and peace become
predominant in a place that has experienced an awakening.
6. Heaven Upon Earth
a. People become so preoccupied with the things of God that they don't want to talk about anything else.
b. There is an unusually vivid sense of God's presence, and of joy, love and peace.
c. There are sometimes manifestations of laughter and speechlessness.
d. There is a completely different, refreshing atmosphere where God is present.
e. People experience heaven upon earth.
f. Meetings are often of protracted
length. Time passes very quickly.
g. There is a feeling of release,
or freedom in the Spirit.
h. People feel refreshed. There is a new
lilt to everyone's steps.
i. People suddenly have an
intense enthusiasm about the things of God.
j. There is considerable praise
k. There is singing in the Spirit of such harmonies as are almost never heard on earth.
l. There is dancing in the Spirit.
m. There are manifestations
of spiritual gifts.
n. Children prophesy.
Ministry During Divine Visitations
a. God often raises up people
as instruments for bringing about revival who have few natural talents and abilities.
b. Women and lay people find a greater place for leadership in revival.
c. His Word goes forth in power.
d. The Lord anoints with the
Spirit the preaching, teaching, counseling, and music such that it has an ability to penetrate the hearts of the people.
e. There is always considerable revelation upon God's Word, which takes on a new freshness.
f. People in a revival are almost invariably orthodox theologically on the great basics of the Christian faith. There
is a great emphasis upon the Bible and its teachings.
is a great stress usually laid upon the suffering, cross, blood and death of Jesus Christ.
h. People fall under God's power.
i. People begin to laugh or
cry, or develop characteristics similar to drunkenness.
ailments are sometimes healed.
k. These phenomena are accompanied
by the healing of shattered lives.
8. Enthusiasm for God' Precious Word
a. The Bible comes alive for people
is always a deep thirst for the Word of God.
c. People hang upon every
word that is preached.
d. There are phenomenal increases in the
sales of New Testaments and Bibles.
e. Those who are used of God
in bringing about revival receive far more calls to preach than they can ever answer, and are harried mercilessly.
a. A spirit of sacrifice is often prevalent
in a revival.
b. People spend whole nights in prayer.
c. Revival usually produces
a zeal for the saving of the lost and, there, for missions.
e. People gather together to share in the
faith for mutual up-building.
f. Superficial profession,
baptism and church membership pale in significance, with an emphasis being placed upon spiritual life, of which the former
things are merely tokens.
g. Old institutional forms often begin
to seem inadequate to people who are experiencing an awakening.
10. The Rise of Impurities
a. Human frailty is inevitably an ingredient in any revival.
is case for amazement even to seasoned preachers and evangelists to see what happens during seasons of awakening.
c. Belief in the imminent coming of Christ has characterized every movement of awakening since the first century. This
has often led to the setting of dates for Christ's return.
who try to mold a revival to their own tastes or control it are usually swept aside.
e. Because so many young, inexperienced converts are involved, there will be many extravagances.
f. There is a temptation to spiritual pride, and to take ones own imagination for impressions from God.
g. In a revival, there will always be some who violate Biblical truth.
h. Belief that they alone are instrumental in the accomplishment of God's purposes often characterizes both individuals
and groups experiencing revival.
11. Controversy During Outpourings of God's Spirit
a. There are always bad reports about what goes on in a revival, both true and false.
b. Many people remain aloof for this reason.
c. A revival
is always accompanied with a great deal of controversy.
is always intense opposition and persecution.
e. There is reproach upon
f. Revival always involves an advance of God's kingdom in spiritual warfare against the strongholds of Satan.
g. The enemy will attempt to hinder the work of God at all costs.
h. Satan attempts to discredit revival by mimicking God's work.
12. The Decline of an
a. A revival will crest to a high point and then decrease.
a revival crests, offenses will come.
c. Many people will feel ill
will instead of good will toward the leaders of a revival.
will begin to disapprove of what they formerly approved.
will fasten upon bad reports, true or false, in order to justify their changes in attitude.
f. Many of those who were more or less convinced will be afraid or ashamed to acknowledge their conviction of faith.
The Long Term Effects
a. A new flood of hymns and scriptures
set to music gains widespread circulation and use.
has lasting, profound effects upon the lives of many of the people involved.
c. It spawns great ministries which then thrive well past the time of the revival.
d. There is a tremendous impact on society and many social reforms are effected.
of these characteristics can help us avoid the extremes of blindly accepting everything in a revival as from God or of resisting
and quenching the Spirit by opposing what God is doing, even if the impacts of the Spirit are overwhelming.
Directions for Hating Sin by Richard Baxter
Direct. I. Labour to know God, and
to be affected with his attributes, and always to live as in his sight.—No man can know sin perfectly, because no man
can know God perfectly. You can no further know what sin is than you know what God is, whom you sin against; for the formal
malignity of sin is relative, as it is against the will and attributes of God. The godly have some knowledge of the malignity
of sin, because they have some knowledge of God that is wronged by it. The wicked have no practical, prevalent knowledge of
the malignity of sin, because they have no such knowledge of God. They that fear God will fear sinning; they that in their
hearts are bold irreverently with God, will, in heart and life, be bold with sin: the atheist, who thinks there is no God
thinks there is no sin against him. Nothing in world will tell us so plainly and powerfully of the evil of sin, as the knowledge
of the greatness, wisdom goodness, holiness, authority, justice, truth, &c. of God. The sense of his presence, therefore,
will revive our sense of sin’s malignity.
Direct. II. Consider well of the office, the bloodshed, and the holy
life of Christ.—His office is to expiate sin, and to destroy it. His blood was shed for it: his life condemned it. Love
Christ, and you will hate that which caused his death. Love him, and you will love to be made like him, and hate that which
is so contrary to Christ. These two great lights will show the odiousness of darkness.
Direct. III. Think well both how
holy the office and work of the Holy Ghost is, and how great a mercy it is to us.—Shall God himself, the heavenly light,
come down into a sinful heart, to illuminate and purify it? And yet shall I keep my darkness and defilement, in opposition
to such wonderful mercy? Though all sin against the Holy Ghost be not the unpardonable blasphemy, yet all is aggravated hereby.
Direct. IV. Know and consider the wonderful love and mercy of God, and think what he has done for you; and you will hate
sin, and be ashamed of it. It is an aggravation which makes sin odious even to common reason and ingenuity, that we should
offend a God of infinite goodness, who has filled up our lives with mercy. It will grieve you if you have wronged an extraordinary
friend: his love and kindness will come into your thoughts, and make you angry with your own unkindness. Here look over the
catalogue of God’s mercies to you, for soul and body. And here observe that Satan, in hiding the love of God from you,
and tempting you under the pretence of humility to deny his greatest, special mercy, seeks to destroy your repentance and
humiliation, also, by hiding the greatest aggravation of your sin.
Direct. V. Think what the soul of man is made for,
and should be used to, even to love, obey, and glorify our Maker; and then you will see what sin is, which disables and perverts
it.—How excellent, and high, and holy a work are we created for and called to! And should we defile the temple of God?
And serve the devil in filthiness and folly, when we should receive, and serve, and magnify our Creator?
Think well what pure and sweet delights a holy soul may enjoy from God, in his holy service; and then you will see what sin
is, which robs him of these delights, and prefers fleshly lusts before them.—O how happily might we perform every duty,
and how fruitfully might we serve our Lord, and what delight should we find in his love and acceptation, and the foresight
of everlasting blessedness, if it were not for sin; which brings down the soul from the doors of heaven, to wallow with swine
in a beloved dunghill!
Direct. VII. Bethink you what a life it is which you must live for ever, if you live in heaven;
and what a life the holy ones there now live; and then think whether sin, which is so contrary to it, be not a vile and hateful
thing.—Either you would live in heaven, or not. If not, you are not those I speak to. If you would, you know that there
is no sinning; no worldly mind, no pride, no passion, no fleshly lust or pleasures there. Oh, did you but see and hear one
hour, how those blessed spirits are taken up in loving and magnifying the glorious God in purity and holiness, and how far
they are from sin, it would make you loathe sin ever after, and look on sinners as on men in bedlam wallowing naked in their
dung. Especially, to think that you hope yourselves to live for ever like those holy spirits; and therefore sin does ill beseem
Direct. VIII. Look but to the state and torment of the damned, and think well of the difference betwixt angels and
devils, and you may know what sin is.—Angels are pure; devils are polluted: holiness and sin do make the difference.
Sin dwells in hell, and holiness in heaven. Remember that every temptation is from the devil, to make you like himself; as
every holy motion is from Christ, to mike you like himself. Remember when you sin, that you are learning and imitating of
the devil, and are so far like him, John 8:44. And the end of all is, that you may feel his pains. If hell-fire be not good,
then sin is not good.
Direct. IX. Look always on sin as one that is ready to die, and consider how all men judge of it
at the last.—What do men in heaven say of it? And what do men in hell say of it? And what do men at death say of it?
And what do converted souls, or awakened consciences, say of it? Is it then followed with delight and fearlessness as it is
now? Is it then applauded? Will any of them speak well of it? Nay, all the world speaks evil of sin in the general now, even
when they love and commit the several acts. Will you sin when you are dying?
Direct. X. Look always on sin and judgment
together.—Remember that you must answer for it before God, and angels, and all the world; and you will the better know
Direct. XI. Look now but upon sickness, poverty, shame, despair, death, and rottenness in the grave, and it may a
little help you to know what sin is. These are things within your sight or feeling; you need not faith to tell you of them.
And by such effects you might have some little knowledge of the cause.
Direct. XII. Look but upon some eminent, holy
persons upon earth, and upon the mad, profane, malignant world; and the difference may tell you in part what sin is.—Is
there not an amiableness in a holy, blameless person, that lives in love to God and man, and in the joyful hopes of life eternal?
Is not a beastly drunkard or whoremonger, and a raging swearer, and a malicious persecutor, a very deformed, loathsome creature?
Is not the mad, confused, ignorant, ungodly state of the world a very pitiful sight? What then is the sin that all this consists
Though the principal part of the cure is in turning the will to the hatred of sin, and is done by this discovery
of its malignity; yet I shall add a few more directions for the executive part, supposing that what is said already has had
Direct. I. When you have found out your disease and danger, give up yourselves to Christ as the Saviour and
Physician of souls, and to the Holy Ghost as your Sanctifier, remembering that he is sufficient and willing to do the work
which he has undertaken.—It is not you that are to be saviours and sanctifiers of yourselves (unless as you work under
Christ). But he that has undertaken it, takes it for his glory to perform it.
Direct. II. Yet must you be willing and
obedient in applying the remedies prescribed you by Christ, and observing his directions in order to your cure. And you must
not be tender, and coy, and fine, and say his is too bitter, and that is too sharp; but trust his love, and skill, and care,
and take it as he prescribes it, or gives it you, without any more ado. Say not, It is grievous, and I cannot take it: for
he commands you nothing but what is safe, and wholesome, and necessary, and if you cannot take it, must try whether you can
bear your sickness, and death, and the fire of hell! Are humiliation, confession, restitution, mortification, and holy diligence
worse than hell?
Direct. III. See that you take not part with sin, and wrangle not, or strive not against your Physician,
or any that would do you good.—Excusing sin, and heading for and extenuating it, and striving against the Spirit and
conscience, and wrangling against ministers and godly friends, and hating reproof, are not the means to be cured and sanctified.
Direct. IV. See that malignity in every one of your particular sins, which you can see and say is in sin in general.—It
is a gross deceit of yourselves, if you will speak a great deal of the evil of sin, and see none of this malignity in your
pride, and your worldliness, and your passion and peevishness, and our malice and uncharitableness, and your lying, backbiting,
slandering, or sinning against conscience for worldly commodity or safety. What self-contradiction is it for a man in prayer
to aggravate sin, and when he is reproved for it, to justify or excuse it! This is like him that will speak against treason,
and the enemies of the king, but because the traitors are his friends and kindred, will protect or hide them, and take their
Direct. V. Keep as far as you can from those temptations which feed and strengthen the, sins which you would overcome.—Lay
siege to your sins, and starve them out, by keeping away the food and fuel which is their maintenance and life.
VI. Live in the exercise of those graces and duties which are contrary to the sins which you are most in danger of.—For
grace and duty are contrary to sin, and kill it, and cure us of it, as the fire cures us of cold, or health of sickness.
Direct. VII. Hearken not to weakening unbelief and distrust, and cast not away the comforts of God, which are your cordials
and strength.—It is not a frightful, dejected, despairing frame of mind, that is fittest to resist sin; but it is the
encouraging sense of the love of God, and thankful sense of grace received (with a cautious fear).
Direct. VIII. Be always
suspicious of carnal self-love, and watch against it.—For that is the burrow or fortress of sin, and the common patron
of it; ready to draw you to it, and ready to justify it. We are very prone to be partial in our own cause; as the case of
Judah with Tamar, and David when Nathan reproved him in a parable, show. our own passions, our own pride, our own censures,
or backbitings, or injurious dealings, our own neglects of duty, seem small, excusable, if not justifiable things to us; whereas
we could easily see the faultiness of all these in another, especially in an enemy: when yet we should be best acquainted
with ourselves, and we should most love ourselves, and therefore hate our own sins most.
Direct. IX. Bestow your first
and chiefest labour to kill sin at the root; to cleanse the heart, which is the fountain; for out of the heart come the evils
of the life.—Know which are the master-roots; and bend your greatest care and industry to mortify those: and they are
especially these that follow; 1. Ignorance. 2. Unbelief. 3. Inconsiderateness. 4. Selfishness and pride. 5. Fleshliness, in
pleasing a brutish appetite, lust, or fantasy. 6. Senseless hard-heartedness and sleepiness in sin.
Direct. X. Account
the world and all its pleasures, wealth, and honours, no better than indeed they are, and then Satan will find no bait to
catch you. Esteem all as dung with Paul, Philippians 3:8; and no man will sin and sell his soul, for that which he accounts
but as dung.
Direct. XI. Keep up above in a heavenly conversation, and then your souls will be always in the light, and
as in the sight of God, and taken up with those businesses and delights which put them out of relish with the baits of sin.
Direct. XII. Let Christian watchfulness be your daily work; and cherish a preserving, though not a distracting and discouraging
Direct. XIII. Take heed of the first approaches and beginnings of sin. Oh how great a matter does a little of this
fire kindle! And if you fall, rise quickly by sound repentance, whatever it may cost you.
Direct. XIV. Make God’s
word your only rule and labour diligently to understand it.
Direct. XV. And in doubtful cases, do not easily depart from
the unanimous judgment of the generality of the most wise and godly of all ages.
Direct. XVI. In doubtful cases be not
passionate or rash, but proceed deliberately, and prove things well, before you fasten on them.
Direct. XVII. Be acquainted
with your bodily temperature, and what sin it most inclines you to, and what sin also your calling or living situation leave
you most open to, that there your watch may be the stricter.
Direct. XVIII. Keep in a life of holy order, such as God
has appointed you to walk in. For there is no preservation for stragglers that keep not rank and file, but forsake the order
which God commands them.—And this order lies principally in these points: 1. That you keep in union with the universal
church. Separate not from Christ’s body upon any pretence whatever. With the church as regenerate, hold spiritual communion,
in faith, love, and holiness with the church as congregate and visible, hold outward communion, in profession and worship.
2. If you are not teachers, live under your particular, faithful pastors, as obedient disciples of Christ. 3. Let the most
godly, if possible, be your familiars. 4. Be laborious in an outward calling.
Direct. XIX. Turn all God’s providences,
whether of prosperity or adversity, against your sins.—If he gives you health and wealth, remember he thereby obliges
you to obedience, and calls for special service from you. If he afflict you, remember that it is sin that he is offended at,
and searches after; and therefore take it as his medicine, and see that you hinder not, but help on its work, that it may
purge away your sin.
Direct. XX. Wait patiently on Christ till he has finished the cure, which will not be till this
trying life be finished.—Persevere in attendance on his Spirit and means; for he will come in season, and will not tarry.
“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning, and he shall come
unto us as the rain: as the latter and former rain upon the earth,” Hosea 6:3. Though you have oft said, “There
is no healing,” Jeremiah 14:19; “He will heal your backslidings, and love you freely,” Hosea 14:4. “Unto
you that fear his name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings,” Malachi 4:2: “and blessed
are all they that wait for him,” Isa. 30:18.
Thus I have given such directions as may help for humiliation under
sin, or hatred of it, and deliverance from it.
Source of Power
by James Hudson Taylor
"God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God"
(Ps. 62:11). God Himself is the great source of power. It is His possession. "Power belongeth unto God,”
and He manifests it according to His sovereign will. Yet, not in an erratic or arbitrary manner, but according to His declared
purpose and promises. True, our opponents and hindrances are many and mighty, but our God, the living God, is Almighty.
Further, God's power is available power. We are supernatural people, born again by a supernatural birth, kept by a supernatural
power, sustained on supernatural food, taught by a supernatural Teacher from a supernatural Book. We are led by a supernatural
Captain in right paths to assured victories. The risen Saviour, ere He ascended on high, said: “All power is given
unto Me. Go ye therefore.”
Again, He said to His disciples: "Ye shall receive power when the Holy
Spirit is come upon you.” Not many days after this, in answer to united and continued prayer, the Holy Spirit did
come upon them, and they were all filled. Praise God, He remains with us still. The power given is not a gift from the Holy
Spirit. He Himself is the power. Today He is as truly available, and as mighty in power, as He was on the day of Pentecost.
But since the days before Pentecost, has the whole Church ever put aside every other work, and waited upon God for ten days,
that that power might be manifested? We have given too much attention to method, and to machinery, and to resources, and too
little to the Source of power.
Have We No Tears for Revival? by Leonard Ravenhill
"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Ps. 126:5). This is the divine edict.
This is more than preaching with zeal. This is more than scholarly exposition. This is more than delivering sermons of exegetical
exactitude and homiletical perfection. Such a man, whether preacher or pew dweller, is appalled at the shrinking authority
of the Church in the present drama of cruelty in the world. And he cringes with sorrow that men turn a deaf ear to the Gospel
and willingly risk eternal hell in the process. Under this complex burden, his heart is crushed to tears.
The true man of God is heartsick,
grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church, grieved at the corruption in the Church,
grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate
prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. He is embarrassed that the Church folks no longer
cry in their despair before a devil-ridden, sin-mad society, "Why could we not cast him out?" (Matt. 17:19).
Many of us have no heart-sickness
for the former glory of the Church because we have never known what true revival is. We stagnate in the status quo and sleep
easy at night while our generation moves swiftly to the eternal night of hell. Shame, shame on us! Jesus whipped some money
changers out of the temple; but before He whipped them, He wept over them. He knew how near their judgment was The Apostle
Paul sent a tear-stained letter to the Philippian saints, writing: "I have told you often and now tell you even weeping,
that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ" (Phil.3:18). Notice that he does not say they are enemies of Christ;
they are, rather, the enemies of the cross of Christ. They deny or diminish the redemptive values of the cross. There are
many like this today. The church of Rome does not stand as an enemy of Christ; it traces heavily on His holy name. Yet it
denies the cross by saying that the Blessed Virgin is co-redemptive. If this is so, why was she not also crucified? The Mormons
use the name of Christ, yet they are astray on the atonement. Have we tears for them? Shall we face them without a blush when
they accuse us of inertia at the Judgment Seat saying that they were our neighbors and an offense to us, but not a burden
because they were lost?
The Salvationists can scarcely read their flaming evangelical history without tears. Has the glory of the evangelical
revival under Wesley ever gripped the hearts of the Methodists of today? Have they read of the fire-baptized men in Wesley's
team? Men like John Nelson, Thomas Walsh, and a host of others whose names are written in the Book of Life; men persecuted
and kicked in the streets when they held street meetings? Yet as their blood flowed from their wounds, their tears flowed
from their eyes. Have the Holiness people set a guard at the door of the beauty parlors lest any sister should enter to get
her hair curled, while a block away there is a string of prostitutes trying to sell their sin-wracked bodies with none to
tell them of eternal love? Do the Pentecostals look back with shame as they remember when they dwelt across the theological
tracks, but with the glory of the Lord in their midst? When they had a normal church life, which meant nights of prayers,
followed by signs and wonders, and diverse miracles, and genuine gifts of the Holy Ghost? When they were not clock watchers,
and their meetings lasted for hours, saturated with holy power? Have we no tears for these memories, or shame that our children
know nothing of such power? Other denominations had their Glory Days of revival. Think of the mighty visitations to the Presbyterians
in Korea. Remember the earth-shaking revival in Shantung. Are those days gone forever? Have we no tears for revival?
Excerpt from Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill
No man is greater than his
prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shopwindow
to display one's talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.
Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many
things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers,
few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion;
many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.
The two prerequisites
to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of
preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer-the highest ministry of all human offices-is open to all. Spiritual adolescents
say, "I'll not go tonight, it's only the prayer meeting." It may be that Satan has little cause to fear
most preaching. Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God's people praying....
God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God.
This world hits the trail for hell
with a speed that makes our fastest plane look like a tortoise; yet alas, few of us can remember the last time we missed our
bed for a night waiting upon God for a world-shaking revival. Our compassions are not moved. We mistake the scaffolding for
the building. Present-day preaching, with its pale interpretation of divine truths, causes us to mistake action for unction,
commotion for creation, and rattles for revivals.
The secret of praying is praying in secret. A sinning man will stop
praying, and a praying man will stop sinning. We are beggared and bankrupt, but not broken, nor even bent.
profoundly simple and simply profound. "Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try," and yet
so sublime that it outranges all speech and exhausts man's vocabulary. A Niagara of burning words does not mean that God
is either impressed or moved. One of the most profound of Old Testament intercessors had no language- "Her lips moved,
but her voice was not heard." No linguist here! There are "groanings which cannot be uttered."
so substandard to New Testament Christianity that we know not the historical faith of our fathers (with its implications and
operations), but only the hysterical faith of our fellows? Prayer is to the believer what capital is to the business man.
Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches
the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our accent is on paying, theirs was on praying. When we have paid,
the place is taken; when they had prayed, the place was shaken!
In the matter of New Testament, Spirit-inspired, hell-shaking,
world-breaking prayer, never has so much been left by so many to so few. For this kind of prayer there is no substitute. We
do it-or die!
Leonard Ravenhill Quotes:
“How can you pull down strongholds of Satan if you don’t even have the
strength to turn off your TV?"
"Many pastors criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously. But do they really
think that on Judgment Day, Christ will chastise me, saying, ‘Leonard, you took Me too seriously’?"
there’s something in the Bible that churches don’t like, they call it 'legalism.'"
Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified."
ambition in life is to be on the Devil’s most wanted list."
"There’s a difference between changing
your opinion, and changing your lifestyle."
"A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet reaches
"A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way."
is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The
pulpit can be a shop window to display one's talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off."
"If I was
to ask you tonight if you were saved? Do you say 'Yes, I am saved'. When? 'Oh so and so preached, I got baptized
and...' Are you saved? What are you saved from, hell? Are you saved from bitterness? Are you saved from lust?
you saved from cheating? Are you saved from lying? Are you saved from bad manners? Are you saved from rebellion against your
parents? Come on, what are you saved from?"
"Some women will spend thirty minutes to an hour preparing for
church externally (putting on special clothes and makeup, etc.). What would happen if we all spent the same amount of time
preparing internally for church—with prayer and meditation?"
"Everyone recognizes that Stephen was Spirit-filled
when he was performing wonders. Yet, he was just as Spirit-filled when he was being stoned to death."
doctrine can be as straight as a gun barrel—and just as empty!"
"And there's no room for Him in the
inn. He got a bit older, there was no room in His family, His family turned on Him. He went to the temple, no room in the
temple, the temple turned on Him. And when He died there was no room to bury Him, He died outside of the city. Well why in
God's Name do you expect to be accepted everywhere? How is it that the world couldn't get on with the holiest Man
that ever lived and can get on with you and me? Are we compromised? Are we compromised? Have we no spiritual stature? Have
we no righteousness that reflects on their corruption?"
"There are only two kinds of persons: those dead in
sin and those dead to sin."
"What good does it do to speak in tongues on Sunday if you have been using your
tongue during the week to curse and gossip?"
"Would we send our daughters off to have sex if it would benefit
our country? Yet, we send our sons off to kill when we think it would benefit our country!"
"If a Christian
is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong!"
"Is the world crucified to you tonight?
Or does it fascinate you?"
"That world outside there is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity, it's
waiting for a new demonstration of Christianity."
"The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing.
Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising."
"You can have all of your doctrines right—yet still
not have the presence of God."
"The question isn't were you challenged. The question is were you changed?"
“Nobody else can give
you a clean heart but God.”
“There's one thing we need above everything else; it's something we don't talk about
these days. We need a mighty avalanche of conviction of sin.”
“We're living in an unprecedented day (when) evil is no longer evil. We've
changed the terminology-- iniquity is now infirmity; wickedness is now weakness; devilry is now deficiency.”
“David had one of the
most blessed experiences in the world, and the blessedness was that he was miserable about his sin.”
“Are we sorry for grieving
the heart of God... for denying God the right to own our personality... to own our mind... to own our thoughts... to own our
emotions? (If not) we're robbing God.”
“Jesus did not come into the world to make bad men good. He came into the world to make dead men
concerned in my spirit (that) the reason the world goes to hell-fire tonight is because we've (the church) lost Holy Ghost
sick and tired of (only) reading about church history; let's make (some) by the grace of God!”
“Someone asked me, "Do
you pray for the dead?" I said, "No, I preach to them!" I think every pew in every church is death row. Think
about that! They're dead! They sing about God; they talk about God, but they're dead! They have no living relationship
(with God). “
“We've got people today that are very happy to celebrate Christmas or Easter or even Pentecost Sunday as
long as nothing happens.”
“There's cancer in the church tonight!”
“One said, ‘If I lead somebody to Christ on
the street, which church should I send him to?’ (Sending someone to church today is) like taking a newborn baby and
putting it in a refrigerator. I want a place that vibrates with God, vibrates with eternity.”
“If you know a church on fire for God,
tell me and I'll go. A church where (after) you've gone in, you don't come out the same, believing that God is
there (and) you've been in His holy presence!”
“God is taking His hands off of America. We've had so much light and we've
“The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity,
personality, and popularity.”
“I believe every church is either supernatural or superficial. I don't believe there's
any middle ground.”
“You hear people say in church, ‘Lord, You're welcome!’ If the Holy Ghost came to some churches,
there would be a stampede to the door.”
“If I don't believe the Word of God, why should you believe it? If we don't believe it,
why should the world believe us?”
“In the early church, signs and wonders and miracles followed. They cast out demons, blindness
and paralysis. That's normal Christianity! We're so sub-normal, if we ever became normal, they (the world) will think
“I'm astounded, bewildered, confused, baffled when people tell me there are 75 million people in America
that are filled with the Holy Ghost and we're the most rotten nation on earth.”
“I want to see a fellowship where your
burdens become mine! Your grief over your children becomes my grief! Where we really bear each other's burdens; where
we love each other and let the world come and see that we are the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus who cared only to
do the will of His Father.”
“I wish, in America, (that) we were as concerned about separation from church and sin as we are
about separation between church and state. Church and sin-- it's a monstrous problem.”
“Do you go to church to meet God or to
hear a sermon about Him? How many come to church expecting a confrontation with Deity?”
“The best title of the (professing) church
of God today, in my judgment, is ‘Unbelieving Believers.’”
“I'm sick to death of the so-called Christianity
of our day. What's supernatural about it? When do people come out of the sanctuary awed and can't speak for an hour
because God has been in glory there? Dear God, as soon as they get out, they're talking football, or sports or something
or there's going to be a big sale downtown or somewhere. We are not caught up into eternity!”
“When did you last tip-toe
out of the sanctuary? (When) you couldn't say a word to anybody (because) you were so overwhelmed (with the glory of God).”
“The surest thing in the
world is not death and taxes, its death and eternity. Yet, we're so unconcerned.”
“We are not eternity conscious enough.”
“I still believe in the
majesty of that eternal court. Oh the awesomeness of it... God will say to some, ‘Come ye blessed!’ and (to) the
rest, ‘Depart from Me!’ I don't want to stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ and God say to me, ‘I left
you a book of blank checks signed in the blood of Jesus and you didn't use half of them!’”
“The Bible, the whole
Bible, and nothing but the Bible is the religion of Christ's church.”
“The devil's aim today is to keep one away
from the Bible.”
“Sin will keep you from this Book or this Book will keep you from sin.”
“Most people are bothered by those passages,
which they cannot understand; the Scriptures which troubles me the most is the Scripture I do understand.”
“We're going to get
into this Word and eat it. It'll hurt us at times (but) it will revive us. It may unclothe us to clothe us, empty us to
fill us, cast us down to lift us up and yet this is all we need.”
“The sinner's prayer has sent more people to hell than all the taverns
“America is not dying because of the strength of humanism; it's dying because of the weakness of evangelism!
We take people to the cross, (but) we don't put them on the cross.”
“Here's the world with millions, millions, millions
dying. They were dying while you were sleeping last night, while you were fooling around somewhere! God is saying, ‘Who
will go for Us?’”
“Can you remember the last time you didn't go to bed because people were dying without Christ?”
“I want to see something
that God builds. I want to find some people so hungry for God that every night they want to pray and make intercession. We're
not going to move America any other way. We've tried every scheme and every fancy thing and (we) try and work something
up, but what we need is (for) somebody to come down. Some Person! Not a new theology, a Person!”
“I think one of the serious
breakdowns in modern evangelism is this: it has offered too much for too little. What we do mostly is offer forgiveness. We
need cleansing! There is no true conversion until a man takes up his cross.”
“You cannot preach unless your heart is full
“If the sermon doesn't burn in you (preacher), it won't burn in anybody else, that's for sure!”
“Wet-eyed preachers never
produce dry sermons.”
“What is preaching? (It is) to open the eyes of the blind; to turn them from darkness to light; from the bar
of Satan unto God. How many preachers do that?”
“We have too many preacherettes preaching too many sermonettes to too many
Christianettes smoking cigarettes.”
“I tremble at the awesomeness of preaching God's Word.”
“Do you know what's wrong with modern
preaching? It's missing three things: one, it has no intensity; two, it has no majesty; three, it has no eternity.”
“I'm convinced that
the greatest thing about those Puritan preachers (is) they lived in eternity six days a week and came down to earth on the
seventh! Our preachers, today, are golfing on Saturday and "goofing" (around) the other five days... It's a
profession to most of them (when) it should be an obsession with them!”
“We're so far removed from God's way of doing
things-- we think a man is a good man if he can draw a crowd these days. Do you know what Finney did? Finney preached sometimes,
and the whole congregation got up and walked out on him. That's a good meeting! He sent them out horrified! I only preach
for two reasons these days: either to send people out that door blazing mad at me or blazing with the peace of the Holy Ghost!
“I use to preach my heart out and people would say, "I haven't slept for five nights." Nowadays,
they take you to court and sue you for that.”
“If there's no brokenness in the pulpit, why should there be any brokenness
in the pew?”
“You can't preach about the Holy Ghost unless you have the Holy Ghost!”
“One of the old Puritans said that one
of the agonies of hell is the Holy Ghost will be there still convicting men of sin and there will be no place to get rid of
you wiser in God (now) than you were last year at this time? Peter says we're to grow in grace and the knowledge of the
Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Isn't it amazing that God gives breath to a man who is going to blaspheme Him all day!”
“The wonder of the grace
of God is that God can take an unholy man out of an unholy world and make that man holy and put him back into a unholy world
and keep him holy!”
“The world is waiting for a practical demonstration of the Gospel of the grace of God!”
“Three things faith does:
it reckons on God; it risks with God (and) it rests in God.”
“Faith is taking God at His Word.”
“F. A. I.T. H. As children in England
we used to say: Forsaking All I Take Him.”
“Faith that's going to be trusted is going to be tested.”
“I have no faith in my faith. My faith
is in the faithful God.”
“Mrs. (John) Wesley said, ‘(There are) two things to do with the Bible: believe it and behave
“Faith can't do anything I want; (but) it can do anything God wants.”
“We try and get people saved who don't
even believe they are lost.”
“There are two kinds of people in the world-- only two kinds. Not black or white, rich or poor,
but those either dead in sin or dead to sin.”
“I don't ask people if they're saved anymore; I look them straight
in the eye and say, ‘Does Christ live inside you?’”
“Listen; if a man is really born-again of the Spirit of God, it is the most
radical thing this side of eternity. He becomes a new creature! He has a new heart! He has a new mind!”
“I don't want to be
saved just to make it into heaven; I want to be saved from sin; I want to be a God-directed man that in the life I have, I
may live for t he glory of God. For the devil has enough people to give glory to his rotten name. He's got more people
that has given every beat of their heart, every bit of their money, (and) every thought of their mind. Every instinct they
have, they are sold out to the devil.”
“If you're going to a mission field-- wherever that is-- if you don't have this love,
you'll break down within six months. You'll be a casualty there; you'll be a liability instead of an asset. The
mission field isn't dying in want of missionaries, it needs ones with anointing; ones with a love that surpasses all things--
a selfless, an undying love, an unbreakable love.”
“The original missionary went out on a one-way ticket-- no return trip! They
didn't go down to Guatemala for a weekend to hand out tracts believing they did God a favor.”
“If you have a task without
a vision, it's drudgery, but if you have a task with a vision it's a missionary.”
“You can't offend a man that's
filled with the Spirit.”
“The darker it gets, the brighter your light will shine.”
“It's going to demand a lot of courage
before too long -- to really live and maintain the true Christian life according to the Word of the Living God.”
“Christ will not stand
competition. This vain world should have no pull on us at any level at all.”
“You have no right to sin. If you have sin
in your life, you've got something which is illegal in the sight of God; you're giving the devil a hand in your life.”
“You can't say, ‘Christ
is all I need,’ until Christ is all you have.”
“Sin is abnormal in the Christian life.”
“What is Christianity? It's not giving
up lousy sins; it's not just confessing my sins. Sure I have to be cleansed before He comes (but Christianity) is inviting
Jesus to be the Master and Lord of my personality. It's the life of God in the soul of man! That is the greatest definition
of Christianity outside of the Bible.”
“Every day should be a period of exploding with God, getting again into His Word!”
tell lies; they just go to church and sing them. How many times have you stood and sang, "Take my life and let it be"
and haven't given Him a scrap?”
“He died to make us examples on earth of the heavenly life.”
“You can't love theology; you can't
even love your Bible. You can only love a Person.”
“This moment can be a turning point in your life if you not only come to the
cross, but get on it! Get rid of your pettiness and your jealousy! Get rid of your erratic living that you get when you come
to a conference and you're down in a valley (the) next week! That shouldn't happen if Christ is indwelling in me.
He's the same yesterday, today, and forever! He keeps me i n peace; He keeps me in joy; He keeps me in power.”
“Are you beyond the place
where anyone can offend you?”
“If you're going to be a true Christian, I'll tell you one thing amongst others: it'll
be a lonely life. It's a narrow way and it becomes narrower and narrower and narrower.”
“He wants to get us to the place where
we'd rather fast than feast; where we'd rather be unknown than known.”
“God didn't come to be a shareholder,
forget it! God doesn't want to share your life, He wants to own it! He doesn't want partnership; He wants ownership
of every part of my being!”
“It's not simple being a Christian. After all, it's a majestic thing!”
“There's so much land
ahead to be possessed! So many more revelations to be given! So many more burdens to carry! Life is short and I guess you
think you have a long way to go but you don't know that.”
“We've reduced God to a minimum. Most of us are trying to get to heaven
with minimum spirituality. If we looked after our business like we look after our soul, we'd be bankrupt years ago! The
materialism has crept in and it's blinded us! It (has become)a way of life.”
“God is looking for people who will live
recklessly for Him--not concerned with public opinion or preacher's opinions, but becoming a love slave of Jesus Christ.”
“Paul said, ‘...having
nothing yet possessing all things...’ Today, we have all things but possess nothing!”
“I'm determined this year, more than
ever, to know Jesus Christ in a new way such as I have not known Him before. I want to discover His majesty; I want to discover
the glory He had with the Father.”
“Partial obedience is disobedience!”
“Good is the enemy to the best!”
“Christianity is NOT a sinning-repenting
religion! It's a victorious religion! There should be a place where you quit your sinning!”
“If there's stagnation
in your life, it's your fault and not God's.”
“Are you living for what people think? God help you if you are.”
“It's easy for you
to pour contempt on your (own) pride; it's when somebody else pours contempt on your pride is when you're in trouble,
isn't it? Can we put our heads up at this time and rejoice? This is a time to prove our spirituality.”
“There are three people
that live in me and three people that live in you: the one I think I am; the one others think I am, and the one God knows
I am... and it only matters what God says I am.”
“It's a tragedy when you try and prove your spirituality by things you
don't do rather than proving it by the things you do.”
“Somebody, some day, will pick this Bible up and will be simple enough to
believe it and when they do, the church will all be embarrassed.”
“God has only one standard for His people-- He wants a holy people. We're
kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”
“Sinning is not normal in the Christian life. People say you need a little
sin to keep you humble... then (why not) have a lot of sin and be real humble.”
“People today want a painless Pentecost.
After the apostles were filled in the upper room, they were persecuted... (and) they went to prison for preaching the Word.
Immediately (when) you're filled with the Spirit, it doesn't matter what area you yield your life, the devil will
fight to get back the ground he lest in your life.”
“The dreadful possibility (is) if I get out of line with
the will of God, I can become as corrupt as any man who has ever lived.”
“If the saints are the salt of the earth, (then)
praying people are the salt of the church.”
“If you want to expand your soul, then learn to pray.”
“How do you learn to pray?
(Well), how do you learn to swim? Do you sit in a chair with your feet up drinking coke learning to swim? (No), you get down
and you struggle. That's how you learn to pray. Prayer is our strength; Prayer generates strength; it generates vision;
it generates power; and the devil will drive you away from the prayer closet more than anything.”
“No man is greater than
his prayer life.”
“Not all praying men are prophets, but all prophets are praying men.”
“Let me live with a man a while and share
his prayer life and I'll tell you how tall I think he is, or how majestic he is in God.”
“I believe the choice in America (will
come down to this): either we concentrate in prayer or (we'll end up) praying in concentration camps. You say it can't
happen. It will!”
“We've got more books on the Holy Ghost than any generation ever, but we've never had less power; it's
all in print on book shelves, like most of our praying is!”
“Prayer is pre-occupation with our needs; Praise is pre-occupation with our
blessing; Worship is pre-occupation with God Himself.”
“When you go out of a meeting and say, "I didn't get much out of
that meeting tonight." That's not the point! How much did God get out of it? Did He get worshipped? Did He get adoration?
Our only business on earth is to glorify God!”
“How much time have you spent with Jesus today? When is the last time you've
gone to Him and say, ‘I'm not going to ask you for a thing; I come to worship you in spirit and in truth.”"
“The reason why we don't
miss revival is because we've never been in one.”
“In evangelism we (the preachers) make the altar call; in revival the people
make the altar call.”
“God is present when people don't leave the meeting.”
“If we can live without revival, then we're
not where God wants us to be!”
“If God hasn't gone out of business, then revival must be possible. The trouble is we don't
want revivals! We just want blessing! We just want churches full! We just want our easy way! Oh, to see the world the way
God sees it!”
“People say, ‘If we had revival? Wouldn't be wonderful; we'd all be united.’ No, we wouldn't,
we'd be divided!”
“There is no other way for America to be saved un1ess we have a Holy Ghost revival that makes men hate sin
and loathe sin and turn from sin and repent from sin!”
“You’ll get revival when you meet God's conditions (for it).”
“If you're not walking
in holiness, you're not walking where God wants you to walk. The very nature of God can be ours.”
“All (of) God's great
men have been very, very lonely men. The price of being a prophet is loneliness.”
“Remember, when you say, "I'm
sorry" and repent, and become a child of God, you're bought with a price. You have no rights to yourself... no rights
to your time. It's not our time, it's God's time.”
“There is one qualification that proves we're filled with the Holy Ghost
and that's we live a holy life.”
“A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.”
“You may fool your pastor;
you may fool yourself, but you'll never fool God.”
“My goal is God Himself-- not joy, not peace, not even blessing, but God!”
“God wants to bring us
into a glory we know nothing about.”
“Christianity is NOT morality on stilts!”
“The fire never falls on the altar; the fire falls
on the sacrifice!”
“It's not the imitation of Christ that you and I need, it's an impartation of Christ (that we need).
Christ in you the hope of glory.”
“The devil's substitute for joy is entertainment.”
“Why worry when my times are in His hands?”
“God is looking for men
(who are) committed from the soles of their feet to the crown of their heads.”
“Isn't it amazing how we believe in the
sovereignty of God until it comes to money-- then we send a newsletter. “
“God is not drying up in His resources.”
“Every step you make in
Jesus Christ enrages the devil.”
“Christianity, again, is Christ plus nothing!!!”
“Do you really want an intimacy with God
where He shows you the world as He sees it?”
"When there's something in the Bible that churches don't like,
call it: legalism.'"
"There’s only one proof of the Holy Ghost in your life and that’s a holy
"The question isn't were you challenged. The question is were you changed"
New Testament church it says they were all amazed - And now in our churches everybody wants to be amused."
men that have been the most heroic for God have had the greatest devotional lives."
"Get rid of this bunkum
about the 'carnal Christian'. Forget it! If you're carnal, you're not saved."
is the devils substitute for joy, and when you get satisfaction out of that dumb thing, your joy will diminish."
“Is it really a comfort to know that recent converts will become just like us?”
“God is not concerned
about our happiness, but our holiness. We have a million millenniums to be happy.”
“These days we are so spiritually subnormal
that if we approach N.T. normal we will appear abnormal.”
“Many of us many things to cast OFF before the Lord will put ON us anything
like a real prayer burden.”
“We are not only going to be judged for what we have done, we will be judged for what we COULD
“The 1st and foremost evidence of a baptism in the Holy Spirit is that one lives a holy life.”
“There is a major difference
between knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the Word.”
“To be much for God we must be much WITH God.”
"If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere."
give advice; God gives guidance."
"Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?"
"A sinning man stops
praying, a praying man stops sinning"
"The only reason we don't have revival is because we are willing to live without it!"
pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest
revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless
church age since Pentecost."
"The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the
"The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity."
"My main ambition in life
is to be on the devil's most wanted list."
"If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would
never have been crucified."
"Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we
pray! For prayer is a great deterrent."
"Our spiritual immaturity never shows up more than in our lack of praying,
be it alone or in a church prayer meeting. Let 20% of the choir members fail to turn up for rehearsal and the choir master
is offended. Let 20% of the church members turn up for a prayer meeting, and the pastor is elated."
who is intimate with God will never be intimidated by men."
when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4). Here is our motivation for faithful
service. If a pastor ministers to please himself, his denomination, or his people, he will have a disappointing and difficult
ministry. If he perseveres in pleasing the Lord, he can be assured of his Chief Shepherd’s approval. The Chief Shepherd
is coming back to take us to Himself and every leader who has served well will be able to stand before his King and be honored
by Christ Himself as a faithful servant in the capacity to which he was called.
In other words
most ministries that we do will be thankless in this world. If we need a lot of strokes, the affirmation and acclaim of the
crowd or even the “deserved” respect from God’s people, we will probably not do what Jesus calls us to do.
It's far too hard and there's not enough reward here and now. But if we serve out of love and gratitude for our Savior—for
His glory and honor, and if we really believe that we will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous, if we really believe
that "when the Chief Shepherd appears He will give us the unfading crown of glory," then we will have motivation
and strength to do what He calls us to do.
Paul exhorts the Ephesian elders the same way even using himself as the
example. From Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus, and called
the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, “Ye know, from the first day that I came
into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many
tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable
unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also
to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto
Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that
bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might
finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of
God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto
you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath
made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my
departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking
perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased
not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which
is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver,
or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were
with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the
Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more
blessed to give than to receive.’ And
when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.” (Acts 20:16-36)
must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours.
We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither
liberty, nor honor, nor life, in comparison to their salvation... When the people see that you truly love them, they will
hear anything from you...Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it
in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes." ~ Richard Baxter
These first elders to whom Peter addresses might have felt that
the refining fire was too hot. Not only would they be the first to experience the “lab session” for every lesson
they taught and the spiritual warfare associated with the teaching of that lesson; but they also would have been the first
to be imprisoned, the first to have their property confiscated, the first to have their family killed or put in slavery, or
they might witness the place they had spent so much time and effort preparing for their flock to worship burned to the ground—as
the Pastors experience today in persecuted countries. We may sometimes feel that though our ministry should
be pleasant; it is inconvenient at best and often painful at times. And if it is taking this much fire to burn away our own
sloth and our greed and our pride (1Pet.1:6-7; 5:2-3), then maybe it's not worth it. When that happens, it shows that
we have taken our eyes off eternity, and off the soon return of our all-satisfying Chief-Shepherd, our Lord Jesus. “Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice
with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1Pet.1:8). When our inexpressible joy is missing; it shows us that we are trying to please the wrong one. That refining fire (1Pet.4:12,
17) is God’s tool to burn away everything that gets in the way of us focusing on Him (Ps.141:8; Pr.4:23-27; 2Cor.4:16-18;
Heb.2:10; 12:2-3). When we surrender to that faithful fire we are kept from worshipping at the altar of ministry, that infatuating
mistress who can never really be satisfied. Jesus gives all who pursue ministry this warning in the Revelation of John: Rev.2:1-7 “To the
angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in
the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works,
your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles
and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake
and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from
where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its
place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He
who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of
life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’These first elders
to whom Peter addresses might have felt that the refining fire was too hot. Not only would they be the first to experience
the “lab session” for every lesson they taught and the spiritual warfare associated with the teaching of that
lesson; but they also would have been the first to be imprisoned, the first to have their property confiscated, the first
to have their family killed or put in slavery, or they might witness the place they had spent so much time and effort preparing
for their flock to worship burned to the ground—as the Pastors experience today in persecuted countries.
We may sometimes feel that though our ministry should be pleasant; it is inconvenient at best and often painful at times.
And if it is taking this much fire to burn away our own sloth and our greed and our pride (1Pet.1:6-7; 5:2-3), then maybe
it's not worth it. When that happens, it shows that we have taken our eyes off eternity, and off the soon return of our
all-satisfying Chief-Shepherd, our Lord Jesus. “Whom having not seen you love.
Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1Pet.1:8). When our inexpressible joy is missing; it shows us that
we are trying to please the wrong one. That refining fire (1Pet.4:12, 17) is God’s tool to burn away everything that
gets in the way of us focusing on Him (Ps.141:8; Pr.4:23-27; 2Cor.4:16-18; Heb.2:10; 12:2-3). When we surrender to that faithful
fire we are kept from worshipping at the altar of ministry, that infatuating mistress who can never really be satisfied. Jesus
gives all who pursue ministry this warning in the Revelation of John: Rev.2:1-7 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These
things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those
who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered
and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you,
that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else
I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate
the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’“Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice
with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1Pet.1:8). When our inexpressible joy is missing; it shows us that we are trying to please the wrong one. That refining fire (1Pet.4:12,
17) is God’s tool to burn away everything that gets in the way of us focusing on Him (Ps.141:8; Pr.4:23-27; 2Cor.4:16-18;
Heb.2:10; 12:2-3). When we surrender to that faithful fire we are kept from worshipping at the altar of ministry, that infatuating
mistress who can never really be satisfied. Jesus gives all who pursue ministry this warning in the Revelation of John: Rev.2:1-7 “To the
angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in
the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works,
your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles
and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake
and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from
where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its
place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He
who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of
life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
Jesus first commends them, He thanks them for their comprehensive public ministry;
but then reproves them for leaving their First Love—no this is not their love for the brethren (as some commentators
say), they proved that with all their ministry programs. They didn’t neglect the sheep; they neglected their relationship
with their Shepherd. So what are those “first works” that Jesus speaks about? Consider the example of Mary:
Luke 10:38-42 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha
welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister
has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” “Martha would please the Lord
in her own way; Mary in her Lord’s way. There are many who would please the Lord; but in their own way, for lack of
trying their works by the Scriptures: amid much labour they are unspiritual and barren.” ~ Robert C. Chapman
John 12:1-11 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead,
whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at
the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet
with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s
son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what
was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept
this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but
that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put
Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Luke 7:36-50(NLT) One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When
a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive
perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair.
Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to
himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have
something to say to you.” “Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.
Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two
people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave
them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Simon
answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to
the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling
here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with
her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has
not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with
rare perfume. “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has
shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then
Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” The
men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?” And
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in
So we see that those “first works” are our display of love for our Savior, Redeemer, and Faithful Friend,
Jesus; and the wholehearted undivided devotion to His Word. We see this illustrated in Acts by the Apostles as they set up
their priorities in ministry.
Acts 6:2-4 Then the twelve summoned the multitude
of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom
we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Acts.13:1-3 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon
who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered
to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have
called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Pray with me:
My Jesus, my First Love, You are the Treasure I hold dear, You are my Friend, You are my Eternal Love, You are my Life, You
are my Source, You are my Deliverer, You are my Inheritance, You are my Vision, You are my Shield, You are my Song. My soul
longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for You, the living God. Whom have
I in heaven but You? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the
Strength of my heart and my Portion forever. Come quickly LORD Jesus! I love You Jesus! Amen.
- Jesus, lover of my soul,
me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.
- Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.
- Wilt Thou not regard my call?
Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—
Lo! on Thee I cast my care.
Reach me out Thy gracious hand!
While I of
Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
Dying, and behold, I live.
O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and
lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
Source of all true righteousness;
Thou art evermore the same,
Thou art full of truth and grace.
- Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover
all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.—Charles Wesley
THE PRECIOUS ANOINTING from THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD by Octavius Winslow (1859)
"The precious ointment
upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments." Psalm
It is to
this striking emblem-the anointing oil-rather than to the truth it illustrates, the present chapter especially relates. The
truth illustrated in this beautiful passage, we admit, is a great and holy one-brotherly love. "Behold, how good, how
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Would that we saw more of it in the professing Church of God!
Then would the disciples of Christ be more marked and distinguished as such. "For by this shall all men know that you
are my disciples, if you have love one to another." But it is the holy and precious anointing itself to which we especially
direct the reader's attention. The subject is of essential importance. It is the personal possession of this anointing
that constitutes our true Christianity. The religion of vast numbers is but the religion of sentiment, the religion of form,
the religion of ritualism-a religion utterly destitute of one particle of this divine and precious anointing. It is therefore
of the greatest importance that each reader of this work should institute the most rigid self-scrutiny to ascertain his real
possession of the Holy Spirit, the Anointer and the anointing, without an interest in which we possess but "a name to
live while we are dead;" "having a form of godliness, without the power thereof." To aid the devout reader
in his inquiry into this subject, it will be our object to illustrate the precious nature of this divine anointing, its application
to Christ, the true spiritual Aaron and Head of the royal priesthood,-and its communication through Him to all who form a
part of the one Anointed Priesthood. Oh that as we meditate upon this soul-reviving truth, the "oil of gladness"
may diffuse its influence and fragrance through our souls, endearing Him to our hearts whose precious "name is as ointment
poured forth" to those who know and love it.
The office of the priesthood under the Levitical dispensation was regarded as one of the highest
designations of God in His Church. The priest stood, as it were, in God's place. He was Jehovah's viceregent-the medium
of communication from God to the people, and from the people to God. He was to receive the word from the mouth of God, and
communicate it to the people; and, on their part, he was to make sacrifice, take of their offerings, and present them to the
Lord. It will thus be seen that the priesthood was one of the highest and holiest offices in the Church of God. It was in
fact associated with royalty. Melchisedek was both a priest and a king-a royal priest. In this respect he was a remarkable
type of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, by one of the prophets, is designated a "Priest upon His throne," and who stands
to His Church in the twofold relation of King and Priest. Such is the dignity to which their union with Christ raises His
people. They are, in virtue of that union, a "royal priesthood," "offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable
to God through Christ."
We have remarked, respecting the priesthood under the old economy, that, so important was the institution, the instructions
God gave for the selection of the priests, and their designation to the office, were of the most minute and significant character.
Our present subject limits us to a single and specific one-the anointing. The directions of God touching the composition of
the unguent-the precious oil-by which Aaron and the priests were set apart to their holy office, are minute and instructive:-"Moreover
the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Take you also unto you principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet
cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty; and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, and of cassia five
hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: and you shall make it an oil of holy ointment,
an ointment compound after the are of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. And you shall anoint Aaron and his
sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office." (Exod. 30:22-25, 30.) How deep
and precious the spiritual significance of all this! The great truth it is designed to illustrate is the nature and preciousness
of that holy anointing of which all the "royal priesthood" of Christ are partakers, and apart from which all religion,
the most intellectual, poetical, and strictly ritual, is vain and dead, spurious and worthless. One drop of this holy oil,
this divine anointing, has in it more of God, more of Christ, more of the Holy Spirit, and more substance, sweetness, and
preciousness, than all the religions of man, the most costly, splendid, and imposing, combined.
In one sentence we define the divine nature
and the essential value of this precious anointing-it consists in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the soul. We marvel
not, then, that in the typal unfolding of this truth, there should be such an accumulation of precious, fragrant, and costly
things. And yet how far below the Antitype does it fall! What earthly things, the most rare and precious, can convey any adequate
idea of the divine nature and the essential worth of the Holy Spirit? Who is He? There are those who would reduce Him to a
mere attribute of God-an influence of the Most High-an emanation of the Deity-a divine principle! Alas! how many, even of
the Lord's own people, have but the most dim and imperfect views of the personal dignity and official work of the Holy
Spirit, who yet would recoil with abhorrence at the thought of holding a sentiment in the slightest degree derogatory to His
glory. And among those who utterly and openly impugn the divine dignity of the Spirit, denying totally His personal oneness
with the Godhead, to what subtle distinctions and hollow sophisms, in the enmity of the carnal mind to God's revealed
truth, will they resort, rather than accept the plain and simple declarations of the Bible? But who is the Holy Spirit? Our
mind is filled with sacred and solemn awe as we inscribe the words-THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE THIRD PERSON IN THE GODHEAD. When
we open the revealed Word and read the words which compose the formulary of baptism, and the apostolic benediction, who can
doubt this truth? Touching the former we read, "Go you therefore and teach all nations (make disciples), baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19.) Touching the latter it is written,
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen."
(2 Cor. 13:14.) What shall we say to these distinct, emphatic declarations? Doubt them? Cavil at them? Reduce them to figures
of speech? Deny and reject them? God forbid! Beloved reader, is there no secret thought in your mind derogatory to the Divine
Personality of the Holy Spirit?-no lurking suspicion of His claims to your love, worship, and obedience? Do you cherish towards
Him like feelings of holy awe, filial reverence, and implicit faith with those with which you regard the Father and the Son?
In a word, do you honor, and love, and pray to the Holy Spirit even as you love, honor, and pray to the first and second Persons
of the ever-blessed Trinity? Oh, do not forget that the debt of love, confidence, and obedience which you owe to the Spirit
is the same! As you could not be redeemed and saved without the blood-shedding of the Son, so you could not be regenerated
and sanctified but by the divine power of the Holy Spirit. Such, then, is the sacred anointing of the royal priesthood! The
possession of the Holy Spirit, in all His divine perfections and official relations, by each believer in Jesus, is the precious
anointing by which he is set apart as a priest of the Most High God. Can we conceive of any blessing more costly and precious?
Of this blessing you are the recipient if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus. And the Word of God declares it:-"You
have received the Spirit of adoption." "He has given you the earnest of the Spirit." "The Spirit of God
dwells in you." How easy were it to multiply these proofs!
Passing from the person of the Spirit, we advert for a moment to the work of the
Spirit. How precious is that work!-so precious that all language, all imagery, fails adequately to express it. If, beloved,
you are a temple, a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, there is more of God, more of divine glory, dwelling within your soul, than
in all the worlds that God has made, known and unknown. Oh, how imperfectly we estimate the value and high calling of a saint
of God! But as we are to speak of this in a distinct chapter of the present work, we but refer to it now as illustrating the
costliness of this anointing. The glory of a believer in Christ-like the glory of Him whose son he is-is a concealed glory.
"The King's daughter is all glorious within." Where her dark corruption dwells, where the great conflict is
passing, even there, amid so much that is opposite in nature and hostile in spirit, the great glory of the child of God dwells,
and all that hidden glory consists of the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul. A broken heart for sin, the spirit of self-abhorrence,
the trembling faith in Christ, the thirst for sanctification, the breathings after God, are component parts of that divine
and precious anointing which has sanctified you as a priest of the Most High God.
The influences of the Holy Spirit enter essentially into
the precious anointing of the believer. What progress in the divine life can there be apart from these? This sacred anointing
needs perpetual care and replenishing. The spirit of prayer in our souls-how restrained! The spirit of adoption-how it droops!
The spirit of love-how it languishes! The spirit of faith-how it fluctuates! The spirit of Christ-how it wanes! But the Holy
Spirit quickens, revives, and restores by fresh inspirations of His influence. A gale from Him bears on its wings life, fruitfulness,
and fragrance. When the 'south wind' blows upon the soul, the spices thereof flow out, and Christ comes into His garden,
eats His pleasant fruit, and gathers His myrrh and His spice. And then, thus revived and refreshed by a renewed emanation
of the Spirit's grace, the moral atmosphere in which the Christian walks is all permeated and perfumed with the fragrance
of this precious anointing. Can you, then, estimate its worth? That heart-outpouring, that soul-breathing, that glimpse of
Jesus, that hour of nearness to God, that moment's enjoyment of the Divine presence-oh! would you have bartered it for
earth's choicest, costliest, fondest joys! Beloved, live not, as a priest of God, without the sensible indwelling of the
Holy Spirit. Live in conscious union and communion with Him-seek to be filled with His influences. If prayer languishes-if
grace decays-if affection chills-if there is any discovered relapse of your soul in the divine life, seek at once and earnestly
the fresh communication of this divine anointing. "Let your garments always be white, and your head lack no ointment."
The indestructibleness of
this anointing is the last element of its preciousness to which we allude. It is no small mercy to a child of God, that amid
the evanescence of spiritual feeling, the ebb and flow of Christian experience, nothing affects the imperishable nature of
that divine anointing by which he was once and forever consecrated to an unchangeable priesthood. All earth's perfumes
evaporate and die; the blight is upon every flower, the curse is in every sweet; but here is that which can never be destroyed.
Once the Holy Spirit quickens the soul with the breath of life, once He enkindles a spark of love to God in the heart, once
He breathes upon the believer this celestial perfume, he possesses a blessing which no age can impair, and which no circumstance
can change. Hostile influences there may be which would seem to peril its existence-the indwelling taint of sin would threaten
its purity and sweetness-yet nothing shall ever prevail to destroy the work of the Spirit in the heart of the regenerate.
It is an anointing incorruptible-it has a fragrance imperishable. The power and perfume thereof shall go down with the believer
into the grave, shall embalm and preserve the slumbering dust of God's elect, until, in the morning of the first resurrection,
the trumpet of the archangel bids them rise to meet their Lord in the air. What behold I in that narrow house? What see I
reposing in that clay-cold bed? A ruined temple of the Holy Spirit! Will it ever be restored again? Oh, yes! "We look
for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body,
according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." (Phil. 3:20, 21.) Thus precious
is this holy oil, the divine anointing of the believer in Jesus. It imparts dignity to his person, for it constitutes him
a priest-royal. It imparts fragrance to his sacrifices, for it makes them "an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable,
well-pleasing to God." His prayers are precious, his praises are precious, his labors are precious, his every lowly act
of love, obedience, and service is inconceivably precious to God, touched with this divine and holy oil. And as the perfume
of the rose still lingers upon the broken and crumbled ruins of the shattered vase, so the divine perfume of the Holy Spirit's
indwelling, regenerating, sanctifying grace shall cling to the believer, his works and labor and memory, long after death
shall have ruined the material structure, and it shall have returned to the dust from whence it came. "The righteous
shall be had in everlasting remembrance." "The memory of the just is blessed."
But while we thus maintain the essential
indestructibility of this precious anointing, we would by no means fail to caution the believer against that which yet may
seriously impair its vigor, obscure its beauty, and lessen its fragrance. Essentially it may not perish, influentially it
may. Intrinsically it cannot be destroyed, efficiently it can. A noxious element may insinuate itself into this divine unguent,
and blend with it a mixed and ungenial redolence. "Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth an ill
savor: so does a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor." (Eccles. 10:1.) An uneven walk, an unwatchful
spirit, an unChrist-like deportment may blend with this precious anointing, and thus destroy its fragrance, and impair its
power. The moral influence of the Church in the world is in proportion to her spiritual separation from the world. The light
she emits throughout the earth will be graduated by her holy elevation above the earth. The chandelier which illumines an
apartment is suspended from its center. The Church of God is the world's moral chandelier. The Divine Sun from whom she
receives her holy luster, has condescendingly, but emphatically, pronounced her the "light of the world." It follows,
then, that the spiritual influence which the Church is to exert in the world as a conservator of the truth, as a witness for
Christ, and as an instrument to guide men to the Savior, will be potent and successful, healthy and powerful, in proportion
to her own moral elevation, holiness, and spirituality. What applies to the Church as a corporate body, equally applies to
the individual Christian. Oh, what a blessing in the sphere in which he moves is a man of God, living under the rich anointing
of the Holy Spirit! It is impossible he can be hid. "The ointment of his right hand betrays itself." And the moral
savor of that ointment-the holy, heavenly fragrance that floats around him-testifies to all who are brought within its influence,
of God, of Christ, of eternity. See, then, that your religion is not half Christian, half Infidel-half Protestant, half Popish-half
sincere, half compromising. Beware of the "dead fly in the ointment." Worldliness of living-covetousness of heart-an
unforgiving temper-an earthly, groveling mind-an uncharitable, censorious spirit-a want of integrity and uprightness of principle
in your dealings with men-a secret rebellion of will against the government, the providence, the disposal of God, may just
be that "dead fly." These may be the things, or others of a like character, which lessen your heavenliness of mind,
impair your spiritual vigor, shade your divine light, veil your precious anointing, and render your moral influence as a laborer
for Christ so little useful to man, and your walk as a believer in Jesus so little honoring to God.
A vital part of our subject remains to be
considered-the confluence of this precious oil in the Lord Jesus Christ, the true spiritual Aaron of the "Royal Priesthood."
We term this a vital truth, and justly so, because it is the source of all spiritual life to the believer. We are Christian
in truth only as we are one with Christ. We are living branches in reality only as we have union with Jesus the Living Vine.
We are an anointed priesthood only in virtue of our sacerdotal relation to Him, the Great High Priest of His Church. Here
is-union; and this union is-life. Now, our blessed Lord Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit. His human nature was filled
with the Spirit, and in this consisted His divine anointing, and in this anointing His consecration as the Royal Sacerdotal
Head of a succession of royal priests. How clear and beautiful are the inspired testimonies to this truth! For example, in
the Old Testament we read, "I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him." (Ps. 89:20.) "You
loves righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows."
(Ps. 45:7). "Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of your anointed." Now, in what did this anointing
of Christ consist but the fullness of the Holy Spirit? So we read, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit."
(Acts 10:38.) So the indwelling fullness of the Spirit, "For God gives not the Spirit by measure unto him." His
humanity was indebted for the wisdom with which it spoke, for the understanding by which it discerned, which made Him of "quick
understanding in the fear of the Lord," for the power with which it wrought, and for the beauty which, amid its humiliation
and woe, made it so transcendently glorious, to the indwelling fullness of the Holy Spirit. Oh, what would our humanity be
were it filled, as was the Son of God's, with the fullness of the Spirit! And if, in our Christian character, we would
approximate to this model-in a word, if we would be Christ-like-we must be more richly replenished with the Holy Spirit. "Hereby
we know that He (Christ) abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us." (1 John 3:24.) We shall be assured of our
union to Christ, of His home in our hearts, of our relation to the seed-royal, the true priesthood, by the inhabitation of
the Spirit. O Divine and Holy Spirit! enter us, unworthy though we are; make Your home in our hearts, vile though they be;
breathe life and love, peace and joy, into our souls; quicken us, seal us, teach us, sanctify us, and make us divine, by making
us Christ-like-happy, by making us holy,-and so fill and occupy us with Yourself that there may be no room for the reign of
sin, the power of the world, and the love of self. Beloved, you cannot besiege the throne of grace for a more needed and a
greater blessing than the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Do not think that we employ an expression too strong when we speak
of the fullness of the Spirit. It is recorded of Stephen that he was "full of faith, and of the Holy Spirit." And
that this was not a peculiar or privileged case, the apostle exhorts all believers to be "filled with the Spirit."
Seek, then, beloved, for your own soul this divine anointing. Be not satisfied with a measured bestowment of the precious
blessing, but in earnest and importunate supplication open your mouth wide, that He may fill it! Oh the readiness of the Spirit
to impart the boon! Oh the willingness of Christ, the Anointed, to satiate every longing soul, and to replenish every hungry
soul from His own overflowing fullness! The straitness is in us, not in Jesus. Seek, then, with a seeking that will take no
denial, the fullness of the Spirit!
The holy oil was poured upon the head of Aaron. This is most significant. The Lord Jesus-our Aaron-was
anointed with the Spirit, as the HEAD of His Church. "He is the Head of the body, the Church." And the fullness
of the Spirit that dwelt in Him was not for Himself alone, but to be communicated to all the members of His mystical Body.
Trace the course of this holy oil thus poured upon the head of Aaron. It "went down to the skirts of his garment."
How expressive and instructive the type! In virtue of our union with Christ, we become partakers of His precious anointing.
So clearly and indissolubly are we one with Jesus, the Great High Priest, we share in all that He is, and partake of all that
He possesses. He imparts to us His life, clothes us with His righteousness, washes us in His blood, replenishes us from His
fullness, and will finally raise us to His glory, share with us His throne, and we shall reign with Him forever.
This anointing that flows
from Christ is received by us through faith. The life we live amid daily conflict, trial, and toil, we live by the faith of
the Son of God. This is the channel through which the sacred anointing flows down to us. What a mighty principle is this!
When, at the close of the day, we throw our head upon our pillow, and in silent reflection review its brief history, we often
marvel how we traveled through it. We look back upon the pressure, the temptation, the trial, the sorrow, and we are a wonder
to ourselves. What was it that bore up and brought us triumphantly through? Oh, it was the power of faith conveying into our
souls the fullness of Christ! It was the downflowing of this holy oil of grace and strength, of gladness and joy, from our
enthroned and glorified Head that imparted wisdom in the perplexity, clearness in the judgment, strength in the temptation,
fortitude in endurance, meekness in provocation, patience in suffering, and calmness, peace, and quietness amid the keenness
of sorrow and the surgings of grief. Faith leaning upon, and drawing from, Christ, is the secret of it all.
But not merely in virtue of
union to Christ, or through the medium of faith, are we the recipients of this precious anointing. It flows from the loving
heart of Christ, and is the free, spontaneous bestowment of His grace. There is not a being in the universe that Christ loves
as He loves the saints. He is constantly ordering, and arranging, and disposing all events and circumstances for the promotion
of their well-being. He would have His joy remain in us, and our joy to be full. And every feeling of holy gladness that thrills
us, every spring of sacred joy that refreshes us, every gleam of divine sunshine that falls upon our path, is an emanation
from the Divine anointing that distills from Christ upon our souls. Love is the source of it all, love is the conveyancer
of it all, love is the end of it all. Light pours not more freely from the sun, nor water from the fountain, than does the
"oil of gladness" flow from the heart of Jesus into the hearts of His saints. See how freely the precious anointing
flows-"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of the prison to those who
are bound; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment
of praise for the spirit of heaviness." O wonderful words! O precious announcements! Come, my soul, and listen! Jesus'
anointing was not for Himself, but for others. It was for the "meek," it was for the "broken-hearted,"
it was for the "mourners in Zion," it was for the "captive," it was for "those who are bound,"
it was for those who are bowed down to the dust with the "spirit of heaviness." It was for poor, empty sinners-souls
that hunger and thirst for righteousness-who feel their vileness, necessity, and nothingness; who come to Him as empty sinners
to a full Savior. Who lowers a full bucket into the well? Who carries a full pitcher to the spring? It is emptiness that travels
to fullness. So must you come to, deal with, live upon, and receive from, Jesus. A full Christ and an empty sinner travel
the same road, side by side, step by step, hand in hand, to glory. With no other will Christ walk. The proud, the self-sufficient,
He knows afar off; and they know Him afar off. But the spiritual mourner, the brokenhearted, the poor in spirit, these are
they upon whom Jesus delights to pour the oil of joy and gladness, which causes their hearts to glow, their faces to shine,
their lips to praise. "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart." One drop of this precious anointing will turn your
sorrow into joy, your mourning into dancing, your complaining into singing; make the name, the work, and sympathy of Jesus
more fragrant and precious, and cause the lamp of love and holiness to burn more freely and more brightly than ever. Such
are some of the precious privileges and blessings of a vital, inseparable union of a believing sinner with the Lord Jesus.
One instructive point yet
remains to be considered. The precious ointment that was on the head of Aaron went down to the skirts of his garments: it
reached to the extremity of his sacred person. The spiritual significance of this is peculiarly precious and encouraging to
the "poor in spirit,"-to those whose self-acquaintance leads them to walk humbly with God. The humble, believing
soul, that lies the nearest and the lowest at Christ's feet, receives the most abundantly of this overflowing and downflowing
grace. There is no spot in the universe which concentrates upon itself so much blessedness-where meet and cluster, in focal
power, so many holy, precious privileges, as the feet of Jesus. There we learn, there we receive, there we shelter. We are
safe, because we are low-we are happy, because we are near. "He gives grace to the lowly," and the lowliest, the
most near, receive the most grace. Is this your place, O believer? Do not think meanly of it. There is but one that surpasses
it-it is the foot of the throne in glory! And no soul will find itself at the foot of the throne in heaven, that does not
find itself at the feet of the Savior on earth. The lowliness of the posture may possibly blind the eye to its peculiar blessedness:
a bolder and more confident one may be considered preferable. But let us not be deceived; give me Mary's tears rather
than Peter's boasting. Let me sit with her at the feet of Jesus, rather than stand with the self-confident apostle in
the judgment-hall. In pleading for this lowly posture, we plead not for a state of mind that excludes holy joy, and an assured
hope, as elements foreign to this condition. Far from it. The anointing of Christ-is it not the "oil of gladness?"
and does He not give "the oil of joy?" Most assuredly. Then, the believing soul that lies prostrate at His feet-close
to the Fountain of all grace, sympathy, and love-partakes the most largely of the "joy of the Lord, which is the strength
of their soul;" for "the meek shall increase their joy in the Lord." There, too, hope sheds her brightest beams.
For if ever the "good hope through grace" which the gospel unveils, shines the most resplendent upon the soul, it
is when, reclining at Jesus' feet, it clings in faith, glows in love, and melts in contrition.
Be exhorted, beloved reader, not to be content
without the consciousness of this precious anointing. Rest not satisfied with but a "name to live." Do not surmise
or trust that you are Christ's disciple, or child of God, but seek this inward, divine testimony. Plead with God the Holy
Spirit to communicate to your soul freely and daily of this precious anointing. This holy
oil will impart clearness to your mind, so that you shall have a "right judgment in all things;" it will impart
sweetness to your temper, gentleness to your spirit, and will give you a lowly, loving, self-condemning heart. It will make
more Christ-like your carriage towards others. Vacating the judgment-seat, and ceasing to be censorious, fault-finding, and
condemning, you will be filled with charity and love: the grace of kindness will be in your heart, and the law of kindness
on your lip. This precious anointing is so soul-transforming, so Christ-assimilating in its influence, that it is impossible
to partake of it in any degree and not be like Jesus. When you see a religious professor proud in heart-lofty in spirit-covetous
in his aims-condemning others, justifying himself-detracting, unsympathizing, harsh,-you see one lacking this anointing. He
is not sitting at the feet of Jesus. It is only there that the believer sees so much to censure, to loathe, and to
condemn in himself, that he has not an eye to discover, nor a tongue to revile, nor a hand to unveil the faults and imperfections
of a brother. The holy oil empties and lays low. If in faithfulness it prompts to admonish and to rebuke, it will impart such
tenderness, gentleness, and kindness of spirit, of tone, and of words, as shall be an "excellent oil" upon a Christian
brother's head, winning him back to Christ by the irresistible law of love. And, oh, if your soul thirsts to know more
of Jesus, seek more abundantly the influence of the Holy Spirit. Rest not until He reveals Christ to you. As a royal priest,
anointed of God, you possess that indwelling Spirit, who is pledged to instruct, sanctify, and comfort you, until the Master
comes and takes you home. "This anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man
teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you,
you shall abide in him." Living beneath this anointing that flows from the Head of His Church, down to the lowest, lowest,
poorest, obscurest, feeblest member of His body, your heart will often sigh and long for his appearing, and will pray-"Come,
Lord Jesus; come quickly."
The Tests of Love to God by Thomas Watson
The Tests of Love to God Let
us test ourselves impartially whether we are in the number of those that love God. For the deciding of this, as our love will
be best seen by the fruits of it, I shall lay down fourteen signs, or fruits, of love to God, and it concerns us to search
carefully whether any of these fruits grow in our garden.
1. The first fruit of love is the musing of the mind upon God. He who is in love,
his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of God. ”When
I awake, I am still with thee“ (Psalm cxxxix. 18). The thoughts are as travellers in the mind. David’s thoughts
kept heaven-road, I am still with Thee. God is the treasure, and where the treasure is, there is the heart. By this we may
test our love to God. What are our thoughts most upon? Can we say we are ravished with delight when we think on God? Have
our thoughts got wings? Are they fled aloft? Do we contemplate Christ and glory? Oh, how far are they from being lovers of
God, who scarcely ever think of God! ”God is not in all his thoughts“ (Psalm x. 4). A sinner crowds God out of
his thoughts. He never thinks of God, unless with horror, as the prisoner thinks of the judge.
2. The next fruit of love is desire of communion.
Love desires familiarity and intercourse. ”My heart and flesh crieth out for the living God“ (Psalm lxxxiv. 2).
King David being debarred the house of God where was the tabernacle, the visible token of His presence, he breathes after
God, and in a holy pathos of desire cries out for the living God. Lovers would be conversing together. If we love God we prize
His ordinances, because there we meet with God. He speaks to us in His Word, and we speak to Him in prayer. By this let us
examine our love to God. Do we desire intimacy of communion with God? Lovers cannot be long away from each other. Such as
love God have a holy affection, they know not how to be from Him. They can bear the want of anything but God’s presence.
They can do without health and friends, they can be happy without a full table, but they cannot be happy without God. ”Hide
not thy face from me, lest I be like them that go down into the grave“ (Psalm cxliii. 7). Lovers have their fainting
fits. David was ready to faint away and die, when he had not a sight of God. They who love God cannot be contented with having
ordinances, unless they may enjoy God in them; that were to lick the glass, and not the honey.
What shall we say to those who can be all
their lives long without God? They think God may be best spared: they complain they want health and trading, but not that
they want God! Wicked men are not acquainted with God: and how can they love, who are not acquainted! Nay, which is worse,
they do not desire to be acquainted with Him. ”They say to God, Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways“
(Job xxi. 14). Sinners shun acquaintance with God, they count His presence a burden; and are these lovers of God? Does that
woman love her husband, who cannot endure to be in his presence?
3. Another fruit of love is grief. Where there is love to God, there is a grieving
for our sins of unkindness against Him. A child which loves his father cannot but weep for offending him. The heart that burns
in love melts in tears. Oh! that I should abuse the love of so dear a Saviour! Did not my Lord suffer enough upon the cross,
but must I make Him suffer more? Shall I give Him more gall and vinegar to drink? How disloyal and disingenuous have I been!
How have I grieved His Spirit, trampled upon His royal commands, slighted His blood! This opens a vein of godly sorrow, and
makes the heart bleed afresh. ”Peter went out, and wept bitterly“ (Matt. xxvi. 75). When Peter thought how dearly
Christ loved him; how he was taken up into the mount of transfiguration, where Christ showed him the glory of heaven in a
vision; that he should deny Christ after he had received such signal love from Him, this broke his heart with grief: he went
out, and wept bitterly.
By this let us test our love to God. Do we shed the tears of godly sorrow? Do we grieve for our unkindness against
God, our abuse of mercy, our non improvement of talents? How far are they from loving God, who sin daily, and their hearts
never smite them! They have a sea of sin, and not a drop of sorrow. They are so far from being troubled that they make merry
with their sins. ”When thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest“ (Jer. xi. 15). Oh wretch! Did Christ bleed for sin,
and do you laugh at it? These are far from loving God. Does he love his friend that loves to do him an injury?
4. Another fruit of love is
magnanimity. Love is valorous, it turns cowardice into courage. Love will make one venture upon the greatest difficulties
and hazards. The fearful hen will fly upon a dog or serpent to defend her young ones. Love infuses a spirit of gallantry and
fortitude into a Christian. He that loves God will stand up in His cause, and be an advocate for Him. ”We cannot but
speak the things which we have seen and heard“ (Acts iv. 20). He who is afraid to own Christ has but little love to
Him. Nicodemus came sneaking to Christ by night (John iii. 2). He was fearful of being seen with Him in the day time. Love
casts out fear. As the sun expels fogs and vapours, so divine love in a great measure expels carnal fear. Does he love God
that can hear His blessed truths spoken against and be silent? He who loves his friend will stand up for him, and vindicate
him when he is reproached. Does Christ appear for us in heaven, and are we afraid to appear for Him on earth? Love animates
a Christian, it fires his heart with zeal, and steels it with courage.
5. The fifth fruit of love is sensitiveness. If we love God, our hearts ache for
the dishonour done to God by wicked men. To see, not only the banks of religion, but morality, broken down, and a flood of
wickedness coming in; to see God’s sabbaths profaned, His oaths violated, His name dishonoured; if there be any love
to God in us, we shall lay these things to heart. Lot’s righteous soul was ”vexed with the filthy conversation
of the wicked“ (2 Pet. ii. 7). The sins of Sodom were as so many spears to pierce his soul. How far are they from loving
God, who are not at all affected with His dishonour? If they have but peace and trading, they lay nothing to heart. A man
who is dead drunk, never minds nor is affected by it, though another be bleeding to death by him; so, many, being drunk with
the wine of prosperity, when the honour of God is wounded and His truths lie a bleeding, are not affected by it. Did men love
God, they would grieve to see His glory suffer, and religion itself become a martyr.
6. The sixth fruit of love is hatred against sin. Fire
purges the dross from the metal. The fire of love purges out sin. ”Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with
idols!“ (Hos. xiv. 8). He that loves God will have nothing to do with sin, unless to give battle to it. Sin strikes
not only at God’s honour, but His being. Does he love his prince that harbours him who is a traitor to the crown? Is
he a friend to God who loves that which God hates? The love of God and the love of sin cannot dwell together. The affections
cannot be carried to two contrarieties at the same time. A man cannot love health and love poison too; so one cannot love
God and sin too. He who has any secret sin in his heart allowed, is as far from loving God as heaven and earth are distant
one from the other.
7. Another fruit of love is crucifixion. He who is a lover of God is dead to the world. ”I am crucified to the
world“ (Gal. vi. 14). I am dead to the honours and pleasures of it. He who is in love with God is not much in love with
anything else. The love of God, and ardent love of the world, are inconsistent. ”If any man love the world, the love
of the Father is not in him“ (1 John ii. 15). Love to God swallows up all other love, as Moses’ rod swallowed
up the Egyptian rods. If a man could live in the sun, what a small point would all the earth be; so when a man’s heart
is raised above the world in the admiring and loving of God, how poor and slender are these things below! They seem as nothing
in his eye. It was a sign the early Christians loved God, because their property did not lie near their hearts; but they”
laid down their money at the apostles’ feet“ (Acts iv. 35).
Test your love to God by this. What shall we think of such as have never enough
of the world? They have the dropsy of covetousness, thirsting insatiably after riches: ”That pant after the dust of
the earth“ (Amos ii. 7). Never talk of your love to Christ, says Ignatius, when you prefer the world before the Pearl
of price; and are there not many such, who prize their gold above God? If they have a south land, they care not for the water
of life. They will sell Christ and a good conscience for money. Will God ever bestow heaven upon them who so basely undervalue
Him, preferring glittering dust before the glorious Deity? What is there in the earth that we should so set our hearts upon
it? Only the devil makes us look upon it through a magnifying glass. The world has no real intrinsic worth, it is but paint
The next fruit of love is fear. In the godly love and fear do kiss each other. There is a double fear arises from love.
(i.) A fear of displeasing.
The spouse loves her husband, therefore will rather deny herself than displease him. The more we love God, the more fearful
we are of grieving His Spirit. ”How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?“ (Gen. xxxix. 9).
When Eudoxia, the empress, threatened to banish Chrysostom; Tell her (said he) I fear nothing but sin. That is a blessed love
which puts a Christian into a hot fit of zeal, and a cold fit of fear, making him shake and tremble, and not dare willingly
to offend God.
A fear mixed with jealousy. ”Eli’s heart trembled for the ark“ (I Sam. iv. 13). It is not said, his heart
trembled for Hophni and Phinehas, his two sons, but his heart trembled for the ark, because if the ark were taken, then the
glory was departed. He that loves God is full of fear lest it should go ill with the church. He fears lest profaneness (which
is the plague of leprosy) should increase, lest popery get a footing, lest God should go from His people. The presence of
God in His ordinances is the beauty and strength of a nation. So long as God’s presence is with a people, so long they
are safe; but the soul inflamed with love to God fears lest the visible tokens of God’s presence should be removed.
By this touchstone let us
test our love to God. Many fear lest peace and trading go, but not lest God and His gospel go. Are these lovers of God? He
who loves God is more afraid of the loss of spiritual blessings than temporal. If the Sun of righteousness remove out of our
horizon, what can follow but darkness? What comfort can an organ or anthem give if the gospel be gone? Is it not like the
sound of a trumpet or a volley of shot at a funeral?
9. If we are lovers of God, we love what God loves.
(i.) We love God’s Word. David esteemed the Word, for the sweetness of it,
above honey (Psalm cxix. 103), and for the value of it, above gold (Psalm cxix. 72). The lines of Scripture are richer than
the mines of gold. Well may we love the Word; it is the load-star that directs us to heaven, it is the field in which the
Pearl is hid. That man who does not love the Word, but thinks it too strict and could wish any part of the Bible torn out
(as an adulterer did the seventh commandment), he has not the least spark of love in his heart.
(ii.) We love God’s day. We do not
only keep a sabbath, but love a sabbath. ”If thou call the sabbath a delight“ (Isa. lviii. 13). The sabbath is
that which keeps up the face of religion amongst us; this day must be consecrated as glorious to the Lord. The house of God
is the palace of the great King, on the sabbath God shows Himself there through the lattice. If we love God we prize His day
above all other days. All the week would be dark if it were not for this day; on this day manna falls double. Now, if ever,
heaven gate stands open, and God comes down in a golden shower. This blessed day the Sun of righteousness rises upon the soul.
How does a gracious heart prize that day which was made on purpose to enjoy God in.
(iii.) We love God’s laws. A gracious soul is glad
of the law because it checks his sinful excesses. The heart would be ready to run wild in sin if it had not some blessed restraints
put upon it by the law of God. He that loves God loves His law the law of repentance, the law of self-denial. Many say they
love God but they hate His laws. ”Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us“ (Psa. ii.
3). God’s precepts are compared to cords, they bind men to their good behaviour; but the wicked think these cords too
tight, therefore they say, Let us break them. They pretend to love Christ as a Saviour, but hate Him as a King. Christ tells
us of His yoke (Matt. xi. 29). Sinners would have Christ put a crown upon their head, but not a yoke upon their neck. He were
a strange king that should rule without laws.
(iv.) We love God’s picture, we love His image shining in the saints. ”He that loves
Him that begat, loves him also that is begotten of him“ (1 John v. 1). It is possible to love a saint, yet not to love
him as a saint; we may love him for something else, for his ingenuity, or because he is affable and bountiful. A beast loves
a man, but not as he is a man, but because he feeds him, and gives him provender. But to love a saint as he is a saint, this
is a sign of love to God. If we love a saint for his saintship, as having something of God in him, then we love him in these
We love a saint, though he be poor. A man that loves gold, loves a piece of gold, though it be in a rag: so, though a saint
be in rags, we love him, because there is something of Christ in him.
(b) We love a saint, though he has many personal failings. There is no perfection
here. In some, rash anger prevails; in some, inconstancy; in some, too much love of the world. A saint in this life is like
gold in the ore, much dross of infirmity cleaves to him, yet we love him for the grace that is in him. A saint is like a fair
face with a scar: we love the beautiful face of holiness, though there be a scar in it. The best emerald has its blemishes,
the brightest stars their twinklings, and the best of the saints have their failings. You that cannot love another because
of his infirmities, how would you have God love you?
(c) We love the saints though in some lesser things they differ from us. Perhaps another Christian
has not so much light as you, and that may make him err in some things; will you presently unsaint him because he cannot come
up to your light? Where there is union in fundamentals, there ought to be union in affections.
(d) We love the saints, though they are persecuted.
We love precious metal, though it be in the furnace. St. Paul did bear in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus (Gal. vi. 17).
Those marks were, like the soldier’s scars, honourable. We must love a saint as well in chains as in scarlet. If we
love Christ, we love His persecuted members.
If this be love to God, when we love His image sparkling in the saints, oh then, how few lovers
of God are to be found! Do they love God, who hate them that are like God? Do they love Christ’s person, who are filled
with a spirit of revenge against His people? How can that wife be said to love her husband, who tears his picture? Surely
Judas and Julian are not yet dead, their spirit yet lives in the world. Who are guilty but the innocent! What greater crime
than holiness, if the devil may be one of the grand jury! Wicked men seem to bear great reverence to the saints departed;
they canonise dead saints, but persecute living. In vain do men stand up at the creed, and tell the world they believe in
God, when they abominate one of the articles of the creed, namely, the communion of saints. Surely, there is not a greater
sign of a man ripe for hell, than this, not only to lack grace, but to hate it.
10. Another blessed sign of love is, to entertain good thoughts of God. He that
loves his friend construes what his friend does, in the best sense. ”Love thinketh no evil“ (I Cor. xiii. 5).
Malice interprets all in the worst sense; love interprets all in the best sense. It is an excellent commentator upon providence;
it thinks no evil. He that loves God, has a good opinion of God; though He afflicts sharply, the soul takes all well. This
is the language of a gracious spirit: ”My God sees what a hard heart I have, therefore He drives in one wedge of affliction
after another, to break my heart. He knows how full I am of bad humours, how sick of a pleurisy, therefore He lets blood,
to save my life. This severe dispensation is either to mortify some corruption, or to exercise some grace. How good is God,
that will not let me alone in my sins, but smites my body to save my soul! ” Thus he that loves God takes everything
in good part. Love puts a candid gloss upon all God’s actions. You who are apt to murmur at God, as if He had dealt
ill with you, be humbled for this; say thus with yourself, ” If I loved God more, I should have better thoughts of God.
” It is Satan that makes us have good thoughts of ourselves, and hard thoughts of God. Love takes all in the fairest
sense; it thinketh no evil.
11. Another fruit of love is obedience. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth
me“ (John xiv. 21). It is a vain thing to say we love Christ’s person, if we slight His commands. Does that child
love his father, who refuses to obey him? If we love God, we shall obey Him in those things which cross flesh and blood. (i.)
In things difficult, and (ii.) In things dangerous.
(i.) In things difficult. As, in mortifying sin. There are some sins which are not only near to
us as the garment, but dear to us as the eye. If we love God, we shall set ourselves against these, both in purpose and practice.
Also, in forgiving our enemies. God commands us upon pain of death to forgive. ”Forgive one another“ (Ephes. iv.
32). This is hard; it is crossing the stream. We are apt to forget kindnesses, and remember injuries; but if we love God,
we shall pass by offences. When we seriously consider how many talents God has forgiven us, how many affronts and provocations
He has put up with at our hands; this makes us write after His copy, and endeavour rather to bury an injury than to retaliate
things dangerous. When God calls us to suffer for Him, we shall obey. Love made Christ suffer for us, love was the chain that
fastened Him to the cross; so, if we love God, we shall be willing to suffer for Him. Love has a strange quality, it is the
least suffering grace, and yet it is the most suffering grace. It is the least suffering grace in one sense; it will not suffer
known sin to lie in the soul unrepented of, it will not suffer abuses and dishonours done to God; thus it is the least suffering
grace. Yet it is the most suffering grace; it will suffer reproaches, bonds, and imprisonments, for Christ’s sake. ”
I am ready not only to be bound, but to die, for the name of the Lord Jesus“ (Acts xxi. 13). It is true that every Christian
is not a martyr, but he has the spirit of martyrdom in him. He says as Paul, ”I am ready to be bound“; he has
a disposition of mind to suffer, if God call. Love will carry men out above their own strength. Tertullian observes how much
the heathen suffered for love to their country. If the spring head of nature rises so high, surely grace will rise higher.
If love to their country will make men suffer, much more should love to Christ. ”Love endureth all things“ (1
Cor. xiii. 7). Basil speaks of a virgin condemned to the fire, who having her life and estate offered her if she would fall
down to the idol, answered, “Let life and money go, welcome Christ.” It was a noble and zealous speech of Ignatius,
”Let me be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, if I may be God’s pure wheat. ” How did divine affection
carry the early saints above the love of life, and the fear of death! St. Stephen was stoned, St. Luke hanged on an olive
tree, St. Peter crucified at Jerusalem with his head downwards. These divine heroes were willing to suffer, rather than by
their cowardice to make the name of God suffer. How did St. Paul prize his chain that he wore for Christ! He gloried in it,
as a woman that is proud of her jewels, says Chrysostom. And holy Ignatius wore his fetters as a bracelet of diamonds. ”Not
accepting deliverance“ (Heb. xi. 35). They refused to come out of prison on sinful terms, they preferred their innocence
before their liberty.
By this let us test our love to God. Have we the spirit of martyrdom? Many say they love God, but how does it appear?
They will not forego the least comfort, or undergo the least cross for His sake. If Jesus Christ should have said to us, ”
I love you well, you are dear to me, but I cannot suffer, I cannot lay down my life for you, ” we should have questioned
His love very much; and may not Christ suspect us, when we pretend to love Him, and yet will endure nothing for Him?
12. He who loves God will
endeavour to make Him appear glorious in the eyes of others. Such as are in love will be commending and setting forth the
amiableness of those persons whom they love. If we love God, we shall spread abroad His excellencies, that so we may raise
His fame and esteem, and may induce others to fall in love with Him. Love cannot be silent; we shall be as so many trumpets,
sounding forth the freeness of God’s grace, the transcendence of His love, and the glory of His kingdom. Love is like
fire: where it burns in the heart, it will break forth at the lips. It will be elegant in setting forth God’s praise:
love must have vent.
13. Another fruit of love is to long for Christ’s appearing. “Henceforth there is a crown of righteousness
laid up for me, and not for me only, but for them which love Christ’s appearing “ (2 Tim. iv. 8). Love desires
union; Aristotle gives the reason, because joy flows upon union. When our union with Christ is perfect in glory, then our
joy will be full. He that loves Christ loves His appearing. Christ’s appearing will be a happy appearing to the saints.
His appearing now is very comforting, when He appears for us as an Advocate (Heb. ix. 24). But the other appearing will be
infinitely more so, when He shall appear for us as our Husband. He will at that day bestow two jewels upon us. His love; a
love so great and astonishing, that it is better felt than expressed. And His likeness. ” When he shall appear, we shall
be like him “(1 John iii. 2). And from both these, love and likeness, infinite joy will flow into the soul. No wonder
then that he who loves Christ longs for His appearance. ” The Spirit and the bride say come; even so come, Lord Jesus
“ (Rev. xxii. 17, 20). By this let us test our love to Christ. A wicked man who is self-condemned, is afraid of Christ’s
appearing, and wishes He would never appear; but such as love Christ, are joyful to think of His coming in the clouds. They
shall then be delivered from all their sins and fears, they shall be acquitted before men and angels, and shall be for ever
translated into the paradise of God.
14. Love will make us stoop to the meanest offices. Love is a humble grace, it does not walk abroad in
state, it will creep upon its hands, it will stoop and submit to anything whereby it may be serviceable to Christ. As we see
in Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, both of them honourable persons, yet one takes down Christ’s body with his own
hands, and the other embalms it with sweet odours. It might seem much for persons of their rank to be employed in that service,
but love made them do it. If we love God, we shall not think any work too mean for us, by which we may be helpful to Christ’s
members. Love is not squeamish; it will visit the sick, relieve the poor, wash the saints’ wounds. The mother that loves
her child is not coy and nice; she will do those things for her child which others would scorn to do. He who loves God will
humble himself to the meanest office of love to Christ and His members.
These are the fruits of love to God. Happy are they who can find these fruits
so foreign to their natures, growing in their souls.
"Our method of proclaiming salvation is this: to point
out to every heart the loving Lamb, who died for us, and although He was the Son of God, offered Himself for our sins ...
by the preaching of His blood, and of His love unto death, even the death of the cross, never, either in discourse or in argument,
to digress even for a quarter of an hour from the loving Lamb: to name no virtue except in Him, and from Him and on His account,-to
preach no commandment except faith in Him; no other justification but that He atoned for us; no other sanctification but the
privilege to sin no more; no other happiness but to be near Him, to think of Him and do His pleasure; no other self denial
but to be deprived of Him and His blessings; no other calamity but to displease Him; no other life but in Him."
~ Count Zinzendorf Throughout
the history of the Church, it has always been the most ardent lovers of Jesus who have felt the greatest need for more of
His presence. Surely it is with this class of saints that Count Zinzendorf belongs. For Zinzendorf, loving fellowship with
Christ was the essential manifestation of the Christian life. Throughout the Count's life, "His blessed presence"
was his all consuming theme. He had chosen from an early age as his life-motto the now famous confession; "I have one
passion; it is Jesus, Jesus only." Flowing out of Zinzendorf's passionate love for Christ came a life disciplined
in prayer. "Count Zinzendorf had early learned the secret of prevailing prayer. So active had he been in establishing
circles for prayer that on leaving the college at Halle, at 16 years of age, he handed the famous professor Franke a list
of seven praying societies." Also preceding the great Moravian revival of 1727, it was Count Zinzendorf who was used
to encourage prayer for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. John Greenfield describes for us the constant prayer that followed
the revival of 1727. "Was there ever in the whole of church history such an astonishing prayer meeting as that which
beginning in 1727, went on one hundred years? It was known as the 'Hourly Intercession.' And it meant that by relays
of brothers and sisters, prayer without ceasing was made to God for all the work and wants of His church.” The best
antidote for a powerless Church is the influence of a praying man. The influence of Count Zinzendorf's prayer-life did
not stop with one small community. It ultimately went on to influence the whole world. The source of Count Zinzendorf's
success was bound up in his total allegiance and love for Jesus CHRIST! Likewise the source of the modern Church's failure
lies in her half-hearted devotion and open disregard for the Lover of their souls. As the Bride of Christ, we are in need
of some old-fashioned, gut wrenching, REAL repentance. Today, Jesus, the heartbroken Bridegroom, still cries out to us; "Nevertheless
I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do
the first works.” (Rev. 2:4-5)
"You shall find this to be God’s usual course: not to give his children the taste of
his delights till they begin to sweat in seeking after them." ~ Richard Baxter
“I myself, for instance,
am not especially gifted, and am shy by nature, but my gracious and merciful God and Father inclined Himself to me, and when
I was weak in faith He strengthened me while I was still young. He taught me in my helplessness to rest on Him, and to pray
even about little things in which another might have felt able to help himself.” ~ James Hudson Taylor
every toiling, heavy-laden sinner, Jesus says, ‘Come to me and rest’. But there are many toiling, heavy-laden
believers, too. For them this same invitation is meant. Note well the words of Jesus, if you are heavy-laden with your service,
and do not mistake it. It is not, ‘Go, labor on,’ as perhaps you imagine. On the contrary, it is stop, turn back,
‘Come to me and rest.’ Never, never did Christ send a heavy laden one to work; never, never did He send a hungry
one, a weary one, a sick or sorrowing one, away on any service. For such the Bible only says, ‘Come, come, come.’" ~
"Spirit filled souls are ablaze for God. They love with a love that glows. They serve with
a faith that kindles. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with fierceness that burns. They rejoice with
a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the fire of God." ~ Samuel Chadwick
“It seems to me that there are
but few who really live with a passion for God-especially a passion just to be with Him. Today there is such a noise coming
up before the throne of the Most High-the clamor of so-called praise, singing, and joyful shouting. But I wonder if the same
people who love to sing and shout, loudly exclaiming the praises of God, really have such an intense glory in their secret
life with the Lord. When the meeting's over and there's no one there to listen except the only One who matters, do
you still have that same passionate joy in your spirit, just to be alone with the Living God?" ~ Keith Green
"The true man of
God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the
prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds
of the devil." ~ Leonard Ravenhill
"I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God:
first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." ~ Hudson Taylor
“The branch of the
vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No; it rests in union and communion
with the vine; and at the right time, and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us so abide in the Lord Jesus.”
~ James Hudson Taylor
“The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the
world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition
and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God give to us an intense cry
for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost!” ~ A. B. Simpson
"All practical power
over sin and over men depends on maintaining closet communion. Those who abide in the secret place with God show themselves
mighty to conquer evil, and strong to work and to war for God. They are seers who read His secrets; they know His will;
they are the meek whom He guides in judgment and teaches His way. They are His prophets who speak for Him to others,
and even forecast things to come. They watch the signs of the times and discern His tokens and read His signals."
~ A. T. Pierson
"Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees." - William Cowper
will do nothing but in answer to prayer." ~ John Wesley
"Jesus Christ carries on intercession for
us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all
men." ~ Oswald Chambers
"Revival comes from heaven when heroic souls enter the conflict determined to win or die-or
if need be, to win and die! "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." ~ Charles
“Revivals begin with God's own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new
fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of
dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder
His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!” ~ Andrew A. Bonar
"We are too busy to pray, and so
we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions;
much machinery but few results." ~ R. A. Torrey
"We never test the resources of God until we attempt the IMPOSSIBLE."
~ F. B. Meyer
"Prayer and Pains, through faith in Jesus Christ will do anything." ~ John Elliot
"Faith sees the invisible,
believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." ~ Corrie ten Boom
"If revival is being withheld from us it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing
our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that 'It is not by might, but by
My Spirit." ~ Jonathan Goforth
"All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they believed that God
would be with them." ~ Hudson Taylor
"None can believe how powerful prayer is, and
what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience. It is a great matter when in extreme need to take
hold on prayer. I know whenever I have prayed earnestly that I have been amply heard, and have obtained more than I prayed
for. God indeed sometimes delayed, but at last He came." ~ Martin Luther
"0h brother, pray; in spite of Satan,
pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray; rather fast, and lose breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper
- and sleep too - than not pray. And we must not talk about prayer, we must pray in right earnest. The Lord is near. He comes
softly while the virgins slumber." ~ Andrew A. Bonar
"The Primary qualification for a missionary is
not love for souls, as we so often hear, but love for Christ." ~ Vance Havner
"We are not built for ourselves,
but for God. Not for service for God, but for God."
~ Oswald Chambers
"Let me burn out for God. After
all, whatever God may appoint, prayer is the great thing. Oh, that I may be a man of prayer!" ~ Henry Martyn
"Love is kindled
in a flame, and ardency is its life. Flame is the air which true Christian experience breathes. It feeds on fire; it can withstand
anything rather than a feeble flame; but when the surrounding atmosphere is frigid or lukewarm, it dies, chilled and starved
to its vitals. True prayer MUST be aflame." ~ E. M. Bounds
"Revival and evangelism, although closely
linked, are not to be confused. Revival is an experience in the Church; evangelism is an expression of the Church." ~
Paul S. Rees
"Apostolic preaching is not marked by its beautiful diction, or literary polish, or Cleverness
of expression, but Operates "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." ~ Arthur Wallis
Our first reaction to unjust suffering
often is anger. A lot of people today, Christians included, justify their anger and their critical spirit
by the wrongs that have been done to them. In other words, there are lots of people who, if you point out to them that they
seem to be unduly angry or bitter or critical or slanderous of others, immediately they tell you about how badly they have
been treated or how they've been let down or how they've been hurt.
Anger in and of itself is neither good nor bad; it is morally neutral; basically an emotional response of protective
preservation. It can actually be a healthy emotion that motivates us to correct our inappropriate attitudes and behaviors,
or the injustices that we perceive to be wrong. But it can also be (and most often times is) an unhealthy and destructive
emotional response to protect us from (real or perceived) hurt, frustration, or personal attack. Our anger holds powerful
potential for good and evil; it must be harnessed! Jesus is our example to follow as we deal with our anger. In His anger
He never sinned; for He is both all powerful and meek. Meekness is not weakness; rather it is strength under control.
Anger wears many masks – most of us are far angrier than we know. Anger is hidden in what we consider moodiness,
a feeling of inconvenience, frustration, sullenness, grumpiness, hypersensitivity, irritability, sulkiness, impatience, resentment,
unforgiveness, bitterness, pettiness, prejudice, vindictiveness, edginess, apprehensiveness, defensiveness, a critical attitude,
depression, and just having a bad day; and it can be found even our basic personal preferences.
So what does the Bible teach about
anger? Paul tells us, “Be angry, and [yet] do not sin; do not let the sun go
down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity”. (Eph.
4:26-27) (1) God actually commands us to express our anger.
(2) God commands us to express our anger appropriately. (3) God commands us to resolve our anger before bedtime. (4) God warns
us that the devil uses our anger as a foot hold or a base of operations in our lives. Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury (1693-1768) wrote “He that would be angry and sin not, must not be angry with anything but sin.” Paul says
further in this same chapter “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the
day of redemption [anger breaks God’s heart]. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form
of malice [it is an act of our will to cleanse that festering
wound]. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ
God forgave you [this is the act of our will which treats
that wound].” (Eph.4:30-32)
James says, “My dear brothers,
take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (Jam.1:19-20) God provides for us a specific 3-step training method to bridle the
wild stallion of anger.
1) Quick to listen:
Our immediate response is to listen to God (Gen.4:6-7; Dt.8:5; 2Sam.16:5-14; Ps.16:7; 32:8; 73:23-25; 94:12;
Pr.3:12; 8:13; Is.28:29; 61:1-3; Jon.4:4, 10-11; Mk.4:23-25; Lk.9:35; Jn.6:44-45; 10:27; 14:26; Rev.3:17-19), listen to God’s
Word (Ps.1:1-2; 119:24, 98-100, 105; Is.66:2; Lk.8:18; 16:31; 2Tim.3:16-17; Jam.1:22-24),
listen to others (Ps.141:5; Pr.9:8; 12:15; 13:1, 10;15:22-23, 31; 18:19-21; 19:20, 25, 27; 22:17; 25:11-12;
27:6, 9; Ecc.7:5; Mat.18:15-17; Lk.10:16; Gal.6:1-5; Jam.5:19-20), be attentive to our present circumstances
(Dt.4:36; Ps.89:30-33; 119:67, 71, 75; Jer.2:19; Gal.6:7-9; Eph.6:10-18) and listen to
our own hearts (Gen.6:5; Lev.19:17; Dt.4:29-30; 6:5-6; Job 19:25-27; Ps.4:4; 13:4-6; 15; 19:14; 27:8;
34:18; 51:10, 17; 66:18; 73:23-28; 84; 86:11-13; 119:10-11, 161-162; 131; 139:23-24; 147:3; Pr.3:5-6; 11:12; 12:24-25; 15:13-15;
16:1, 9, 18; 21:2; 23:17; 24:16-18; 27:19; 28:14; 29:23; Is.57:16-16; Jer.17:5-10; 29:11-13; Joel 2:13; Mat.6:21; 15:19; Mk.7:21-23;
Lk.12:29; Jn.14:1, 27; Rom.8:14-18; 24-27; 2Cor.4:6, 16; Eph.1:18; 5:19; Phil.4:7; Col.3:1,15-16, 22-23; Jm.3:13-18; 1Pt.3:14-16;
1Jn.2:16; 3:16-20). Our anger is to be a “receptive listener” not “reactionary responder.”
As a response to an exasperatingly dangerous event in his life, David said this in Psalm 34: “Come, you children,
listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.12 Who is the man who desires
life, And loves many days, that he may see good?13 Keep your tongue from evil, And
your lips from speaking deceit.14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry
out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.18 The
LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Ps.34:11-19). Solomon also gives us lots of advice to deal with our anger.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.16 A fool's anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor” (Pr.12:15-16). “He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will
dwell among the wise. 32 He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens
to reproof acquires understanding. 33
The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,
and before honor comes humility” (Pr.15:31-33). “A
man of great anger will bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again. 20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days. 21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the LORD will stand. 22 What
is desirable in a man is his kindness, and it is better to be a poor man than a liar. 23 The
fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil…27 Cease
listening, my son, to discipline, and you will stray from the words of knowledge” (Pr.19:19-23, 27).
What is this anger telling me about me? Am I self-reliant
or do I trust God? What’s behind my anger? Am I hurt? Am I afraid? Am I frustrated?
Do I have unmet expectations? Whose approval do I need? Am I feeling threatened? Must I be in control right
now; or can I trust Jesus? Is my pride closing my ears to life-giving instruction? Are my own ideas and my immediate
need more important to me than God’s Word?
to speak: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise”
(Pr.10:19) “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come
to ruin” (Pr.13:3). “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before
a dispute breaks out” (Pr.17:14) “He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds
a high gate invites destruction” (Pr.17:19). “He who restrains his words has knowledge, and
he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” (Pr.17:27). “An
offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel”
(Pr.18:19). “The north wind brings forth rain and a backbiting tongue an angry countenance”
(Pr.25:23). “If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a
curse” (Pr.27:14). “Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than
for him” (Pr.29:20). “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”
Our interim response to God, others, circumstances, and our own anger is to “think
before we speak.” What must I do to prevent a “verbal reflex response?” Our
life changing response to anger begins when we replace “reaction” with “reflection.” What root issue
(injustice, hurt, frustration, or insecurity) is behind this anger? Am I Sick, Hungry, Anxious,
Lonely, Tired, Negligent, Oblivious,
Troubled, or Sorrowful? [The SHALT NOTS of speaking] Can I accept criticism (rebuke, admonishment, exhortation, even encouragement)
in a spirit of love and openness, taking these comments to God in prayer; or is my first reaction defensive (“shields
up”, blame passing, self-justifying, self-excusing, or “talk to the hand”)? What is behind
my choice of words? Do I encourage or belittle? Do my words say “I desire” or “I demand?”
Do I say “I wish” or “you aught to;” “I would like” or “you really
should;” “It would be nice” or “you must?” Do I say, “This is the way
I feel;” or “you always” or “never?” Do I make considerate suggestions; or
ultimatums? Am I willing to serve; or do I insist upon unreasonable or unattainable expectations? Do
I forgive; or do I tell you how bad it made me feel and make rules so that it never happens again? Am I known for my rapier
wit; or my kind heart? Do I like to debate; or disarm? Can I let others be wrong; or must I be right? Is what I am about to say True, Helpful,
Inspiring, Necessary, Kind? [THINK
before we speak!]
3) Slow to become angry:
“for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires”
(Jam.1:20). “But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the LORD will hear when I call to
Him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be
still. Selah 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in
the LORD” (Ps.4:3-5). “Rest
in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man
who brings wicked schemes to pass.8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it
only causes harm” (Ps.37:7-8). “A
fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Pr.29:11). “A
wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. 17
A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated…29 He
who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly” (Pr.14:16-17, 29). “A
man's discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” (Pr.19:11). “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute” (Pr.15:18). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who
rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Pr.16:32). “It is to a man's
honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel” (Pr. 20:3). “The
end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked
in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools”
(Ecc.7:8-9). “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you
will have to do it again” (Pr.19:19). “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered
one commits many sins” (Pr.29:22). “A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart
rages against the LORD” (Pr.19:3). “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who
can stand before jealousy?” (Pr. 27:4) “For as churning the milk produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife." (Pr.30:33) “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared” (Pr.22:24-25).
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does
not boast, it is not proud. 5
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not
delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres” (1Cor.13:4-7). “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:
immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger,
disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that
those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not
become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another” (Gal.5:19-26). “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath,
malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another,
since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put
on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Col.3:8-10) “I
want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing” (1Tim.2:8).
To overcome the destructive power of rage we must look below the surface. Anger is almost always a secondary emotional
response, which covers deeper, more “sensitive” issues. Which of the root issues do you tend to struggle with
the most? How could you see your response to your anger as a means to help you grow in Christ and relationships with others?
So how can we, “Be angry, and not sin?” When Jesus was wronged, He did not retaliate
in kind. He could have called legions of angels to strike down His enemies. He could have selfishly stood up for His rights
(after all, He is Lord of the universe!). But He didn’t. He always acted selflessly, even when He did confront
His accusers. When Jesus acted on His anger He only did and said as His Father directed; and His anger was righteous indignation
which never had anything to do with Him personally; but as a defense of the innocent and the powerless, as a defense and proclamation
of the truth, and in a response to sin and its consequences. While we’ll never be as unselfish as Jesus, this side of
the resurrection; we have been called to “follow in His footsteps” (1Pet.2:21).
unjustly should be our expectation so we do not need to get angry
We can expect to suffer, as Jesus
did, and count it a privilege to do so. Jesus said, "Blessed
are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of
Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great." (Mat.5:11-12) God has called us to endure unjust suffering (1Pet.2:21) without
bitterness or revenge or the desire to hurt back—not returning evil for evil (1Pet.3:9-10), but
doing good to those who hurt us and let us down (Lk.6:27-36). He is calling for nothing less than a death to our flesh and the
manifestation of our new life (2Cor.5:17-19) radically different from the way we were born (1Pet.2:24). All believers who give a clear testimony for Christ can expect to generate opposition and persecution as a manifestation
of the reaction of a prodded conscience, for as Scripture amply attests, the world is "programmed" to react that
way. Our Lord Jesus taught that "you will be hated by all [why?] on account of My name,
but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved...24 A disciple is not above
his teacher, nor a slave above his master." (Mt.10:22, 24). And again He taught that "If the world hates
you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 "If you were of the world,
the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world
hates you. 20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.'
If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 "But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent
Me. 22 "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they
have no excuse for their sin. (John 15:18-22) “For
to you it has been granted [verb derived from charis, “grace” and so it is a grace gift] for
Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil.1:29). When
Paul and Barnabas at the end of their missionary journey returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must
through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-22). Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the
world.” (Jn.16:33) Paul says to Timothy, “Yes, and all who desire
to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2Tim.3:12)
unjustly is the will of God so we do not need to get angry
We also need to remember that as new creations, as citizens of heaven,
as children of God; we do not have to be conformed to this world, but we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that
we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. As Paul says in Romans 12:1-2
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not
be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. The primary condition for learning what God wants of us is putting ourselves wholly at His disposal. It
is right here that we are often blocked. We hold certain reservations about how far we are willing to go, what we will or
will not do, how much God can have of us or of what we treasure. Then we pray for guidance. It will not work. We must begin
by laying it all down--ourselves, our treasures, our destiny (this includes all of our expectations for us and for others).
Then we are in a position to think with renewed minds and act with a transformed nature. The withholding of any part of ourselves
is the same as saying, "Thy will be done up to a point, mine from there on." Paul gives four important steps here
to discerning the will of God: 1. Offer your very selves to Him, 2. Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present
world. 3. Let your minds be remade. 4. Your whole nature transformed. When we put God’s thoughts, priorities, and desires
above our own only then will we be able to discern the will of God. Peter later says in his first letter, “But even
if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be
troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to
give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ
may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing
good than for doing evil” (1Pet.3:14-17). “Therefore
let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator”
Suffering unjustly is our calling so we do not need to get angry
Peter tells us
in 1 Peter 2:21 “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that you should follow His steps. How many of
us live in the liberating knowledge that it is our calling—our vocation! We are called to be misunderstood, criticized,
ignored, taken advantage of, and hurt for doing what is right, and not to return hurt for hurt! It is His kindness that leads
us to repentance (Rom.2:4); let’s extend that kindness to others; let’s show those
outside the circle of God’s grace what our God is really like; so that they may enter in. I don’t deserve to be
here in the circle of God’s grace either, but somebody invited me in. How are those on the outside going to know unless
we show God to them? We can show God to people by being like Him in our behavior; Jesus challenges us with these words: "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone
strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32"If you love those who
love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. 33And if
you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend
to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them,
and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most
High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27-36).
the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light
a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mat.5:14-16).
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever
compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him
who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43 “You have heard that
it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;’ 44 But I say
to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use
you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His
sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mat.5:38-45).
"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his
fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if
he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that "by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you
like a heathen and a tax collector…21
Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how
often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus said
to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Mat.18:15-22)
The apostle Paul exhorts us with these words: “Bless those
who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with
those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high
things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Never
pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men 18 If possible,
so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Do not take revenge, my
friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the
Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something
to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do
not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
So when we are wronged by others let’s fight for our
RIGHTS: fight against the evil tendencies of our own flesh, the world’s thinking, and the deceit of the devil
in order to be Righteous, have Integrity, be Godly,
be Holy, be Thankful, and be Selfless;
living our lives before others imitating Jesus in an attitude of gratitude! When you fight for your RIGHTS, you will
suffer, you will be criticized, things won't necessarily get better, someone will say a hurtful thing, people will not
even notice, and there will be no appreciation. But this is the task our Savior left for us to accomplish.
unjustly and patiently enduring it finds favor with God
So how does the
example of Christ move us to endure what is unfair in some area of our life so we don’t get mad? Peter
tells us, “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows
when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated,
you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor
with God” (1Pet.2:19-20). "If
you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not
be troubled" (1Pet.3:14). God blesses believers who suffer unjustly. "If
you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as
a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God." (1Pet.4:14-16) When
we suffer unjustly, we win God’s approval. He is pleased when He finds us so conscious of our relation to Him that we
endure undeserved pain without vindicating self or fighting back. When we meekly take unjust treatment, we display Christ;
this supernatural life gains God’s “Well done.” Sometimes a Christian employee may be wronged by an unbelieving
coworker or supervisor. For conscience’ sake, he must “take it” even though he is not in the wrong. My relationship
to God is far more important than me being vindicated in my relationship to men; “For this is grace [thankworthy]” to bear reproach when you are innocent (Mat. 5:10-12).
“Persecution, to the false professor, is an occasion of apostasy
(Matthew 12:20-21); to the faithful servant of Christ, it is the trial of his faith (1 Peter 1:6-7), the source of his richest
consolations (Matthew 5:10-12, Acts 13:50-52, 1 Peter 4:12-16), the guard of his profession (Matthew 10:16, Philippians 2:14-16),
and the strength of his perseverance (Acts 20:22-24).” (Bridges)
Suffering unjustly displays God grace
an unbeliever, can “take it patiently” when he is in the wrong! It takes a dedicated Christian to “take
it” when he is in the right. “This is grace [acceptable] with God” (1Pet.2:20). God sees
it as a tribute to His grace. God is shown in it. And when God is shown God is pleased.
God delights in behavior that reflects utter reliance on His grace when
the supports of the world are knocked out. God will give us the grace to submit and “take it” and in this way
glorify God. If you can point to a situation where you are making a sincere effort to do what is right, and yet you are suffering
in some way for it, you can be assured that you enjoy God's commendation for your determination to do right. For this
is an opportunity for you to display the character of Christ to everyone involved. Of course, the human tendency is to fight
back and to demand our rights or to serve in such a way as to show the resentfulness and venom in our heart, living life in
that bitter disgruntled state, serving merely by the letter of the law, and hanging your brains at the door. “You can
make me do it but you can’t make me like it!” But that is the natural response of the unsaved person, and we must
do much more than they do (Luke 6:32-34). Anybody can fight back; it takes a Spirit-filled Christian to submit
and let God fight his battles (Rom.12:9-21; Eph.5:18). James, as he takes a whole chapter to exhort us to tame our tongue,
ends with these words: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works
are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts,
do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above,
but is earthly [from the world system], sensual
[our sinful flesh], demonic [the devil]. 16 For where envy and self-seeking
exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable,
gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (Jam.3:13-18). John also tells us where the wrong thinking that causes anger comes
from; “Do not love [agape-misdirected] the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1Jn.2:15-17).
Peter reminds his readers that humility is the key to activating the
grace of God, writing that “God is opposed (sets Himself in array against pride as one draws out a host
for battle - pride calls out "God's armies") to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
(1 Peter 5:5, quoting Pr.3:34). James says the same thing, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to
the humble" (Jam.4:6). The grace of God does not flow into and through lives of self-sufficiency. Lives that
depend upon their own resources and abilities are actually resisted by the Lord?! Humility admits our comprehensive need for
God to work in our lives. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves,
but our sufficiency is from God" (2
Now, this does not mean we cannot negotiate with an unreasonable employer.
We also have the right to leave their employ if the situation becomes so impossible we cannot stay. Neither should we stay
anywhere where there is the real possibility of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual, or financial abuse! But,
in general it is not good to run away from anything just because is difficult. God may want us to stay there in order to learn
some very valuable lessons. Peter's point is, while this is going on, maintain good conduct. Do not rail against them,
do not give them an ultimatum, play the political power maneuver, go over their head (the old athlete’s scalp ploy),
moan, complain, feel sorry for yourself, and get bitter, whiney, restless, resentful, talk about them behind their back.
Rather obey them with joy (Jam.1:2) with a spirit of reverence and honor as to God (Col.3:23). God expects a new relationship between employee and employer when someone accepts Christ as their Savior. When
we accept Christ, our standards change. The gracious thing is to go beyond what is normally expected and to do loving and
compassionate things for people who do not deserve it. We have been given grace—we must extend grace. When we are kind
to the ungrateful and the selfish and the abusive: that is grace! God never gives us a command without providing the power
to accomplish it; “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil.2:13; cf. 1Cor.15:10; 2Cor.3:5; Col.1:29; 2Th.1:11-12;
2:16-17; Heb.13:20-21; 1Pet.5:10).
Suffering unjustly keeps us alert to the spiritual battle
Paul gives us more
hints on how not to flesh out on those around us: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the
heavenly places”. (Eph.6:12) We need to know who the real enemy is. Paul is
more specific about this to Timothy; “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to
teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God
perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having
been taken captive by him to do his will” (2Tim.2:24-26). Paul deflects the sin from the sinner; yes they are guilty of hurting us in some way, but he reminds us of the
force that has taken them captive—they are prisoners of war being forced at gun point as it were (Jn.14:27; Rom.8:15; 2Tm.1:7; Heb.2:14-15), to harm us. We can remember what that feels like to be a victim of our own evil desires
(Jam.1:14) hurting ourselves and those around us; so we can have mercy on them and pray that God brings
them to their senses and grants them repentance. Paul commands each of us to "endure hardness, as a good soldier
of Jesus Christ" (2Tim.2:3-4). In the same context, looking especially to the last days, he says:
"Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist" (2Tim.4:5). We are
at war, but it is not with others; it is with the devil, the world system, and our own sinful flesh. Our weapons and armor
aren’t to harm others but to destroy the works of the Evil one (Ex.15:3; 2Ch.16:9; Ps.3:3; 18; 27:1-3; 33:13-22; 84:11; 144; Is.59:16-21; Jn.16:33; Rom.7:21-25; 8:37;
13:11-14; 16:20; 2Cor.10:3-6; Gal.5:16-25; Eph.6:10-20; Ph.1:27-30; 1Th.5:4-18; 1Tim.1:18-19; 6:12; Jam.4:1; 1Pet.2:11; 1Jn.4:4;
5:3-5, 18-20; Jude 3) I can get mad and look at someone
who offends me as the devil's tool to torment me or I can choose to see a person God loves, and whom He wants to love
Suffering unjustly teaches us how to love
One way not to flesh out on someone
is to remember these words of Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount: “Judge
not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into
your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself
do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see
clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (Luke 6:37-42). When we complain
about the treatment we receive from those in authority over us; we must ask ourselves, how do I treat those who serve me?
How do I act towards my pharmacist, my mail carrier, my waitress, my hair dresser, those who service my car or plumbing or
AC, or those who clean the office? Are we harsh or kind? Are we demanding? Do we criticize and become angry over unmet expectations
of service or do we thank, encourage, forgive, and tip generously? Jesus says “In the measure you measure”; that’s
daily training with good consequences and bad to teach us how to care for each other (Pr.3:3-4, 11-12;
8:35; 11:17-21, 23-31; 16:7; 22:8-9, 15-16; Is.32:17; Hos.8:7; 10:12; Rom.12:17-18; 1Cor.6:7-11;10:24, 33; Gal.6:7-10; Heb.12:5-11,
14-15; Jam.1:22-26; 3:13-18). “Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it
shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the
Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk.10:42-45; cf. Mat.11:28-30; 20:25-28; Lk.18:13-14; 22:25-27; Jn.13:3-17; Eph.4:2-3; Phil.2:1-11).
unjustly shows others Jesus’ heart
When we struggle with our anger let’s remember what is important
to Jesus. How often do we act like James and John? “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received
up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before
His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they
did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when
His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and
consume them, just as Elijah did?”
55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said,
“You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village” (Luke 9:51-56). Rather than call down justice from heaven we should follow Jesus example when He entered
Jerusalem on Palm Sunday: “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially
in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in
on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave
in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44).
And again at His crucifixion: “And
when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the
other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”(Lk.23:3-34) In His sufferings on earth, Christ is our example how to love those who only know how
to hurt. Jesus knew that hurt people hurt people and He showed patience and mercy for them. “The Lord is not slack
concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that
all should come to repentance” (2Pet.3:9) “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge
of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man
Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1Tim.2:4-6). Jude said it this way,”keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for
the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save
others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh”
(Jude 21-23). Paul says, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all,
so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those
who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the
Law;21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but
under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22To the
weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it” (1Cor.9:19-23). “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1Tim.1:15) Jesus
said, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to
save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
Grieving the Spirit of Revival by G. D. Watson
revival is preeminently the work of the Holy Spirit, and the depth and magnitude of the work depends largely on the number
of people who are in perfect union with the Holy Spirit. In times of revival all spiritual forces come to a crisis, both good
and bad. Satan is on hand to muster all his children against a thorough work of grace. He will also be busy in society, devising
all sorts of social matters against revival. He will influence all weak, half-hearted believers in every way against a thorough
work. He will do everything to discourage workers. He will make them sick or cripple their zeal, or tempt them in some way
to grieve the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit is more frequently grieved by hidden things than by things which are outward and
visible. In times of revival it is almost impossible to get six persons out of a large community, who in heart perfectly agree.
There may be an outward profession of unity, and no one may detect any definite sign of disharmony, yet the human heart is
so deceitful, and the interior conditions of perfect harmony require such utter unselfishness and transparency of spirit,
that very few persons ever comply with them in the sight of God. The following are some of the things that grieve the Holy
Spirit and hinder Him in revivals:
1. A CRITICAL SPIRIT. I do not mean the open rebuke of sin, for this is commanded
in God's Word. Neither do I mean the just rebuke of ill-behaved persons in a meeting, for this is a necessity, and no
company of worshipers should be disturbed by misconduct. But I mean those who claim to be in sympathy with God's work,
yet they have a critical spirit against the leaders of the meeting, or the methods of work that may be adopted. Even though
this criticism is not outspoken, it greatly hinders the Holy Ghost. There is often in the church a whimsical stubborn fault-finding
disposition. A watching for defects among God's children, a picking out of blemishes in the singing, or the praying, or
the preaching. All this forms an enormous barrier to the flow of the Holy Spirit. Such persons are deceitful, hard to please,
and whatever excellencies they may have they are a definite hindrance to God's work. There is always a company of evil
spirits that cluster around such persons to neutralize all the good they attempt to do.
2. THE SPIRIT OF FEAR. Timidity,
moral cowardice, the fear of public opinion, the fear of relatives and friends, which prevents persons from taking a bold,
decisive part in the church. Which prevents them from leading in prayer, or giving public testimony, or speaking to souls
on personal salvation, all this fearfulness of spirit greatly grieves the Holy Ghost. Some are afraid that God will overburden
them with work, or make demands of consecration beyond their strength, and so they fail to yield themselves fully to the Lord.
While they may try to busy themselves in the church and think they are helping wonderfully, yet by that HIDDEN, miserable
fearfulness of heart, which is the very essence of disobedience in the sight of God, they greatly hinder the power of the
3. SELF-OPINION GREATLY GRIEVES THE SPIRIT. Many a revival is utterly prevented because prominent ones in the
meeting stubbornly hold on to a wrong education, or to old theological notions. Some may have anti-scriptural views concerning
inbred sin, or growth into heart purity, or the annihilation of the wicked. Others may be prejudiced against the manifestations
of the Spirit, or divine healing. These things are unseen hindrances to the operation of the Spirit. Teachableness of mind,
a perfect willingness to have only scriptural views, is a prerequisite condition for the descent of the power of God.
4. A SPIRIT OF RESERVE WITH GOD IS ANOTHER GRIEF TO THE HOLY GHOST. In every revival there are so many whose inner nature
is tied up with a cautious conservatism, that persistently holds them back from a full abandonment to God and His work. They
will boast of wanting such wonderfully great things. Yet there is an unexpressed unwillingness to be and do all the Lord wants,
or to suffer all the Lord wants them to suffer. They are consciously holding themselves back, lest they should slide down
some steep place and get drowned in the ocean of God's will. This internal checking of themselves not only prevents their
own full salvation, but hinders the Spirit from using them for the blessing of others.
5. SELF-PLANNING AS TO GOD'S
WORK. At the beginning of most every revival, it is almost a universal thing for those who are most interested to form some
plan in their own mind as to how God ought to come and how the work ought to be done. Each one forms a standard as to who
should lead the work or how it ought to be conducted, or what divine demonstrations should occur. So there are a large number
of mental schedules which are invisible to mortal eyes, but which bristle like antagonistic bayonets before the all-seeing
eye, and the blessed Holy Ghost who reads the thoughts and interests of the mind, finds Himself dictated to, by the very people
who outwardly profess that they want God to have His way.
6. THE SPIRIT IS GRIEVED BY OUR HAVING LIMITED VIEWS OF CHRIST'S
POWER. Oftentimes God wants to begin with the leaders of a meeting and lead them into a fresh baptism of fire or into a new
depth of self denial. But their rigid and narrow views of God's saving grace is a definite hindrance to the Spirit's
power. As a result, the people under such leadership often suffer with limited views of Christ's saving and sanctifying
7. THE SPIRIT IS OFTEN GRIEVED WHEN TESTS OF OBEDIENCE ARE SHUNNED. It may be a question of restitution or reconciliation,
or the confession of a backslidden state, or the giving up of some indulgence. There have been meetings where two or three
conspicuous persons utterly failed to obey God on some test point, and the work was a failure; the Spirit was grieved away,
Satan and his black angels triumphed and the work of God was put back for years.
8. THE SPIRIT IS OFTEN GRIEVED BY OUR
UNWILLINGNESS TO GO BEYOND OTHERS. God often wants some of us to go out into His will on lines of prayer and faith and obedience,
even beyond what other professors of holiness will consent to. When He calls, if we stop to measure ourselves with others,
and compare ourselves among ourselves we may greatly hinder a work of grace. God can overcome the open and recognized hindrances
to His work a great deal easier than He can the hidden barriers in the hearts of His people.
THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY PASTOR
The Lord's Work Done The Lord's Way
Principles In Maintaining A Godly Organization