Get the book here

Sunday, October 31, 2010

One of My All-Time Favorites!

This first appeared in October of 1963...I think I first saw it in the early eighties in "The Gospel According to Peanuts" (a book to be read with discretion)....but it is an all-time favorite of mine, with too much truth:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pray for Healing? Or for a Miracle?

Interesting stuff from TIM CHALLIES

Daniel Doriani’s commentary on James is one of the relatively few commentaries I’ve read cover-to-cover. It’s one I enjoyed a lot. In his discussion of the final portion of James 5, I found an interesting story that I thought I’d share with you. As I read it, I though of my continuationist (charismatic) friends. It is my experience that these people often typify cessationists like myself as those who do not believe in supernatural or miraculous healings. But this just isn’t the case. The disagreement really arises over whether or not the spiritual gift of healing is operative in the church today. I believe in heailngs, not in healers, so to speak.
This quote describes something that happened in a conservative, Reformed, Presbyterian context and something that I think is consistent with cessationist theology (even though cessationists may have some disagreement about what James refers to by anointing a person with oil). Doriani is not the only Reformed Presbyterian who has experienced this kind of blessing.
During the autumn when I first studied James in earnest, a friend suffered a viral infection of the heart. While it was not a heart attack, it mimicked many of the symptoms of one. My friend felt listless; he looked gray and lifeless. One day at church, I told him that James 5 instructs elders to lay hands on the sick and to pray for their healing; I suggested that he call the elders for that very purpose. Two weeks later, he told me he wanted to proceed. No one in our church had done this before, so we did something very Presbyterian: we studied the matter another six weeks and hoped he didn’t die in the meantime.At last, we appointed a night for prayer and the elders gathered. Our church’s pastor (I was a college professor at the time) summoned the elders. Before we prayed, he told us not to expect a dramatic physical healing, since God heals in many ways. I appreciated his motive, but there was no need to restrain my enthusiasm; my doubting heart was already skeptical enough…
…My friend knelt down in the middle of a circle of elders. We anointed him with oil, laid lands on him, and began to pray. Since I had started the process, I was appointed to offer the closing prayer.
As soon as we began to pray, I had an overwhelming sense that God was, at the moment, healing my friend. My arms felt what I can only describe as bolts of fire pushing through them. As I grasped my friend’s shoulder, heat and energy burned my hand. I felt that my one hand could lift all of his 230 pounds to the ceiling or push him through the floor if I wished.
I knew God was healing him. I wanted to shout, “We must stop praying that God will heal John and start praising God that he has healed him.” But I was too astonished, too ensure of my sensations, to say a word to anyone that night. For four days, I kept my experience to myself.
Four days later, after church, my friend beckoned me with a wild grin, “Dan, watch this.” At once, he dashed up a flight of steps. I dashed after him and met him at the top. He smiled, “And I’m not even breathing hard.”
I knew it,” I exclaimed, and told him what I had felt a few nights earlier. And he told me, “I knew it too.”
Since that day, I have joined elders to lay hands on the sick and pray for them. I have never again felt the fire. And while I occasionally feel a flood of warmth and emotion, I have learned that my feelings and God’s healings have no connections. A small number have experienced immediately healing from serious illness. More have recovered gradually and under the care of physicians. Many have found spiritual healing—great peace and spiritual renewal in times of crisis and suffering, whether they recovered physically or not. And some have apparently gained no physical or spiritual benefit at all.
A page later he provides an interesting and important clarification about what James says about healing and something that is consistent with cessationist beliefs.
Sick men and women call the elders as a group. They do not call those with a gift for healing; rather they call all to pray for healing. James says the prayers of a righteous man are effective. Since the first qualification for an elder is holiness—not social standing or theological acumen—the prayers of elders are effective. The elders pray for healing, not for miracles. It doesn’t matter if a healing is quiet or splashy, True healings garner all the attention they need.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Founder of Salvation Army Nails Faith/Works

Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again - until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.

William Booth

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"The difficulty we modern Christians face is not misunderstanding the Bible, but persuading our untamed hearts to accept its plain instructions. Our problem is to get the consent of our world-loving minds to make Jesus Lord in fact as well as in word. For it is one thing to say, “Lord, Lord,” and quite another thing to obey the Lord’s commandments. We may sing, “Crown Him Lord of all,” and rejoice in the tones of the loud-sounding organ and the deep melody of harmonious voices, but still we have done nothing until we have left the world and set our faces toward the city of God in hard practical reality. When faith becomes obedience then it is true faith indeed."

- A.W. Tozer, The Divine Conquest

Learn from an Atheist

"Light dispels darkness" is the principle (or principal...I can never remember!). But it is also good, in its place, to learn first-hand what those who are ignorant and/or opposed to the gospel think. Here is a valuable nine minute presentation from an atheist:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't Let Those Who Don't Get You Down

You work hard at something, memorizing a verse; learning a song, memorizing bunches of verses for Bible quizzing (!), a sport, a language, etc...and you bust butt to get it done. Then someone drops a Lucy on you...ignore it. As Reggie Jackson once observed, "The loudest boos come from those in the free seats."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Glue This to Your Mind and Heart

I, for one, try to keep these truths central in my mind and heart whenever I communicate...whether from the "pulpit," in camps, small groups, or the more difficult one-on-one:

"We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

"The gospel flies with the wings of grace and truth. Not one, but both...Truth-oriented Christians love studying Scripture and theology. But sometimes they're quick to judge and slow to forgive...Grace-oriented Christians love forgiveness and freedom. But sometimes they neglect Bible study and see moral standards as 'legalism'."

"Truth without grace breeds a self-righteous legalism that poisons the church and pushes the world away from Christ."

"Grace without truth breeds moral indifference and keeps people from seeing their need for Christ" "
- Randy Alcorn

Missional mothering

Good stuff from Jani Ortland


Mother: You have a mission field

Our first and primary mission field is our children. God values our children. Jesus became indignant when the disciples didn’t embrace the worth of children in God’s expanding kingdom (Mark 10:13-16). God tells us that children are his blessing to us (Ps. 127:3). And he places great importance on our teaching our children to love and serve him (Deut. 6:7-9).
Don’t feel guilty over making your children your primary ministry investment in their early years. Your availability, sensitivity, affection, and unhurried attention are irreplaceable.
There are no neutral moments in a young child’s life. Someone is going to be influencing your children, inculcating values and imprinting standards on their impressionable young minds. Let it be you!
Accept your calling from God to serve your family. As a mother, you are helping to shape the souls of your children for Christ and ultimately influence the world. Your children are your gift to the future.

Stay on mission

Does this mean you will never invest in others outside your family? Goodness, no. But if you are a young mother, stay on mission. Use your primary ministry of mothering to serve Christ now. Don’t let anything diminish your unique role as a wife and mother. It is not godly guilt that would call you away from a wholehearted investment in your little ones for his sake.
Don’t feel guilty over making your children your primary ministry investment in their early years.
This season in your life is just that—a season. And each season is a divine calling from our creator and king. Organizing a new event at church is important. Teaching your little boy to be kind to his sister is also important. But which one can best be done by you during this season? Serve God well by ministering to your children first. Very soon they will be grown and gone, and you will be unable to recapture the teachable moments you have now.
Mothers, listen to Psalm 78:4-7: “We will . . . tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders he has done . . . that the next generation might know . . . so that they should set their hope in God.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Trinity Hint?

Way back-in-the-day, long before Jesus invaded my life, I used to score free drinks frequently by posing as a mind-reader.

I'd simply take a piece of paper, draw a large dot in the upper left hand corner, then, on the right side, right the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 in a vertical row. I'd say to my "prospect" something like, "Tell you what, here's a piece of paper and a pencil; draw a line from the dot to any of the four numbers, and I'll guess what it is..if I'm right you owe me a drink; if I don't I'll buy you one." Usually they would comply; and I'd go through some drama and end up saying, "You drew to the number 3." The vast majority of the time I was right.

How come?

Beats me. Water, ice, steam? Earth, wind, fire? Hickory, dickory, dock?

I don't know.

Maybe it's a subtle hint at the Trinity?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Don't Dumb Down Children/Youth Stuff

Yes, there are times that we need to clarify/simplify/focus our teachings whether to children or young teens...but don't take it too far or they may do the same with your teaching/writing as Charley Brown does with his book:

Saturday, October 23, 2010


God has called Jane and me to serve as home missionaries. This speaks of "unreached people groups", and rightfully so..but there are all too many unreached people within the United States...alas, within many of its churches...When I get whiny about church politics, apathy, legalism, health/wealth, etc I sometimes honestly wish the Lord would release us to serve somewhere overseas; but that is not my call, it remains His.

Thanks to my friend Tom Varner for pointing me to this video...impetus to obey by praying or giving or going or some combination of all three:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homeboy? Me Thinketh Not...

Needful reminder from MARK BATTERSON

Remember the story of Aaron’s two sons, Nabad and Abihu, offering "strange fire" and being stuck down by the Lord? Scholars wrestle with exactly what that "strange fire" referred to, but there is a consensus that they didn’t respect the holiness of God.

Can I just make an observation?

I think there is a lot of "strange fire" in our culture. I'm not the kind of guy that takes potshots at our culture from the comfortable confines of the Christian subculture. I believe in criticizing by creating. But just to make a point, indulge me. I remember seeing a t-shirt a few years ago with a portrait of Jesus on it that said: Jesus is my homeboy. On one level, that could be considered funny or creative or relevant. But Jesus Christ isn't your homeboy. He's the sinless Son of God who suffered brutal torture and crucifixion on a Roman cross. His blood was shed to pay the sin debt that you owed. And that makes Him more than your homeboy. He is the sovereign Savior who is seated on His Throne and the earth is his footstool.

What we so desperately need is a revelation of His holiness. Like Isaiah who saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and lifted up. And he cried out: “Woe is me. I am undone. For I am a man of unclean lips.”

Until we have a revelation of the holiness of God, we’ll keep making the same mistake that Nadab and Abihu made. And we’re playing with fire. And if you play with fire long enough, you might eventually get burned. It’s the holiness of God that engenders the fear of God. And the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom. Or to flip the coin, our lack of fear is the beginning of foolishness.

Nothing is more dangerous than under-estimating and under-appreciating the holiness of God. Why? When we under-estimate the holiness of God we under-estimate the mercy of God. We cheapen God's grace because we don't comprehend His holiness. And the foundation of salvation begins to crumble.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Animated Gospel Song

Turn on speakers (not too loud), watch and listen and be refreshed as you encounter the gospel is a fresh way:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Great Video from Crowder!

Dismayed by a Demas?

Good reminder from TREVIN WAX

Disciple-makers know great joys. We also know great heartaches. But sometimes, it’s the people who bring you the greatest joy who eventually cause you the greatest heartache.

Perhaps you’ve been in my shoes. You led someone to Christ, and you faithfully sought to pour your life into them. You discipled them to the best of your ability. You welcomed them into your home. You sought to live an exemplary life before them.

But after a period of time, they turned around and went back to their old life. They left you and your church.
So you prayed for them. You pleaded with them. All to no avail. They fell back into their former worldliness and disappeared. And week after week, their absence shouts at you:

You failed them.
You mistook their initial enthusiasm for true conversion.
What kind of minister are you? You couldn’t keep them on the narrow path.
See what happens when you open your heart and life to someone?
Eventually, God brings another person along for you to disciple. But you find that – this time – it’s just a little harder to pour your life into them. It’s harder to give your all when it comes to their growth and discipleship. You don’t verbalize your thoughts, but your heart has them:
What’s the use of pouring your life into them if they wind up like the other?
What if they let you down too?
What if they are only here for a season?

The ache you feel for your earlier disciple keeps you from fully engaging the next one the Lord has for you.
You are not alone. The Apostle Paul once counted Demas as a fellow worker. But in Paul’s last letter, he tells Timothy:
Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…
It’s not hard to read between the lines and sense Paul’s sorrow. He wants to see Timothy (at least partly) because Demas has deserted him.

Of course, Paul’s biggest concern is that Demas’ soul is in peril. His former disciple’s love for the world is a demonstration of his lack of love for God. Make no mistake: Paul is concerned with Demas’ soul and destiny.

But that’s not all that grieves the Apostle. Paul needs companionship, partnership, and encouragement. So he tells Timothy to come to him soon. Paul is saying, I need you, Timothy. Demas is gone. In other words, It hurts. Bad. 

Perhaps you’ve discipled a Demas before. If so, then you know the hurt that accompanies their desertion. You are deeply disappointed by their decisions. You can feel your spirit deflate whenever you think about where they are right now. You may even question your effectiveness as a minister.

In that moment of grief, you’ve got two choices. The first choice is to let your hurt turn into bitterness. The root of bitterness will keep you from giving yourself to the next person God brings your way. Bitterness constructs a wall around your heart in order to guard you from future hurt. Go this direction and you will never have another Demas to deal with. But you won’t ever raise up a Titus either.

The other choice is to stay grounded in the gospel, the only news that brings joy in the midst of pain. That’s what Paul does. He doesn’t turn bitter. He doesn’t deny his sorrow. Instead, he leans on other partners in the gospel and tells them, “I need you.”

Armed with faith in the power of the gospel and confidence that God’s plan cannot be thwarted, Paul moves forward. He keeps making plans. Bring the parchments. Bring Mark too. Bring my cloak. Hurt or no hurt, Paul maintains a steadfast joy in the sovereignty of God as he keeps on pursuing the kingdom and proclaiming the gospel.

Pray for your Demas. Weep over him. Beg God for him. But don’t let Demas steal your joy. Don’t let Demas rob you of your passion for discipling others. God will continue to bring people to you. The reason you can keep working is because the gospel never stops.

People like Demas will come and go. Yes, your next disciple may be a Demas. But it could be that the next one is your Timothy.

Monday, October 18, 2010


"No man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail. No man is morally worthy of success in religious activities until he is willing that the honor of succeeding should go to another if God so wills."
A W Tozer

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Real Enemies

"Your danger and mine is not that we become criminals, but rather that we become respectable, decent, commonplace, mediocre Christians. The twentieth-century temptations that really sap our spiritual power are the television, banana cream pie, the easy chair and the credit card. The Christian wins or loses in those seemingly innocent little moments of decision.

Lord, make my life a miracle!"

Raymond C. Ortlund

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Facts about the gospel:

“The Gospel is a fact, therefore tell it simply; it is a joyful fact, therefore tell it cheerfully; it is an entrusted fact, therefore tell it faithfully; it is a fact of infinite moment, therefore tell it earnestly; it is a fact about a Person, therefore preach Christ.”

- Archibald G. Brown

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Son the Pseudo-Gangsta

Daughter Janelle utilized son Jacob for a recent photo shoot:

How To Pray for Missionaries

As Jane and I serve as home missionaries, this may appear a bit self serving, but I'm grateful to Mark Rogers for doing the research and writing to come up with this list of ideas as to how to minister to missionaries:

In an effort to learn how we can best encourage missionaries, I emailed some and asked how they would most like to be served and encouraged. This list is drawn from their responses, including many direct quotes.

1. Pray for them and let them know that you are doing so frequently.
“One of the most encouraging/inspiring things we receive from people is a quick note via email to say that they are ‘thinking’ of us.”

2. Send “real mail.”
“Send a small care package. Some little fun food items that we can’t get where we serve is a good idea.”
“One idea is to send a special package before an American holiday (like Thanksgiving) filled with things that we can use to decorate for that holiday.”
“Send us a birthday card. This doesn’t have to be some long handwritten note, just a little card – maybe even printed at home.”
“Real mail is always special. Really, the thing with real mail is more than just getting some nice stuff from home (which is nice), but it seems a more tangible reminder that the people I love and miss love and miss me too and are thinking of me.”

3. Pray for the people the missionaries serve and not only for the missionaries and their families.

4. Recruit others to pray for the missionary’s area of service (city, people group, etc.) or for the missionaries themselves.
“This can be an amazing thing to have a person or group of people actively supporting the work that we are doing overseas – becoming an advocate for our city/work. It really encourages us to know that there are people going to bat for us and raising more prayer support for the work.”
“Become an arm of our work in the United States. Some ideas include handling our newsletter distribution, website hosting (i.e., hosting a virtual website for the city), logistical arrangements, or short term team orientation.”

5. Go visit them with the purpose of serving and encouraging them in their work.
“Have a group of your people come to minister to us as we are seeking to pour out our lives to others. This could be hosting a small retreat in country for our team or something similar, or coming to prayer walk the city we live in.”

6. Send them updates and pictures of you and your family (by mail or email).
“It would especially be nice to receive end of the year updates or Christmas card pics. We want to stay connected to you! We love hearing from friends and family and enjoy keeping up to date on what’s happening in your life!”
“If you have a friend overseas, stay in touch with them. Don’t let cautions about being careful with spiritual language keep you from talking about the day to day “un-spiritual” things you would talk about if you met up for lunch one day. Sometimes the least spiritual emails are the most helpful, because somehow I feel less distant when friends talk to me like they always did before I left. Share updates on family, school, work, life, sports—whatever it is that you used to talk about with them.”

7. Ask questions about their work.
“Ask not only how we are doing, but ask about our work and try to learn all you can about the people or city where we are serving.”
“I know that this has been said, but truly CARING about the work is the best way to encourage us.”

8. Continue to be a Christian friend and continue to minister to them.
“Don’t stop being the church to us when we leave. Whenever security allows, spiritual conversations are good for our hearts. Missionaries struggle with the same sinful attitudes that plague Christians everywhere. Leaving home to live among unreached peoples, may be a step of faith in the process of sanctification, but it is not a step that roots out all sin. It is likely to lead to and expose all kinds of previously unnoticed and unexpected sin. Having friends that know me, are patient with me, and expect me to be the same struggling sinner I was when I left helps me stay humble when tempted toward arrogance, and hopeful when tempted toward despair.”
“Even for us with strong member care, it is helpful to receive pastoral care from the stateside church’s pastor who many times will know the missionary personally and have the history with them to be able to invest and mentor them and their family and marriage.”
“Ask us those hard questions. Do a little pastoral counseling with us.”
“Please don’t elevate us onto some false pedestal. We are normal people too who have been forgiven much and for some reason God called to live and minister overseas.”

9. Support them financially.
“Finding out if we have any specific needs and meeting those needs is great.”

10. Seek to encourage them when they are on stateside assignment.
“Let us talk to you and your congregations, and small groups. We want to share what God has been doing and would love the opportunity to talk about it, raise awareness and hopefully gain more prayer support.”
“Invite us out to lunch or dinner. Nothing fancy is needed. Remember we’ve just been in places where we may not have been able to even enjoy a little Mexican food.”
No missionary mentioned this to me in emails, but I know it is a blessing when someone shares their summer home or cabin for a missionary family to get away and relax for a few days.
“Let us know about any good books that are must reads. Tell us about any good resources that may benefit our personal growth or ministry work: things like conferences, training for ministry/leadership, and so forth.”

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What People Really Need (First)

“What I need first of all is not exhortation, but a gospel, not directions for saving myself but knowledge of how God has saved me. Have you any good news? That is the question that I ask of you. I know your exhortations will not help me. But if anything has been done to save me, will you not tell me the facts?”
J. Gresham Machen

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Questions Still Worth Pondering

Doesn't rock, musician doesn't bring attention to himself...but the words of this old hymn still need careful consideration:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Do I Gulp Or Do I Chew?

"I am convinced that a downgrading in priority of...prayer and biblical meditation is a major cause of weakness in many Christian communities....Bible study demands pondering deeply on a short passage, like a cow chewing her cud. It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little."

Denis Parsons Burkitt

Monday, October 11, 2010

Uncomfortable Truth

“It is a melancholy fact, that constant temporal prosperity, as a general rule, is injurious to a believer’s soul. We cannot stand it. Sickness, and losses, and crosses, and anxieties, and disappointments seem absolutely needful to keep us humble, watchful, and spiritual-minded.”
~ J.C. Ryle

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So...Who You Trying to Convert?

Wise Words from ED STETZER
So, my Reformed friends, let's not only read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John (that is, John Calvin, John MacArthur, and John Piper), let's go plant some more churches. My emerging church friends, let's take a pause from the theological rethink and head into the neighborhood and to tell someone about Jesus. My missional friends, let's speak of justice, but always tell others how God can be both "just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." My house church friends, let's have community, but let's be sure it is focused on redemption. My Baptist friends, let's focus more on convincing pagans than Presbyterians. And, my charismatic friends, let's focus less on getting existing believers to speak in tongues and more on using our tongue to tell others about Jesus.

Now, I know the preceding paragraph will tick some of you off--and, I am trying to be a bit edgy while making a point. But, let me suggest you be less offended at my words and more focused on Jesus' words: Go therefore and make disciples of nations.

If you are passionate about what you believe you will naturally want others to "get it" as you have. For example, you would not be a very good charismatic if you did not want me to be baptized in the Spirit. However, I think it is unhelpful that so many Reformed, emerging, missional, denominational, Baptist, house church, charismatic, and every other kind of Christian spends more energy persuading other believers than they do reaching non-believers.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Guess "Little" Is Better Than "No"

Top Ten Signs of....

The Top Ten Signs Of…
10.    There’s plenty of parking near the building for weekend services.  
9.      You can always get your favorite seat, or simply ask who is sitting in it to move.

8.      The music is always familiar, and never too loud.

7.      The pastor has been in everyone’s home, and knows everybody’s name.

6.      You are never asked for money.  

5.      Phrases like, “We’ve never done it that way before,” “I’m not being faithless, just realistic,” “Why pray?  God’s gonna do what God’s gonna do,” “If God wants His church to grow it will grow – we don’t have to do anything,” and “They really should do something about that” are common refrains.

4.      You can be confident that whatever change there is will be incremental, insignificant, and will only happen with your direct input and approval.

3.      There aren’t any of those left-leaning, evolution-believing, gay-marriage supporting, Harry Potter reading pagans daring to attend; just the pro-family, Christian-radio listening, fish-sticker wearing, big-Bible carrying types.

2.      The Bible is seldom taught in ways that are uncomfortable or challenging.

1.      It is always about you – getting fed, getting ministered to, with services evaluated by what you get out of it.
Yep, there you have it.  The top ten signs of
...a dying church.
James Emory White

Friday, October 8, 2010

When Law Slams Grace

“Like two hostile forces, Law and Gospel sometimes clash with each other in a person’s conscience. The Gospel says to him: ‘You have been received into God’s grace.’ The Law says to him: ‘Do not believe it; for look at your past life. How many and grievous are your sins! Examine the thoughts and desires that you have harbored in your mind.’ On an occasion like this it is difficult to divide Law and Gospel. When this happens to a person, he must say to the Law: ‘Away with you! Your demands have all been fully met, and you have nothing to demand of me. There is One who has paid my debt."
C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, p. 47

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Do We Need Youth Ministry?

If insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results, the style and strategy of "typical" youth ministry needs careful examination, focused prayer, and probable readjustment.

But the need to present the Biblical gospel to youth (and younger children) is stylistically evidenced here:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't Rush Reading

"It is not the bee's [mere] touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian."

Thomas Brooks

Monday, October 4, 2010

Remember - It's Not Up To You!

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. --2 Corinthians 4:3-4

"The uncomprehending mind is unaffected by truth. The intellect of the hearer may grasp saving knowledge while yet the heart makes no moral response to it. A classic example of this is seen in the story of Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. In his autobiography Franklin recounts in some detail how he listened to the mighty preaching of the great evangelist. He even walked around the square where Whitefield stood to learn for himself how far that golden voice carried. Whitefield talked with Franklin personally about his need of Christ and promised to pray for him. Years later Franklin wrote rather sadly that the evangelist's prayers must not have done any good, for he was still unconverted....

The inward operation of the Holy Spirit is necessary to saving faith. The gospel is light but only the Spirit can give sight. When seeking to bring the lost to Christ we must pray continually that they may receive the gift of seeing. And we must pit our prayer against that dark spirit who blinds the hearts of men." ( A W Tozer, Born After Midnight, pp. 62-63

"Lord, I'll do my part today to share the Gospel with anyone You'll bring my way. But Holy Spirit, I'll wait for You to open eyes and give sight. I'll leave the results with You. Amen.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why Pray?

"When doubts creep in and I wonder whether prayer is a sanctified form of talking to myself, I remind myself that the Son of God, who had spoken worlds into being and sustains all that exists, felt a compelling need to pray...If I had to answer the question 'Why pray?' in one sentence, it would be, 'Because Jesus did.'"   - Philip Yancey

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Repentance Paradox

"It’s hard to repent.  And while it’s hard enough to repent before a perfect God, it’s even harder to repent before an imperfect human being.  To admit that you have injured or neglected another person, then to go the person and say, “I’m sorry.  I’m ashamed.  Will you forgive me?”—to do this is mortifying.  It kills us to do it.  You need to be a big person to give it a serious try. That’s the paradox of repentance, says, C.S. Lewis.  Only a bad person needs to repent.  Only a good person can do it."
Cornelius Plantinga