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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A.W. Tozer

- Samuel Machado



Aiden Wilson (A. W.) Tozer was born in a small farming community in Western Pennsylvania on April 21, 115 years ago.
His spiritual path opened up when, as a 15-year-old, Tozer responded to a street evangelist.

Five years later, with no theological training, he began pastoring his first church.

Tozer spent the rest of his life as a pastor, rising to national prominence during his tenure at Southside Alliance Church, Chicago, IL (1928–1959). Tozer wrote the spiritual classic The Pursuit of God during his time in Chicago, and over his lifetime authored more than 40 books.

His steadfast call to repentance and faith earned him the nickname “the 20th-century prophet.”
On May 12, 1963, he went to be with his Lord after suffering a heart attack.

The epitaph on his tombstone simply reads:
“A. W. Tozer—A Man of God.”

To celebrate this remarkable man of faith, I put together 10 of my favorite Tozer quotes:



1.“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion. You would never get me interested in the old maids’ social club with a little bit of Christianity thrown in to give it respectability. I want all that God has, or I don’t want any.”

- from The Counselor

2.“I wonder also how many Christians in our day have truly and completely abandoned themselves to Jesus Christ as their Lord. We are very busy telling people to “accept Christ” - and that seems to be the only word we are using. We arrange a painless acceptance.”

- from Who Put Jesus on the Cross?

3.“The world lives in such a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing. We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were normal.”

- from Born After Midnight


4.“But a lot of people have gone too far and have written books and poetry that gets everybody believing that God is so kind and loving and gentle.
God is so kind that infinity won’t measure it. And God is so loving that He is immeasurably loving. But God is also holy and just.”

- from The Attributes of God, Volume One

5.“I can only say, let us be tolerant wherever we can be, and let us be charitable toward all those we cannot tolerate. But let us not imagine for a minute that we are called upon to take a top-of-the-fence stand, never knowing exactly what we believe.”

- from Faith Beyond Reason



6.“It is a high Christian privilege to pray for one another within each local church body and then for other believers throughout the world. As a Christian minister, I have no right to preach to people I have not prayed for. That is my strong conviction.”

- from Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts

7.“In some circles, God has been abridged, reduced, modified, edited, changed and amended until He is no longer the God whom Isaiah saw, high and lifted up.”—from Whatever Happened to Worship?


8.“No matter what the circumstances, we Christians should keep our heads. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. It is a dismal thing to see a son of heaven cringe in terror before the sons of earth.”

- from The Warfare of the Spirit

9.“Rightly understood, faith is not a substitute for moral conduct but a means toward it. The tree does not serve in lieu of fruit but as an agent by which fruit is secured. Fruit, not trees, is the end God has in mind in yonder orchard; so Christ-like conduct is the end of Christian faith.”

- from Size of the Soul

10.“The only fear I have is to fear to get out of the will of God. Outside of the will of God, there’s nothing I want, and in the will of God there’s nothing I fear, for God has sworn to keep me in His will.”

- from Success and the Christian: The Cost of Spiritual Maturity


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Prayer Quotes

"Prayer is where the action is"
John Wesley

"No learning can make up for the failure to pray.
No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack."
E.M. Bounds

"If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has."

"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties."
Oswald Chambers

"Prayer breaks all bars, dissolves all chains, opens all prisons, and widens all straits by which God's saints have been held."
E. M. Bounds

"If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ."
C. H. Spurgeon


"If the Christian does not allow prayer to drive sin out of his life, sin will drive prayer out of his life"
M.E. Andross

"Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work"
Oswald Chambers

“Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.”
R. A. Torrey

"Prayer is the secret of power."
Evan Roberts

"There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer."
A.T. Pierson

"Heaven is full of answers to prayer for which no one bothered to ask"
Billy Graham

"The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace."
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bartholomew - The Faithful Disciple

- As seen on https://www.facebook.com/ministrywitness/posts/770437306352532

Bartholomew was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
We read very little about him in the Bible.

His name is mentioned in the synoptic gospels - Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Bartholomew means, “Son of Tolmai” and he is generally presumed to be the same person called Nathaniel in John’s Gospel.

We might call him, Nathaniel, son of Tolmai, Bartholomew.
It was Philip who introduced Jesus to Bartholomew first as Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.

Bartholomew was reluctant to believe it.
He asked Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

But when he met Jesus personally and heard Him say of him,
“Here comes an honest man - a true son of Israel”, Bartholomew was astonished.

When Jesus further said, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you, Bartholomew had no second thought. He said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God - the King of Israel.”

Bartholomew knew Jesus on the day and from that day forward he never turned back.
Early Church historians generally agree that Bartholomew took the gospel as far as India where he translated the Gospel of St. Matthew and preached to the people in their own language.

But persecution drove him to Greater Armenia where he brought King Polimius and twelve cities to Christian faith.
This irritated the priests who turned the king’s brother against Bartholomew.


He was arrested and was accused for “perverting King Polimius”, to which Bartholomew responded humbly that he had only preached the true worship of God. Infuriated, the King’s brother ordered that Bartholomew be suspended upside down on a cross.

Some sources say that he was beheaded with an axe to end his suffering. His famous words were,
“I would rather seal my testimony with my blood than suffer the shipwreck of my faith or conscience”.
(Martyr’s Mission).



Dear friends, Nathaniel alias Bartholomew was not famous like Peter or Paul, yet he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his faith.
How will our faith be in times of persecution?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, though at first Bartholomew did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, when he met Him personally all his doubts flew away. He became His faithful disciple and lived so till his death. Like him, let me also be zealous for you till my last breath. Amen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Temptation

James 1:12English Standard Version (ESV)

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.


You'll never be exempt from temptation.

 Each season of life just brings temptation in a different form.

When you're young you'll struggle with the need for companionship and sexual fulfilment.

In business you'll be tempted to distort the truth, cheat and pocket the money.

When you become successful, if you're not careful you'll become ego-driven, controlling and opinionated.

The truth is, you never become so spiritual as to be exempt from temptation.

 After forty days of prayer and fasting, Satan tempted Jesus.
So you are as vulnerable to attack after a great spiritual experience as you are in your lowest moments.

Satan understood Jesus' assignment and he was out to stop Him from accomplishing it.
And he is out to stop you too!

The battle you're in is not over the past, it's over the future.

In the face of repeated temptation Jesus defeated Satan by using the Word of God, and you must too.

Without it you have no defence.

In what specific areas do you struggle?
 What's your strategy for victory?

What percentage of the time are you successful?

Which Scriptures have you memorised to help you conquer the tempter when he comes against you?

 Look at Samson, God's champion: blinded, chained, grinding corn like an ox in a Philistine dungeon.

Sin has a blinding effect, a binding effect and a grinding effect.

Prisons are filled with people who were too weak to stand up against Satan. Dreams crash daily on the rocks of temptation. Move the ship of your life away from those rocks while you still can.

From thewordfortoday.au

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

'Genie, you're free': How not to talk about suicide?

- DR. JIM DENISON, PRESIDENT










After Robin Williams died, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent a tweet that has been seen by as many as 69 million people.  It pictures the Genie from Aladdin, a character voiced so memorably by Williams, with the caption, "Genie, you're free." 

What's wrong with the tweet?







Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, says,
"If it doesn't cross the line, it comes very, very close to it. Suicide should never be presented as an option.  That's a formula for potential contagion." 

According to The Washington Post, vulnerable people can be encouraged to commit suicide in the way a well-known person does, a phenomenon known as "suicide contagion" or "copycat suicide."

It is understandable to wish Robin Williams well even after his death.  For instance, Henry Winkler tweeted,
"Robin you are an angel now!!" 

Jason Alexander tweeted,
"I'm so sorry the earth couldn't stay worthy of you.  Hope happiness awaits you."

At the same time, we don't want to say or do anything that unintentionally encourages others to take their lives. 
Suicide is never the answer.


Here's another wrong way to talk about suicide:
Making it seem inevitable for those with depression. 

We know that Robin Williams was suffering from what his publicist called "severe depression."

  And we know that there is a strong link between depression and suicide.  Research shows that two-thirds of those who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths.  The risk of suicide for those with major depression is 20 times that of the general population.  This is a staggering fact, given that depression affects one in six persons in the United States.

However, suicide is not inevitable, even for those suffering from depression.  As one psychotherapist and professor states,
"the suicide of any one person . . . never is or was inevitable.  As long as the suicidal person is alive, there is hope for change.  Anything can happen in life at any moment to change the person's situation, suffering or outlook."

Tragically, as many as two thirds of people with depression do not realize they have a treatable illness and do not seek treatment.  Only 50 percent of people diagnosed with major depression receive any kind of treatment.  So if you are dealing with depression, get help.  Know that mental illness is not a sin.

Depression is caused by many factors, including heredity, biology, and life experiences. 
As with other diseases, help is both essential and available to you.  If you know someone who is depressed, help them find help.

And know that suicide is never the answer, and is never inevitable. 

King David knew the pain of depression

Psalm 6:2-3New International Version (NIV)

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
    How long, Lord, how long?


Psalm 25:16New International Version (NIV)

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.

Psalm 31:10New International Version (NIV)

10 My life is consumed by anguish
    and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,[a]
    and my bones grow weak.

  And yet he discovered that 


Psalm 9:9New International Version (NIV)

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.



So can you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fear Has No Power Over Me


God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
(II Timothy 1:7)

For many years dissidents in Eastern Europe lived under oppressive regimes that tended to promote a sense of fear. These people met in secret, used code words, avoided public telephones and published pseudonymous essays in underground papers.

In the mid-seventies however, Polish and Czech intellectuals began to realize that the constant double life had cost them dearly. Quite simply, they had lost the most basic sense of freedom and human dignity. By working in secret, always with a nervous glance over their shoulder, they had succumbed to fear, which in fact was the goal of their communist opponents all along.

So the dissidents made a conscious decision to change tactics.
“We will act as if we are free, at all costs.”

Defense Committee in Poland began holding public meetings, often in church buildings despite the presence of known informers. They signed articles, adding their addresses and phone numbers and distributed them openly in street corners. In effect the dissidents agreed to start acting the way the society should become. The authorities did not know how to respond. Sometimes they cracked down - nearly all the dissidents spent time in prison - and sometimes they watched with frustration bordering on helplessness.

Meanwhile this new approach emboldened the dissidents and they discovered that inner freedom gives sustenance even when external freedom is snatched away. Their daring philosophy spread to even other countries giving courage to the dissidents in China, Latin America and South Africa and they too were liberated. (Philip Yancey - Finding God in unexpected places.)

Dear friends, a fearful person organizes his or her life around a common perspective of fear. Whatever happens feeds that fear. Whereas a faithful person organizes his or her life around a common perspective of trust, not fear. He believes that despite the apparent chaos of the present moment, God does reign;

“Faith sees even the darkest deed of all history - the death of Jesus, as a necessary prelude to the brightest”, writes Philip Yancey.

satan tries to paralyze us with fear but let us boldly confess, “The One who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world”, and overcome Satan by faith in our Lord Jesus.

PRAYER:
Dear God, satan may try to paralyze me with fear showing me the complexity of the situations. Let me never succumb to him but let me boldly, and openly confess my faith in You. Help me to believe that a glorious crown follows the cross. Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Through it all

Acts 4:12New International Version (NIV)

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
There've been times I didn't know right from wrong:
But in every situation God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong.

Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.

I've been to lots of places,
And I've seen a lot of faces,
There've been times I felt so all alone;
But in my lonely hours,
Yes, those precious lonely hours,
Jesus let me know that I was His own.

Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.

I thank God for the mountains,
And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms
He brought me through;
For if I'd never had a problem
I wouldn't know that He could solve them,
I'd never know what faith in God could do.

Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word
.


Update to the previous post: Just two days before the test, I got fever and an insane body ache. But thanks to GOD, on the day of the exam, everything turned out to be just fine, as if I never had the wound or the fever or the aches. :D

Also, today I dreamt I saw apparitions of Mother Mary, thrice - in the sky and on the wall of a classroom I've never been to. I was trying to convince people in the room, and one of my friends said she saw it too. All of this was in the dream.