Saturday, December 30, 2006

Unconscious Influence

A missionary in New Guinea returned to his home after several years of service.

His friend said to him, "Jones, tell me what you found at your station in New Guinea."

"Found! I found something that looked more hopeless than if I had been sent into the jungle to a lot of tigers."

"Why, those people were so degraded that they seemed utterly devoid of moral sense. They were worse than beasts. If a mother were carrying her little baby, and the baby began to cry, she would throw it into the ditch and let it die. If a man saw his father break his leg, he would leave him upon the roadside to die. They had no compassion whatever. They did not know what it meant."

"Well, what did you do for people like that? Did you preach to them?"

"Preach? No! I lived."

"Lived? How did you live?"

"When I saw a baby crying, I picked it up and comforted it. When I saw a man with a broken leg, I mended it. When I saw people in distress, I took them in and pitied them. I took care of them. I lived that way. And those poeple began to come to me and say, 'What does this mean? What are you doing this for?' Then I had my chance and I preached the Gospel."

"Did you succeed?"

"When I left, I left a church!"
-Sunday School Times


"The best way to teach converts is to live before them. How we ourselves meet trouble is a much more potent lesson to them than explaining from the pulpit how they should meet it...Our most potent lessons are unconscious ones; they are, in actuality, allowing the Lord to live out His life through us." -Isobel Kuhn

"You are writing a Gospel
A chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do,
And the words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the Gospel
According to you?"

Thursday, December 28, 2006

True Worship

"In true worship the Father must be first, must be all. The sooner I learn to forget myself in the desire that He may be glorified, the richer will the blessing be that prayer will bring to myself. No one ever loses by what he sacrifices for the Father."
-Andrew Murray
'With Christ in the School of Prayer'


Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas in Poverty

Philippians 2:6-8, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedience unto death, even the death of the cross."

What is Christmas today? Christmas trees, decorations, lights, tinsel, parties, Santa Claus, and an over abundance of food. Total antipathy to the very first Christmas!

The first Christmas was celebrated in poverty. Today, if a couple were so poor that they had to have their baby in a dirty animal stable, the Social Services would take their baby away from them. But 2000 years down the line, it seems that the humility of Christmas has been forgotten.

I think it would be good to remind ourselves of the true reality of Christmas, don't you?

The Humility of Mary

Mary was a humble maiden with a humble lineage. She was not a royal princess. She was not a High Priest's daughter. She was not rich. Mary herself confesses in her song, "He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.... He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree..." (Luke 1:48-49) But God chose this unknown virgin to bring forth His precious Son. He chose her because she was a willing vessel. Often those who have everything materially, are not willing vessels.

God is not looking for riches and material possessions. He is looking for obedient hearts. He is looking for those who have the same spirit Mary had when she said, "Be it unto me according to thy Word." (Luke 1:38) She was totally surrendered to the will of the Lord. In the face of poverty, ridicule, rejection and estrangement, she embraced this child who would be the Savior of the world.

The Humility of Joseph

Joseph was a humble carpenter from a humble village. Do you remember that Nathanael said of Jesus, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46) Jesus was spurned by his fellow residents of Nazareth who asked, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55)


The Humilty of His Birthplace

Jesus was born in a stable, most probably a cave, with the dirt, the smells and messes of the animals all around. He was then laid in a stone feeding trough, fit only for the animals. Jesus was born to be King, but God didn't provide a palace for His Son in which to be born. He didn't provide a doctor, nurses and hospital. There was no cradle, beautifully draped with lace and frills. Only straw! Was there even that? No Christmas card paints the true reality of the scene.


The Humility of Jesus' Dedication


After the days of a mother's purification, the parents took the baby to the temple to be dedicated. They had to bring a lamb to be sacrificed for the dedication. However, if they could not afford a lamb, they brought two turtle doves or young pigeons. (Leviticus 12:6-8) The account in Luke 2:23-24 tells us that Joseph and Mary brought doves or pigeons. They belonged to the poor class. They couldn't afford to bring a lamb. And yet God chose from the poorer class to bring forth the King of kings and Lord of lords.

May God keep all our hearts focused on the humility of His birth, rather than tinsel and toys!!


"Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey..." Zec. 9:9

-Nancy Cambell

photo credit

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Before the Throne of Grace


"You must pray with all your might. That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you. It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God...This kind of prayer, be sure, the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame." - William Booth

"The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came...Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory."
-R. A. Torrey

"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. A man may study because his brain is hungry for knowledge, even Bible knowledge. But he prays because his soul is hungry for God. We live in a generation that has never known revival God's way. True revival changes the moral climate of an area or a nation. Without exception, all true revivals of the past began after years of agonizing, hell-robbing, earth-shaking, heaven-sent intercession. The secret to true revival in our own day is still the same. But where, oh, where, are the intercessors?" - Leonard Ravenhill

"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused." - Charles Spurgeon

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Take Time


"Take time to prepare for our work. The greater the work we are to do, the longer preparation does God give us for it. How eager human nature is to get into an enterprise, or a field of work, before there is a thorough preparation. To be prepared for a great mission is a great deal more than to go through a school or to learn a trade or to pass a good examination. The preparation must go deepr, and enter into the very qualities of the heart and will. There must be the patient endurance, the breadth of apprehension, the quickness and sweep of mental vision, the balancing of the judgement, the impartiality of decision, and a largeness of divine gentleness for those with whom we deal - an inexpressible preparation which oftentimes nothing but suffering, or lonely sorrow, or years of patient waiting can develop in us.

A short work, with a thorough, divine preparation behind it, will accomplish more than a work of many years with only a human qualification for it."

-G.D. Watson

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh Yes He Cares, I Know He Cares!


"On a clear, moonless night about 3,000 stars are visible with the unaided eye. Asmall telescope will increase the number to around 100,000 stars. But this is just the beginning! The stars we can easily see are all in our corner of the Milky Way Galaxy. The entire galaxy numbers about 100 billion stars. And beyond the Milky Way are other galaxies with many shapes and sizes. Around 100 billion such galaxies are known to exist.

Taking the Milky Way as an average galaxy, the total number of known stars is thus (100 billion)2=(1011)2=1022. These estimated stars number
10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, when we write this number out. This figure would be pronounced as "ten
billion trillion" stars.

Suppose these stars were divided up among the world's total population of 6 billion people. Then each person on Earth would receive more than 1½ trillion
stars!"

Mind boggling? It is for me! And yet, God calls every one of these stars by name. He knows it's size, characteristics, exact proximity, and life span!

Have you ever stopped to examine a snowflake? Recently on one of my daily walks, big fluffy bits of coldness were falling all around as I meandered down the winding country roads. It was one of the first snows of the season, and the pavement was still warmed enough by the sun that the snowflakes melted almost instantly on contact. As I caught a few on my black glove, I marveled at the intricacy of God's creation. I've been told that no two snowflakes are exactly alike, and as I looked at the thousands falling around me, I had to ask why? Why did God care enough to create such beauty and variety in something so temporal? 99.9% of snowflakes fall the ground, having never been appreciated for their beauty, never seen by human eyes, never thought of, and yet God made each one a breathtaking work of art. What is the purpose?

Another day I examining a blade of grass and a dried leaf, and wondering why the Lord is so good to show Himself in nature so clearly. Everything in His creation is perfectly designed and maintained. God's fingerprints are all over it - it's beauty, it's symmetry, it's order and predictability. Everything! And yet, this life is but a vapor, it appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. Why all this?

The reason is so comforting and faith-building! To show how much greater He cares for every detail of our lives!!

"If God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?"

If so much care is given to an earth that is one day going to be destroyed, how much more will He not guide, care for, and order every detail of our lives? We worry and fret and fume about the future, wondering what it's going to hold. We imagine this scenario or that, trying to figure out how it's going to come together, all the while forgetting that five sparrows are sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God. We are of far more value than many sparrows, and God even has every hair on our head numbered!

God, this God who has a name for every star, stamps His fingerprint on every snowflake, brings each season in it's proper, predictable time, and cares for the smallest, most insignificant bird -this same exact God cares for your life. Every step is carefully planned and ordered, all by a loving Father who has nothing but your best interests in mind. It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Trust Him!

quote source

Saturday, December 09, 2006

If...


"If all the time that Christians spent in anxiety, or in seeking advice from other people, or in foolish speculation, or in making plans and building air castles, was spent in patient and thoughtful prayer, what vast fields of satisfactory light and clear divine guidance would be opened up to them. They would learn the knowledge of God's will on all lines, such as would give a deep restful assurance which would make them spiritual giants."
G.D. Watson

Monday, December 04, 2006

What is a call?

A young woman puzzled about the call of God once asked Ron Davies, a missionary home on furlough, "Please, Mr Davies, what is a call?" His face lit up. He beamed at her and took up his Bible. Turning the pages of it, he found Mark 16:15, showed it to her, and read aloud the words, " 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature! The call! 'That is the call," he said. 'God expects every Christian to go somewhere with the Gospel. All you have to do is to find out just where He wants you to go. It may be here in your own home town, or it may be He wants you to go to Africa, to China or to Kashmir. If you are a Christian, you must preach Christ somewhere!"
-Lal Sahib


"Why do you need a voice when you have a verse?"
-Jim Elliot

"Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowing cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a firemen sit idle, let man burn and give no hand? Can you sit as ease in Zion with the world around you damned?"
-Leonard Ravenhill



"You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most…It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.”
-John Wesley


"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life, that I may burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like You, Lord Jesus."
-Jim Elliot

Friday, December 01, 2006

How Christian Soldiers Are Made


The Lord trains His soldiers, not by allowing them to lie on feather beds, but by turning them out, and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long march with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs.

This is the way in which He makes them soldiers; not by dressing them up in fine uniforms, to swagger at the barrack gates, and to be fine gentlemen in the eyes of the loungers in the park. God knows that soldiers are only to be made in battle; they are not to be grown in peaceful times. We may grow the stuff of which soldiers are made; but warriors are really educated by the smell of powder, in the midst of whizzing bullets and roaring cannonades; not in soft and peaceful times.

Well, Christian, may not this account for it all? Is not thy Lord bringing out thy graces and making them grow? Is He not developing in you the qualities of the soldier by throwing you into the heat of the battle, and should you not use every appliance to come off conqueror?
-C.H. Spurgeon