Words to Winners of Souls

January 24, 2009

“He that saved our souls has taught us to weep over the unsaved. Lord, let that mind be in us that was in Thee! Give us they tears to weep; for, Lord, our hearts are hard toward our fellows. We can see thousands perish around us, and our sleep never be disturbed; no vision of their awful doom ever scaring us, no cry from their lost souls ever turning our peace into bitterness.

Our families, schools, our congregations, not to speak of our cities at large, our land, our world, might well send us daily to our knees; for the loss of even one soul is terrible beyond conception. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered the heart of man, what a soul in hell must suffer forever. Lord, give us bowels of mercies! ‘What a mystery! The soul and eternity of one man depends upon the voice of another!'”

This is Horatius Bonar circa 1860. Lord, give me this passion for the lost. Make me lose sleep over it.

“The godly mind must climb higher still: to where Christ calls his disciples when he says that each one must take up his cross (Matt. 16:24). Those whom the Lord has chosen and honoured with his friendship must be prepared for a hard, strenuous and testing life, full  of many different troubles. It is the Father’s will to exercise his followers in this way, putting them to the test.”

“The bitterness of the cross for us is sweetened greatly when we think that the more we suffer hard experiences, the more sure we are made of our fellowship with Christ.”

“We are so feeble by nature and so quick to think we are perfect that we need visible demonstration of our weakness.  Otherwise, we think we are much better than we are, and are sure that we can triumph over all difficulties. So we indulge in stupid confidence in the flesh. This even makes us proud before the Lord, as if we could cope without his grace. He stamps on this arrogance when he proves to us by experience how great our weakness is.  So he allows us to meet with disgrace, poverty, bereavement, disease or some other affliction. Then, feeling overwhelmed we admit defeat and humbly call on him for strength, which alone enables us to cope.”

“Now we can see how many advantages result from the cross. It overturns the high opinion we have of our own virtue and exposes the hypocrisy we so often indulge in.  It removes our deadly confidence in the flesh, teaching us, when humbled, to rest in God alone, so that we are not discouraged or depressed…..It is vital to get rid of self-love and be made aware of weakness. Then, convinced of our weakness, we distrust ourselves. This makes us switch our confidence that we know we can rely on his help. Then by his grace we shall stand firm to the end, realizing that he is true to his promises, and so sure of this that we can be strong in hope.”

“Whatever sort of tribulation we suffer, we should always remember that its purpose is to make us spurn the present and reach out to the future. God knows very well that we are naturally drawn to love this world. So, to keep us from clinging to it too closely, he finds good reason to call us away and wake us up. […] But when we look at men’s plans, desires and actions, there seem to be nothing but earthly values. How stupid we are! Our minds are so dazzled with the glare of wealth, power and honours, that we cannot see beyond them. The heart also, preoccupied with greed, ambition and lust, is in the grip of worldly attractions, and looks for happiness only here on earth. To combat this disease, the Lord makes his people aware of their futility of their present life by frequent proof of its misery.”

-John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

These passages shook me over the last week. How badly I long for life to be easy. Thank God that he loves me too much to give me what I want.

Quote

December 21, 2008

“Do you feel loved by God because you believe he makes much of you, or because you believe he frees you and empowers you to enjoy making much of him? It is the difference between the modern world where all terminates on self, and the biblical world where all terminates on God.”

-John Piper

Obedience

November 10, 2008

So recently I have found myself in this place of wanting to be able to be filled with the Holy Spirit in a way that every decision of everyday is made based on His prompting. In pursuing this I have number one been praying, but also have sought out council from some people much wiser than myself. In my time with them God was able to teach me so much about my relationship with Him. I walked away from last week with 3 mindsets I want to incorporate in the way I attack each day. Hopefully over the next few days I will post each of these. Here is the first:

Living a life of being filled by the Spirit is all about obedience and purity. I had to ask myself, “Am I being obedient to God on a daily basis in areas that are seemingly small?” Why would God fill me up with more of anything if I am not being obedient with what I have. The question asked of me that resounded was this, “You obviously trust God to be able to fill you with His Spirit, can you be trusted by Him once he does that?” Wow….

“Many people trust God, much fewer are trustworthy to God.” That blew me away.

Cross The Line #2

November 3, 2008

Thoughts from Spurgeon

October 23, 2008

Thanks to B.Coop I’ve been enjoying some sermons by C H Spurgeon, and just wanted to share something that hit me hard as I read it.

The sermon I am reading through is speaking of the immutability of God, or the fact that God does not change. And in one section he begins to set forth the argument that God does not change his plans. He begins to go through reasons that man’s plan may change, but God is not restricted to the same boundaries. After all, could he ever run out of supplies? run out of time? not have enough power? that God doesn’t have a plan?

God has a plan, an unalterable plan that will be accomplished. There is nothing to prevent him from changing any of his plans. So I’m reading all this, and enjoying the thoughts, and then Spurgeon drops this:

…ye may change your plans, but he shall never, never change his. Then has he told me his plan is to save me? If so, I am safe.

And ends it with this thought:

My name from the palms of his hands eternity will not erase; Impress’d on his heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.

Reality…

June 9, 2008

It seems to me that everyone lives with their own set of convictions about what is real or not real. And no matter what someone tells you, you can tell what someone’s set of beliefs are by the way they act (even if they do not realize).

Reading through the new testament there is something that the early church believed that changed the way they lived that I believe we have lost much of. That belief is the reality that one day Jesus is coming back, and we will all stand before him. If we believed this it would affect our behavior in two ways (ok – really tons of ways but i wanna point out two of them):

One – We would see every action of ours through the lens of this. We would live to glorify God and only Him because of the reality that we will stand before him in judgment. We would be more thoughtful in our actions in every hour of the day. Also we would see this as an ultimate reality for everyone else and try to let them know about Christ so they do not receive the judgment of God.

Two – We would constantly wait and long for Christ to come back. Please understand that for a believer this is the absolute best thing that could happen. For the bridegroom to come back for His bride will be the greatest day in history. But so often this is not the attitude – many people who call themselves christians will feel a bit of dread when they think about the possibility of Christ coming today. Often because there is ‘so much left to do’ here in this life and you haven’t accomplished everything.

Imagine a groom going to take his bride, but she didn’t care about seeing him because she was too busy with all the things he had given her. Most of us would call that girl a gold digger. Every groom wants to be the treasure of his bride, not the things he gives to her. But that is so many of us.

Anyways, how often do you think through your actions with the mindset of standing before Christ with that action exposed (or lack of action)? How often do you feel a longing to see your savior face to face? How often do you pray for Jesus to come back? Do you believe this is reality?