Monthly Archives: February 2015

HIS PEOPLE WILL PRAY

Matthew 6:6 But Thou, when Thou prayest

Our Lord takes it for granted that His people will pray. And indeed in Scripture generally the outward obligation of prayer is implied rather than asserted. Moved by a divinely-implanted instinct, our natures cry out for God, for the living God. And however this instinct may be crushed by sin, it awakes to power in the consciousness of redemption. Theologians of all schools, and Christians of every type, agree in their recognition of this principle of the new life. Chrysostom has said, “The just man does not desist from praying until he ceases to be just;” and Augustine, “He that loveth little prayeth little, and he that loveth much prayeth much;” and Richard Hooker, “Prayer is the first thing wherewith a righteous life beginneth, and the last wherewith it doth end;” and Père la Combe, “He who has a pure heart will never cease to pray, and he who will be constant in prayer shall know what it is to have a pure heart;” and Bunyan, “If thou art not a praying person, thou art not a Christian;” and Richard Baxter, “Prayer is the breath of the new creature;” and George Herbert, “Prayer…the soul’s blood.”

And yet, instinctive as is our dependence upon God, no duty is more earnestly impressed upon us in Scripture than the duty of continual communion with Him. The main reason for this unceasing insistence is the arduousness of prayer. In its nature it is a laborious undertaking, and in our endeavor to maintain the spirit of prayer we are called to wrestle against principalities and powers of darkness. David M’Intyre, The Hidden Life Of Prayer

“The devil is aware that one hour of close, spiritual and hearty converse with God in prayer, is able to pull down what he hath been contriving and building many a year.” John Flavel

Blest, when assaulted by the tempters power,
The cross my armour, and the Lamb my tower
Kneeling I triumph-issuing from the fray
A bleeding conquerer-my life a prey.

“The Love Of Christ Is My Prayer Book.” Gerhard Tersteegen

You can read the entire chapter or entire book The Hidden Life Of Prayer on this site here

THE DEEPER LIFE: JUDICIAL AND VITAL

Hebrews 6:1a “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection;

What is the deeper life and how can we enter into it?

I want it to be understood that by the words “the deeper life” I do not mean a life deeper than the scriptures indicate. I have said many times and repeat that I do not want anything that cannot be found within the framework of the Christian revelation. I do not want anything that’s added. I don’t need it. I do not want it. I’m not interested in it. All that is extra scriptural and any of it that is good is found in the word of God and any of it that isn’t in the word of God isn’t good.

A Christian is one who sustains a right relation to Jesus Christ. Christians enjoy a kind of union with Jesus Christ, a right kind of union. Everybody sustains some relationship to Jesus Christ. The relationship he sustains may be of adoring faith and love. It may be one of adoration. It may be one of hostility. It may be one of complete carelessness but it’s an attitude of some sort. A relationship of some sort exist between every human being and Jesus Christ. That is every human being that has heard of Jesus Christ. But a Christian is one who sustains a right and proper relation to Jesus Christ, a biblical relation to Christ. One that is right and that Christian sustains two kinds of of union; judicial and vital.

Judicial: Romans 8:5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
So a Christian is one who has been judicially and legally made a brother of Jesus Christ and a child of God.

Vital: John 15:5aI am the vine, ye are the branches:
A Christian is also one who has been vitally (life-sustaining) united to Jesus Christ.

In vain we seek for peace with God,
By methods of our own;
Jesus, there’s nothing but thy blood
Can bring us near the throne.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

HAPPY FOREVERMORE

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

excerpts of a letter of Samuel Rutherford,

letter 87; To Elizabeth Kennedy Mistress,

They are happy forevermore who are over head and ears in the love of Christ, and know no sickness but love-sickness for Christ, and feel no pain but the pain of an absent and hidden Well-beloved.

Oh, how sweet and dear are those thoughts that are still upon the things which are above! And how happy are they who are longing to have little sand in their hour-glass, and to have time’s thread cut, and can cry to Christ, “Lord Jesus, have over; come and fetch the sorrowful passenger!”

I wish that our thoughts were more frequently than they are upon our country. Oh, but heaven gives a sweet smell afar off to those who have spiritual smelling! God has made many fair flowers; but the fairest of them all is heaven, and the Flower of all flowers is Christ. Oh! why do we not fly up to that lovely One? Alas that there is such a scarcity of love, and of lovers, to Christ amongst us all! Fie, fie, upon us, who love fair things, as fair gold, fair houses, fair lands, fair pleasures, fair honors, and fair persons, and do not pine and melt away with love to Christ! Oh! would to God I had more love for His sake! O for as much as would lie betwixt me and heaven, for His sake! O for as much as would go round about the earth, and over the heaven, yea, the heaven of heavens, and ten thousand worlds, that I might let all out upon fair, fair, only fair Christ! But, alas! I have nothing for Him, yet He has much for me. It is no gain to Christ that He gets my little, inconstant span-length and hand-breadth of love… Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus,

God send me no more for my part of paradise, but Christ: and surely I will be rich enough, and have as much heaven as the best of them, if Christ will be my heaven. I can write no better thing to you than to desire you, if ever you need to count up the worth of Christ, than to take Him up and count over again: and weigh Him again and again: and after this have no other to court your love, and to woo your soul’s delight, but Christ. He will be found worthy of all your love, S. R. Aberdeen, 1637.

“Read the letters of Samuel Rutherford, if you haven’t you should. Read those letters and see how sick it’ll make you. You’ll fold that book shut and get down on your knees and very likely say “O Lord Jesus do I love Thee at all considering if this is love what have I, what have I got?” A. W. Tozer

HIS ETERNAL EXISTENCE

John 5:37-38 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

His Eternal Existence

We now proceed to show that the Lord Jesus, our adorable Immanuel, is represented in God’s Word as invested with all the attributes which belong to Jehovah.

Let us commence with His eternal existence: If it can be proved from the sacred Scriptures that this belongs to Christ, it must follow that he is God; for of no other being can it be said that he is eternal, but Jehovah. Examine then Col 1:17-18 “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the per-eminence.”

If a mere creature and the Socinian allows him to be no more- then it were absurdity to suppose him creating all things, for he must have been created before he could create; then he could not have been before all created things.

In this striking and beautiful passage, Jesus is declared to be before all created things. Could this be true, if he Himself were a created being? Christ is either created or He is uncreated. He is a creature or the Creator. There is no intermediate scale of being. We repeat it, He must be one of two, the creature or the Creator.

If, too, he were a mere creature how could he uphold all things? For he would need an upholding power for himself. No mere creature ever has or ever can sustain itself.” Octavius Winslow

“There’s nothing bright above; below,
From flowers that bloom, to stars that glow,
But in its light my soul can see
Some feature of Your Deity.

“There’s nothing dark below, above,
But in its gloom I trace Your love;
And meekly wait the moment when
Your touch shall turn all bright again,”

 

“His (Jesus) argument is that a true belief in God the Father must of neccesity lead to  belief in Him also. That you cannot honor the Father unless you honor the Son.”Martyn Lloyd-Jones

GOD IS GOD YOU SEE

Isaiah 45:21-22 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

God Is God You See

“Now we’ve got to be careful to not think that life is like this; it begins with a cell and goes on to a fish, then goes on to a bird and goes on to the beast then goes on to man and then the Angels and then an Arch-Angel and then a Cherub and then a Seraphim and then God. That simply puts God on the top heap of a pyramid of creatures. God isn’t a creature, God is just as high above the Seraphim as He is above the cell. He’s just as high above the Cherub as He is above the amoeba. He’s just as high above the Arch-Angel as He is above the worm. Because God is God you see?” A. W. Tozer, sermon, The Transcendence Of God

“If we only spent more of our time in looking at Him we should soon forget ourselves.” Martin Lloyd-Jones

Come, Thou Almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing,
Help us to praise. Father,
all glorious,
O’er all victorious,Come,
and reign over us,
Ancient of Days.

To Thee, great One in Three,
Eternal praises be
Hence evermore.
Thy sov’reign majesty
May we in glory see,
And to eternity
Love and adore.
Italian Hymn, Anonymous

SATURDAY BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:

A. W. TOZER: LOVING GOD MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN HIS GENERATION

Today I start a weekly Saturday biographical sketch for the next several weeks. The first biography will be of A. W. Tozer, simply my favorite teacher and author. If you have never listened to his sermons or read his books or articles I encourage you to do so.

“Sonny, I want to love God more than anyone else in my generation.” A. W. Tozer

I cannot say that Tozer loved God over everyone else in his life, however in reading his books and listening to his sermons and what his contemporaries said of him, it is apparent that he tried.

Aiden Wison Tozer; Dr Tozer; or simply Tozer (April 21, 1897 – May 12, 1963), was born on a farm in Western PA. At 15 his family moved to Akron, OH. When he wsa 17 and on his way home from the tire company where he worked as a teen, young Tozer overheard a street preacher say,“If you don’t know how to be saved…just call on God.” Upon returning home, Tozer climbed into the attic and heeded the preacher’s advice. In those early years in a crowded home he found in the basement a place for prayer and bible study.

In 1919, five years after his decision to follow Christ, and without formal theological training, Tozer accepted an offer to pastor his first church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. From there he pastored in Indianapolis, IN and then onto Chicago with the Southside Alliance Church for thirty years. His final years were spent at the Avenue Road Church in Toronto, Canada.

Considered by many to be a modern-day prophet, Tozer felt that the church was on a dangerous course towards compromising with “worldly” concerns. In 1950, he was appointed editor of the Alliance magazine, the weekly publication of his denomination founded by A. B. Simpson The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). In his first editorial, dated June 3, 1950, he wrote “It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run, and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.”

Prayer was of vital personal importance for Tozer. “His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life,” comments his biographer, James L. Snyder in the book, In Pursuit of God: The Life Of A.W. Tozer. “He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them”.

Leonard Ravenhill said in his sermon, No Kiss “Dr. Tozer told me as a mature man in his sixties that there where times when he lay on the rug for an hour, two hours, three hours, four hours and never uttered a word of prayer, and never uttered a word of praise. He said, “I’m lost in adoration, I see Him in His glory, in His majesty, in His beauty. I can hear those holy beings crying, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.’” And he said, “I’m silent in adoration before Him. I had no language, it is beggered.” And he had a vocabulary as good as any man I know, and he had read more of the mystics, I think, than any man I know, and he had some of the closest encounters to God of any man I know.”

Among the more than forty books Tozer authored, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His writings impress on the reader the necessity to abandon worldly comforts in favor the deeper life that comes with following Christ. Living out this simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, Tozer and his wife, Ada Cecelia Pfautz, never owned a car, preferring bus and train travel. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, he signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.

Tozer had seven children, six boys and one girl. He was buried in Ellet cemetery, Akron, Ohio, with a simple epitaph marking his grave: “A. W. Tozer — A Man of God.”

For almost 50 years, Tozer walked with God. Even though he is gone, he continues to speak, ministering to those who are eager to experience God. As someone put it, “This man makes you want to know and feel God.”

A few quotes from his sermons

“Some of my friends good-humoredly , and some a little bit severely, have called me a ‘mystic.’ Well I’d like to say this about any mysticism I may suppose to have. If an Arch-Angel from heaven were to come, and were to start giving me, telling me, teaching me, and giving me instruction, I’d ask him for the text. I’d say, ‘Where’s it say that in the Bible? I want to know.’ And I would insist that it was according to the scriptures, because I do not believe in any extra-scriptural teachings, nor any anti-scriptural teachings, or any sub-scriptural teachings. I think we ought to put the emphasis where God puts it, and continue to put it there, and to expound the scriptures, and stay by the scriptures. I wouldn’t, no matter if I saw a light above the light of the sun, I’d keep my mouth shut about it until I’d checked with Daniel and Revelation and the rest of the scriptures to see if it had any basis in truth. And if it didn’t, I’d think I’d just eaten something I shouldn’t, and I wouldn’t say anything about it. Because I don’t believe in anything that is unscriptural or that is anti-scripture.”

“God wants us to worship Him. He doesn’t need us, for He couldn’t be a self-sufficient God and need anything or anybody, but He wants us. When Adam sinned it was not he who cried, ‘God, where art Thou?’ It was God who cried, ‘Adam, where art thou?’ ”

“The best book is one that sets us off on a train of thought that carries us far away from and far beyond the book.”

“When we say a man lives a beastly life we’re insulting the beast and lying about the man.”

“We are immortal until our work is done.”

 

editors note: Some information is from cmalliance.org

WHEN YOU PRAY

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“Our Lord takes it for granted that His people will pray. And indeed in Scripture generally the outward obligation of prayer is implied rather than asserted. Moved by a divinely-implanted instinct, our natures cry out for God, for the living God. And however this instinct may be crushed by sin, it awakes to power in the consciousness of redemption. Theologians of all schools, and Christians of every type, agree in their recognition of this principle of the new life. Chrysostom has said, “The just man does not desist from praying until he ceases to be just;” and Augustine, “He that loveth little prayeth little, and he that loveth much prayeth much;” and Richard Hooker, “Prayer is the first thing wherewith a righteous life beginneth, and the last wherewith it doth end;” and Père la Combe, “He who has a pure heart will never cease to pray, and he who will be constant in prayer shall know what it is to have a pure heart;” and Bunyan, “If thou art not a praying person, thou art not a Christian;” and Richard Baxter, “Prayer is the breath of the new creature;” and George Herbert, “Prayer…the soul’s blood.”

And yet, instinctive as is our dependence upon God, no duty is more earnestly impressed upon us in Scripture than the duty of continual communion with Him. The main reason for this unceasing insistence is the arduousness of prayer. In its nature it is a laborious undertaking, and in our endeavor to maintain the spirit of prayer we are called to wrestle against principalities and powers of darkness.” David M’Intyre, The Hidden Life Of Prayer

“To pray aright is right earnest work.” Jacob Boehme

Were I with the trespass laden
Of a thousand worlds beside,
Yet by that path I enter-
The blood of the Lamb who died.

Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

TURNING FROM ADAM’S UNBELIEVING WORLD

Hebrews 6:1a Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection;

“Let’s pray. Now our Father we well know that spiritual things can’t be reduced to formulas even though we struggle so hard to do it. The impulse of faith, the sudden righteous daring of the soul in it’s leap after God will do more for us than all the carefully laid out sermons could ever do. We’ve done all we can do, an appeal to intelligence, mixed explanations tried to say in our racy modern English what has been said with great and stately dignity in our bibles.

My God now take this that has been spoken and apply it to our hearts. May we one after the other turn from Adam’s unbelieving world, with it’s self confidence and self reliance, it’s arrogance, it’s pride, it’s mad pleasures, it’s love of wealth, love of praise, love of publicity, it’s inordinate love of clothing and of fine things, of rich things. Turn it we pray then from it all not only in our hearts but in reality. Then turn us to Jesus Christ thy son we need Him Lord. If we gave up the world and didn’t have Him we’d be in a vacuum. Thou quickly take us through that little vacuum and that takes us to Jesus Christ who is thee radiant source of everlasting life and peace, joy, world without end. We ask it in Christ name, Amen.” A. W. Tozer The Deeper Life, pt 1

“Jesus did not come into the world to make bad men good. He came into the world to make dead men live!” Leonard Ravenhill

Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.
Charles Wesley

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17