Monthly Archives: November 2015

Him Who Gives Food To All Flesh

Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Even those who know not Christ are sufficiently admonished by the natural law, and by the goods of body and soul which they perceive themselves to have, that they ought to love God for God’s own sake. To recapitulate what has been said: what unbeliever does not know that he has received all the things necessary for bodily life–that from which he subsists, from which he sees, from which he breathes–not from another in this mortal life, but from him who gives food to all flesh (Psalm 136:25), who makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, who sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Who is so impious as to attribute the splendor in the soul to another author of human dignity than the one who says in Genesis, “Let us make man in our image, after 0ur likeness”? (Genesis 1:26). Who else would he esteem as the giver of knowledge except him “who teaches man knowledge?” (Psalm 94:10) Who would he think had given him virtue, or from whom would he hope for virtue, except from the Lord of virtue? Therefore even the unbeliever who does not know Christ, but knows himself, ought to love God for God’s own sake. He is therefore unpardonable if he does not love the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength; for the justice innate in him, and not unknown to reason, cry out that with his whole self he should love him, to whom he knows he owes his whole self.

But it is hard, indeed impossible, for the will by its own strength or freedom, to turn those things it has received from God, wholly to God, rather than turning them back to itself, and holding on to them as its own, as it is written: “For all seek their own” (Philippians 2:21); and again, “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21 ). Bernard of Clairvaux, On Loving God

TOZER EDITORIAL: THE TRUE SAINT IS DIFFERENT, 23 December 1950

The Church’s mightiest influence is felt when she is different from the world in which she lives. Her power lies in her being different, rises with the degree in which she differs and sinks as the difference diminishes.

This is so fully and clearly taught in the Scriptures and so well illustrated in Church history that it is hard to see how we can miss it. But miss it we do, for we hear constantly that the Church must try to be as much like the world as possible, excepting, of course, where the world is too, too sinful; and we are told to get adjusted to the world and be all things to all men. (This use of the passage, incidentally, points up Peter’s saying that Our beloved brother Paul wrote some things which the unlearned and the unstable wrest to their own destruction.)

One sure mark of the Church’s heavenly character is that she is different from the rest of mankind; similarity is a mark of her fall. The sons of God and the sons of men are morally and spiritually separated, and between them there is a great gulf fixed. When religious persons try to bridge that gulf by compromise they violate the very principles of the kingdom of God.

Men are impressed with the message of the Church just as far and as long as she is different from themselves. When she seeks to be like them they no longer respect her. They believe (and rightly) that she is playing false to herself and to them. The moral jar that results when an indoctrinated son of Adam meets a son of heaven is one of the most wholesome things that can happen to both of them. And contrary to common opinion, men are more inclined to follow the way of Christ when they are compelled to make a radical alteration in their lives than they are when the way is made easy for them. The human heart senses its need to be changed, and when religion appears offering life without such change, it is not taken seriously by thinking men. The superficial, the insincere, may embrace such a low-powered brand of religion, but the seeking heart must reject it as false and unreal.

All conformity to the world is a negation of our Christian character and a surrender of our heavenly position.

Let us plant ourselves on the hill of Zion and invite the world to come over to us, but never under any circumstances will we go over to them. The cross is the symbol of Christianity, and the cross speaks of death and separation, never of compromise. No one ever compromised with a cross. The cross separated between the dead and the living. The timid and the fearful will cry “Extreme!” and they will be right. The cross is the essence of all that is extreme and final. The message of Christ is a call across a gulf from death to life, from sin to righteousness and from Satan to God.

The first step for any Christian who is seeking spiritual power is to accept his unique position as a son of heaven temporarily detained on the earth, and to begin to live as becometh a saint. The sharp line of demarcation between him and the world will appear at once–and the world will never quite forgive him. And the sons of earth will make him pay well for separation, but it is a price he will gladly pay for the privilege of walking in fruitfulness and power.

TOZER EDITORIAL: THE TRUE SAINT IS DIFFERENT is from Alliance Weekly, 23 December 1950

We Lay Hold On God

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer…is not meant to be a monologue, but is a dialogue, a friendly talk. While the Lord communicates with me mainly through His Word, He gives me a great deal of comfort in a direct manner. By “communion” I do not mean cuddling or coddling, but assurance-assurance of His presence with me and His pleasure in my service…I do not just assume that God is near me and pleased with me; I must have fresh witness to it daily. S. L. Brengle1

“The purpose of prayer is the maintenance of fitness in an ideal relationship with God amid conditions which ought not to be merely ideal but really actual. By prayer we lay hold on God and He unites us into His consciousness.” Oswald Chambers

O for a lowly, contrite heart,
Believing, true and clean,
Which neither life nor death can part
From Him that dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed,
And full of love divine;
Perfect, and right, and pure, and good,
A copy, Lord, of Thine.
Charles Wesley

“We can never expect to grow in the likeness of our Lord unless we follow His example and give more time to communion with the Father. A revival of real praying would produce a spiritual revolution.” E. M. Bounds

The Church Should Be Different Than The World

The Church’s mightiest influence is felt when she is different from the world in which she lives. Her power lies in her being different, rises with the degree in which she differs and sinks as the difference diminishes.

This is so fully and clearly taught in the Scriptures and so well illustrated in Church history that it is hard to see how we can miss it. But miss it we do, for we hear constantly that the Church must try to be as much like the world as possible, excepting, of course, where the world is too, too sinful; and we are told to get adjusted to the world and be all things to all men. (This use of the passage, incidentally, points up Peter’s saying that Our beloved brother Paul wrote some things which the unlearned and the unstable wrest to their own destruction.)

One sure mark of the Church’s heavenly character is that she is different from the rest of mankind; similarity is a mark of her fall. The sons of God and the sons of men are morally and spiritually separated, and between them there is a great gulf fixed. When religious persons try to bridge that gulf by compromise they violate the very principles of the kingdom of God. A. W. Tozer

I love Thy Church, O God
Her wall before Thee stand
Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
And graven on Thy hand.
Timothy Dwight

“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.” Leonard Ravenhill

The Church Should Be Different Than The World is from a Tozer editorial THE TRUE SAINT IS DIFFERENT

Traveling Hymn

Psalm 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God; in him will I trust.

“The man of true faith may live in the absolute assurance that his steps are ordered by the Lord. For him, misfortune is outside the bounds of possibility. He cannot be torn from this earth one hour ahead of the time which God has appointed, and he cannot be detained on earth one moment after God is done with him here. He is not a waif of the wide world, a foundling of time and space, but a saint of the Lord and the darling of His particular care.” A. W. Tozer

Here is a nice traveling hymn I found in my 1935 Methodist hymnal:

Father, who art alone
Our Helper and our Stay;
O hear us! as we plead
For loved ones far away;
And shield with Thine almighty hand
Our wanderers by sea and land.

O compass with Thy love
The daily path they tread!
And may Thy light and truth
Upon their hearts be shed;
That, one in all things with Thy will,
Heav’n’s peace and joy their souls may fill.

Guard them from every harm
When dangers shall assail,
And teach them that Thy power
Can never, never fail;
We cannot with our loved ones be,
But trust them, Father, unto Thee.
Edith Jones?

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

Believe On The One Who Sustains You

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

When we say to an unbelieving man, “beleive on the Lord Jesus Christ” we are actually saying to him: “Believe on the One who sustains you and upholds you and Who has given you life. Believe on the One who pities you and spares you and keeps you. Believe on the One out of whome you came. A. W. Tozer, sermon

Salvation to God, Who sits on the throne!
Let all cry aloud, and honor the Son:
The praises of Jesus The angels proclaim,
Fall down on their faces,and worship the Lamb.
Charles Wesley

Turn to our blessed Lord’s conference with the Jews, in which He asserts His eternal existence: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”" Octavius Winslow

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Why Should We Love God?

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

I said that God is to be loved for himself, for a twofold reason: nothing is more reasonable, nothing more profitable. For when we ask, “Why should we love God?” we may mean, “What is lovable in God?” or “What profit is there for us in loving God?” In either case, I answer that I find no worthy reason for loving God, except God himself.

And first let us consider how he deserves to be loved. He who gave himself for us without any merit on our part, merited to received much from us. For what better gift could he give than himself? Hence, if one seeks for why God deserves our love, this reason is the primary one: because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Should not he be loved in return, especially when we think who loved, whom he loved, and how much he loved? For who is he who loved? Is it not him of whom every spirit testifies: “Thou art my God, because you have no need of my goods” (Psalm 16:2, Vulg.)? And the love is that true majestic charity which “seeks not her own” (1 Corinthians 13:5). But to whom was such pure love shown? The apostle tells us: “When we were still enemies, we were reconciled to God” (Romans 5:10).

You want me to tell you why and in what measure God is to be loved. I reply, the reason for loving God is God himself, and the measure, is to love without measure. Is this sufficient? Bernard of Clairvaux, On Loving God

TOZER EDITORIAL: LET US LIVE WHAT WE SING 16 December 1950

LET US LIVE WHAT WE SING

It would be impossible to calculate that part of the wealth of the Church which is resident in her hymnody. Congregations singing with grace in their hearts to the Lord engage in an act of worship worthy of the cherubim.

Our hymns for the most part are full of good truth and good doctrine and often, like the Psalms of David, speak the universal language of the should, thereby furnishing us with the menas of saying with our lips what our hearts have tried vainly to express.

Repeated singing of the hymns of the Church serves to fix them firmly in our minds; thus without =conscious effort we have, through the years, accumulated in our memories a vast store of hymns and spiritual songs.

How many times in the dark night of our experience, when tested almost beyond endurance, has the Lord reassured us as we found ourselves singing in our soul:

“Fear not, I am with thee, Oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious omnipotent hand.”

If not these words, then some others have come to us out of that treasure of which we are scarcely aware, and have become to us literally “songs in the night.”

But with our hymns, as with everything else, there is danger in familiarity. We are likely to take them for granted. We sing them so automatically that they do not mean to us all that they could and should. Equally as bad is the possibility of singing far beyond our own experience, and remaining unconcerned about the disparity.

In some of our hymns and songs we make promises to the Lord, in others we identify ourselves with Him, and in yet others we rejoice, we worship, we trust-and all this while our lives “are trailing in sordid dust.”

How many of us coldly sing “Tis burning in my soul!” Or it may be that one, who during the week has been out on devious detours from the highway of holiness, finds himself unconsciously and untruthfully singing on Sunday morning “Where He leads me I will follow,” or “Tis so sweet to walk with Jesus.”

How many have forgotten in the heat of some fiery trial, that only the Sunday before they had stood to sing, “Ready ot suffer grief or pain, Ready to stand the test…” and how many, content with heir own carnality, take up the refrain, “I long, Oh, I long to be holy.”

In a day of jet-propulsion, when even the ministry has become air=borne (but not with wings like eagles), we breathlessly rush into the sanctuary and sing to ourselves good advice that we do not heed, “Take time to be holy,” and though guilty of long-interrupted devotions, continue with the words, “Speak oft with thy Lord.”

“O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight” is sung by thousands who have not taken pains to cultivate that Presence and will not do so because they would be uncomfortable in it.
How often we sing “I’ve enlisted for life in the army of the Lord,” when in reality we are superannuated soldiers who for the most part have been non-combatants; yet without missing a note we boast “At the front of the battle you will find me.”

“I’ll live my life the world around, in presence or in prayer,” we often sing, when the truth is that our spiritual geography and prayer expeditions are limited to the range of our own little horizon.

There are times when out of downright honesty we ought to refrain from singing “Nothing between my soul and the Saviour.” Should we stand convicted by the words we cannot truthfully sing, we ought then and there to settle the matter that has long stood between our Lord and us.

We owe a great debt to those who have in our hymns bequeathed to us such a rich and precious heritage. Let us make the best possible use of our inheritance, and be done with merely parroting the words that should be sung only with depths of reverent meaning. Like Paul, let us determine that we shall sing “with the spirit…and with the understanding also.” Then with hearts tuned to sing His praise, come into His presence singing as we have never sung before-

Oh, worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.”
R.W.B.

TOZER EDITORIAL: LET US LIVE WHAT WE SING is from Alliance Weekly 16 December 1950. This may not actually be an editorial from Dr. Tozer, the initials R.W.B. at the end may signify another writer although not stated in the magazine nor has it ever been published in any of Tozer’s books. It is still a very good article.

If We Pray In The Spirit

Ezra 10:1a Now when Ezra had prayed…

There is no manifestation of the Spirit that means so much to God and to the lost world as continuous, prevailing prayer. This is the supreme evidence of the Spirit’s baptism. Every true revival in the past has had its beginning and continuation in the manifestation of the spirit of prayer.

In Old Testament times it was when “Ezra had prayed” that “a very great (company) of people” gathered unto God. In New Testament times it was the continual prayer “with one accord” that brought the Holy Spirit down upon the Church. Such is the uniform testimony of all who live close to the heart of God. We greatly need a revival of a kind that will bring us to our knees. No matter how great the darkness, if we pray in the Spirit, God will give the light, and the power, and the blessing.

Are we such a people? Are we willing to be such a people? A people by whom the Spirit of God can make “(His) voice to be heard on high…to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free.” Dr L. H. Ziemer

“A vacant chamber of prayer means that a believer has gone out of business religiously.” E. M. Bounds

When They Called Their Souls

Let’s Attempt To Praise The Lord

Psalms 2:11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

There was a time when men where very unsure of themselves. We’re so cock-sure about everything now, except for the things we ought to be sure about. But in those old times, say the time of Thomas Blackelock when they called their souls in. I think it might be a good idea when we get together Sunday mornings to call our souls in. As Watts said “Call home my thoughts that roam abroad”. He (Blackelock) said or prayed this “come o my soul in sacred lays attempt thy great Creator’s praise:” Now he didn’t say “praise the Lord”, he said “let’s attempt it.” A. W. Tozer, sermon, The Attributes Of God, Introduction

Come, O my soul, in sacred lays
Attempt thy great Creator’s praise:
But O, what tongue can speak His fame?
What verse can reach the lofty theme?

Enthroned amid the radiant spheres,
He glory like a garment wears;
To form a robe of light divine,
Ten thousand suns around Him shine,

Raised on devotion’s lofty wing,
Do thou, my soul, His glories sing;
And let His praise employ thy tongue
Till listening worlds shall join the song.
Thomas Blackelock

“You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself.” Spurgeon