Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The smaller of two mistakes

"Would to God another George Fox would spring up in all his quaint simplicity and rude honesty to rebuke the idol-worship of this age; to rail at their holy bricks and mortar, holy lecterns, holy alters, holy surplices, right reverend fathers, and I know not what. These things are not holy. God is holy; his truth is holy; holiness belongs not to the carnal and the material, but to the spiritual. O that a trumpet-tongue would cry out against the superstition of the age. I cannot, as George Fox did, give up baptism and the Lord's Supper, but I would infinitely sooner do it, counting it the smaller mistake of the two than perpetrate and assist in perpetrating the uplifting of baptism and the Lord's Supper out of their proper place. O my beloved friends, the comrades of my struggles and witnessings, cling to the salvation of faith, and abhor the salvation of priests." - Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Greater than our expectations

"No matter how high our expectation may be, when God finally moves into the field of our spiritual awareness we are sure to be astonished by His power to overwhelm the mind and fascinate the soul." - A. W. Tozer

Faith is the gift of God

"Author of faith, to thee I cry,
To thee, who wouldst not have me die,
But know the truth and live;
Open mine eyes to see thy face,
Work in my heart the saving grace,
The life eternal give.

I know the work is only Thine-
The gift of faith is all divine;
But if on thee we call
Thou will the benefit bestow,
And give us hearts to feel and know
That thou hast died for all.

Thou bidst us knock, and enter in,
Come unto thee, and rest from sin,
The blessing seek and find;
Thou bidst us ask thy grace, and have;
Thou canst, thou wouldst, this moment save
Both me, and all mankind."

- Charles Wesley

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What is faith?

"Faith is not that human notion and dream that some hold for faith . . . when they hear the gospel they fall-to and make for themselves, by their own powers, an idea in their hearts which says, 'I believe.' This they hold for true faith. But it is a human imagination and idea that never reaches the depths of the heart . . . Faith, however, is a divine work in us . . . Oh, it is a living, busy, mighty thing, this faith . . . Faith is a living, daring confidence on God's grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times. This confidence in God's grace and knowledge of it makes men glad and bold and happy . . . Beware, therefore, of your own false notions and of the idle talkers, who would be wise enough to make decisions about faith . . . Pray God to work faith in you; else you will remain forever without faith, whatever you think or do." - Martin Luther

Monday, June 15, 2009

Miraculous timing

Those who question the exclusive claims of Christianity may want to consider the odds of the Jewish leaders precipitating the execution of Jesus at the Passover - a Jewish holy day commemorating a historical event that clearly typifies the death of "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." (John 1:29) Then they may want to also consider the odds of Jesus' disciples first experiencing the baptism and transforming power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost - a Jewish feast commemorating the giving of the ten commandments. The perfect timing of these two watershed historical events with their foreshadowing types are indisputable facts, and provides powerful evidence of the miraculous nature of these events.

The Reversing of Niagara Falls

"The Lord knows right well that you cannot change your own heart, and cannot cleanse your own nature; but He also knows that He can do both . . . Hear this, and be astonished: He can create you a second time; He can cause you to be born again. This is a miracle of grace, but the Holy Ghost will perform it. It would be a very wonderful thing if one could stand at the foot of the Niagara Falls, and could speak a word which should make the river Niagara begin to run up stream, and leap up that great precipice over which it now rolls in stupendous force. Nothing but the power of God could achieve that marvel; but that would be more than a fit parallel to what would take place if the course of your nature were altogether reversed. All things are possible with God. He can reverse the direction of your desires and the current of your life, and instead of going downward from God, He can make your whole being tend upward toward God."
- Charles H. Spurgeon