Saturday, March 13, 2010

God Isn't In A Hurry

One of my favorite Bible teacher's Warren Wiersbe has a book titled, God Isn't In A Hurry: Learning to Slow Down and Live. Most of us can take his advise to heart. Several quotes below were helpful t me and I trust they will be for you too!

Churches do not grow by addition; they grow by nutrition. True growth is from the inside out-at least the kind of growth that lasts. During more than forty years of ministry in many parts of the world, I have seen all sorts of schemes for building the church; and some of them, unfortunately, have worked-on;y to the detriment of the ministry. George Macdonald was right: "In whatever man does without God, he must either fail miserably, or succeed more miserably.

If you are interested in the praise of men, then use the shortcuts and publicize your statistics. But if you are interested in the glory of God, stick with God's methods-the Word, prayer, witnessing, sacrifice, and suffering-and leave the results with Him. After all, it is "God who gives the increase" (1 Cor. 3:7). p. 13

I may be wrong, but I have the feeling that we are looking for shortcuts because we don't want to pay the price for doing things God's way. Travail in prayer, hard study, serious heart searching, and patient sowing of the seed have been replaced by methods that guarantee instant results. Results, yes; fruit, no. You cannot have fruit without roots, and you cannot have roots unless you dig deep; and that takes time.

I recently read again an address that Spurgeon gave to his Pastors' College students and alumni back in 1881, and I was struck by his closing words: "Do not be afraid of hard work for Christ; a terrible reckoning awaits those who have as easy time in the ministry, but a great reward is in reserve for those who endure all things for the elect's sake."

Beware of the high cost of shortcuts. p. 15

Faith is not believing in spite of evidence; it is obeying in spite of consequence. p. 24

Times of adversity are always times of opportunity. "For a great and effective door has opened to me, " wrote Paul , "and there are many adversaries" (1 Cor. 16:9). When you look at the difficulties through God, they turn into opportunities, and you see open doors. p. 24

Corporate worship is only as good as what each person brings to it, and that means each of us must spend time alone with the Lord. p. 40

There is a subtle danger in cramming ourselves full of Bible knowledge that never really gets into our inner person. We start equating knowledge with spirituality , and activity with ministry; and then we start living on substitutes. Manton also said, "Then end of study is information, and the need of meditation is practice." He is right. Knowing Bible facts is not the same as receiving Bible truths and making them a vital part of our inner person. p. 48

The bridge between learning and living is meditating-prayer over the Word, pondering it, applying it to our own lives. p. 49

When some American visitors asked Charles Haddon Spurgeon the secret of his ministry, the great preacher quietly replied, "My people pray for me." p. 50

Said Spurgeon, "Texts will often refuse to reveal their treasure till you open them with the key of prayer." p. 51

"Beloved brethren, " said Spurgeon to his ministerial students, "let us pray. We cannot all argue, but we can all pray; we cannot all be leaders, but we can all be pleaders; we cannot all be mighty in rhetoric, but we can all be prevalent in prayer. I would sooner see you eloquent with God than with men." p. 53

The way we respond to criticism depends on the way we respond to praise. If praise humbles us, then criticism will crush us; and both responses lead to defeat. p. 60

William Lyon Phelps, who headed the English department at Yale for many years, used to say that a knowledge of the Bible apart from a college education is more valuable than a college education without a knowledge of the Bible. He was right.

The person who chooses to ignore Jesus Christ is actually destroying himself; for Jesus Christ came as man to show us what God wanted us to be. He came as man that He might die to make us what God wanted us to be. p. 82

We are supposed to "proclaim the praises" of God who saved us (1 Peter 2:9)-which literally means "to advertise God's wonderful character"-and yet we busy ourselves competing among ourselves and arguing who is the greatest. p. 87

"Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21 NASB). We must pull out the weeds before we can receive the seeds. p. 92

What was the Word of God before 1611 when the King James Version was published? What is the Word of God on the mission field where people cannot read English? Who authorized the King James Version to be the Word of God?

If some person or group authorized a translation to be the Word of God, then that person or group would have a higher authority than the Bible itself. And it is inconceivable that the great saints and martyrs from Pentecost to 1611 did not have the Word of God. It is even more inconceivable that our missionaries, who dedicate their lives to the translation and distribution of the Bible, are wasting their time on publications that are not the Word of God. p. 111

We Christians pride ourselves on not being worldly. We shun alcohol, tobacco, and impure entertainment; but at the same time we join the world's rat race and compete with each other for all the time we can get. We forget that God gives each of us only twenty-four hours a day. The entire universe operates a day at a time while we attempt to cram a week's work into a weekend.

In the final analysis, it still takes time to be holy. The great masters of the spiritual life in church history were not jet-propelled. They were not afraid to be alone, to wait. When I was in high school, I had to read John Milton's "Sonnet on His Blindness;" and for the life of me, I could not understand the meaning of the last line: "They also serve who only stand and wait." Today, I have a better grasp of what the blind English poet was trying to say, even though I may not always practice it. p. 126

Who knows? If all of us slowed down a bit, if we cancelled a few meetings from the church calendar, if we took time to wait before God in prayer, we might see God work in wonderful ways. We might see some fractured marriages mended again, some discordant ministries brought back into God's harmony, some exhausted believers given new strength and zeal for God. We might even see revival!

Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10).

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Your Own Jesus

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns has written a fantastic book, Your Own Jesus: A God Insistent on Making It Personal. Mark has a way of making his writing to speak to the reader, much like the songs he sings. I trust you will be blessed by the quotes below:

It all comes down to the tension between the god we want and the God who is.

The god we want fills our belly; the God who is fills us with the Holy Spirit. The god we want is happy in the middle; the God who is reigns from on high. The god we want looks like us; the God who is wants us to be a reflection of Him.

The god we want shows up in comfortable non-verses that we assume are in the Bible but really aren't. God helps those who helps themselves. God blesses the rich so they can bless others. God won't give you anything you can't handle. These "verses" describe the god we wish we had, rather than the God who is.

What will the real God do? He'll put us out in the middle of a sea and tell us to walk on it. He'll place us before a giant with a rock and a sling. He'll allow a tornado or cancer or a heart attack or a foreclosure or a job loss or a death to come our way. He will give us more than we can handle just to show us that only He can handle things. p. 87

We can't change people, but God can use us as agents while He changes people-if we are willing. p. 130

To order this book click here!

When I Lay My Isaac Down

Carol Kent's book, When I Lay My Isaac Down, is a must read for everyone who has adult children. She tells her own story with the hope of helping others. I have quoted a lot from her book below in hopes you will read the entire book.

When we fully understand that we are in a spiritual battle, that the world is not our home, just a “stopping off” place, we can begin to get excited about having a short time to engage in the battle raging around us. The Enemy wants us to waste our time generating anger toward others, ruminating over personal betrayals and over injustices due to sickness, accidents, and evil. He wants to destroy our ability to function productively and to disengage us from inspiring others to be Christ-follo9wers. He wants us to give up and die or to control everything around us in such a tight-fisted manner that we’re tied up in a ridiculous knots. p. 27

We can hug our hurts and make a shrine out of our sorrows or we can offer them to God as a sacrifice of praise. The choice is ours. Richard Exley p. 33

Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God’s love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out his wonderful plan of love. Eric Liddell p.93

The kind of faith God values seems to develop best when everything fuzzes over, when God stays silent, when the fog rolls in. Philip Yancey p. 113

I’ve discovered and astonishing truth: God is attracted to weakness. He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need him. Jim Cymbala p. 162

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message) p. 162

Without purpose, a person begins to die a slow death. Our confusion about finding purpose in life comes when we perceive that meaning is only experienced when we reach a predetermined goal or a sought-after resolution to a challenging problem. But Oswald Chambers reframes the concept of purpose this way:

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish—His purpose is the process itself….It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God. Oswald Chambers P. 163

(God) loves us when we don’t want Him to love us. He loves when we don’t act like Christians. He loves us when our lives are a mess. His love is sticky: resistant to rejection, aggressive, and persistent. The challenge is on, so go ahead, resist his love, run from it, hide from it. Go ahead and try. Michael Yaconelli P. 186

To order this book click here!

He Chose the Nails

Someone gave me several of Max Lucado books. I have enjoyed reading them. Below are a few of his quotes from the book, He Chose the Nails. It is an awesome read.

There is no one God won’t use. p. 44

There is no language God will not speak. p. 44

Every passerby could read the sign, for every passerby could read Hebrew, Latin, or Greek—the three great languages of the ancient world. Hebrew was the language of Israel, the language of religion; Latin the language of the Romans, the language of law and government; and Greek the language of Greece, the language of culture. Chris was declared king in them all. p. 45

If you are interested in purchasing this book, please click here!

The Family

The Family
Braves Game 2012