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 Travail in prayer, hard study, serious heart searching, and patient sowing of the seed have been replaced by methods that guarantee instant results.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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