Thursday, April 30, 2009

“My soul – never be satisfied within a shadowy Christ. … I cannot know Christ through another person’s brains. I cannot love him with another man’s heart, and I cannot see him with another man’s eyes. … I am so afraid of living in a second-hand religion. God forbid that I should get a biographical experience. Lord save us from having borrowed communion. No, I must know him myself. O God, let me not be deceived in this. I must know him without fancy or proxy; I must know him on my own account.”
-Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I want the real kind.

Lately the Lord's been making alive to me the call to genuine, authentic faith. The kind of faith that proved Abraham to be righteous, the kind of faith that is believing without seeing, the kind of faith that does not waver in unbelief but is strengthened and God-glorifying (Romans 4:20). The kind of faith that must be Spirit-led and not man-labored.
"After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law or because you believe what you heard?" (Gal. 3:3,5) This is the faith, the real kind of faith, that I desire.

Pseudo faith always arranges a way out to serve in case God fails. Real faith knows only one way and gladly allows itself to be stripped of any second way or makeshift substitutes. For true faith, it is either God or total collapse. And not since Adam first stood up on earth has God failed a single man or woman who trusted Him.

The man of pseudo faith will fight for his verbal creed but refuse flatly to allow himself to get into a predicament where his future must depend upon that creed being true. He always provides himself with secondary ways of escape so he will have a way out if the roof caves in.

The faith of Paul or Luther was a revolutionizing thing. It upset the whole life of the individual and made him into another person altogether. It laid hold on the life and brought it under obedience to Christ. It took up its cross and followed along after Jesus with no intention of going back. It said goodbye to its old friends as certainly as Elijah when he stepped into the fiery chariot and went away in the whirlwind. It had a finality about it … It realigned all life’s actions and brought them into accord with the will of God.

What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now, as they must do at the last day. For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God! Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away and we shall have only God. To the man of pseudo faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.

It would be a tragedy indeed to come to the place where we have no other but God and find that we had not really been trusting God during the days of our earthly sojourn. It would be better to invite God now to remove every false trust, to disengage our hearts from all secret hiding places and to bring us out into the open where we can discover for ourselves whether we actually trust Him. This is a harsh cure for our troubles, it is a sure one! Gentler cures may be too weak to do the work. And time is running out on us.

-A.W. Tozer

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where O Death Is Your Sting?

This weekend, I'm struggling and failing to grasp and cherish what Christ did for me in His submission to death and victory over death. Lord, have mercy on me according to your unfailing love.

This is straight up cut and pasted from John Piper's blog, Desiring God. I read it yesterday morning, then again 10 minutes later, then again in the afternoon, then again 15 minutes later, then again that night.. it pumped me up with some much-needed Truth.

A Conversation with Death on Good Friday


Hello, Death, my old enemy. My old slave-master. Have you come to talk to me again? To frighten me?

I am not the person you think I am. I am not the one you used to talk to. Something has happened. Let me ask you a question, Death.

Where is your sting?

DEATH, sneeringly:

My sting is your sin.


I know that, Death. But that’s not what I asked you. I asked, where is your sting? I know what it is. But tell me where it is.

Why are you fidgeting, Death? Why are you looking away? Why are you turning to go? Wait, Death, you have not answered my question. Where is your sting?

Where is, my sin?

What? You have no answer? But, Death, why do you have no answer? How will you terrify me, if you have no answer?

O Death, I will tell you the answer. Where is your sting? Where is my sin? It is hanging on that tree. God made Christ to be sin—my sin. When he died, the penalty of my sin was paid. The power of it was broken. I bear it no more.

Farewell, Death. You need not show up here again to frighten me. God will tell you when to come next time. And when you come, you will be his servant. For me, you will have no sting.

O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Some ramblings from an overwhelmed heart

The last couple weeks have been craziness for can be seen by my recent abandonment of my blogging. But I'm still here! And I praise God that my blog-abandonment has come not from having nothing to write about, but because He has been teaching me and showing me so many different things that it's an overwhelming thought to even attempt to put it to words. His sovereign grace and mercy in drawing me to Him continues to be cause for MUCH rejoicing in my heart for I believe that it is "God alone who works in me to will and act according to His good purpose" (Philippians 2:13) and that I come to Him not out of any effort or striving of my own, but that this desire for Him "is not of ourselves- it is a gift of God, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8). I give glory to God that His merciful love for me continues to set my heart on loving and desiring Him alone, even as my disobedience and fickle heart should dictate that He give up on me and allow me to stray to other things.

As I look back on these past years of following Jesus, I clearly see that the only fitting response to them is praise and adoration for this God who saved me from death by His grace, delivers me from my slavery to sin, sanctifies me through the workings of the Holy Spirit, delivers me to righteousness through the blood of the Son, and lavishes joy and hope upon my heart for the present life of following Him and a future spent in eternity with Him. Wow. What could be greater? How could I do anything but humbly fall before Him in praise and worship? Maybe the more convicting question is WHY don't I fall before Him constantly, incessantly in praise and worship for these things that are far weightier than any worldly blessing that my heart gets hung up on?? I have ALL I NEED in the person of Jesus Christ who paid the debt for my sins on Calvary and delivered me to righteousness through His blood so that I may be blameless in the eyes of the Lord. Ahhh, even typing these truths is blowing me away right now, I'm kinda going crazy at the thought of how SWEET the reality of all of this is.... I pray that these truths would be so deeply set in the heart and soul of Christians today that our JOY is firmly rooted in CHRIST ALONE and that it is not contingent upon worldly circumstances.

Ok enough ramblings (sometimes I'm not sure that my thoughts are even coherent to others so sorry if they're hard to follow!)

Here's a good book I'm reading right now and its free online, yes I said FREE. Pretty much John Piper is the man and everything I've heard him say has blessed my life immensely...the stuff that my limited mind can retain, anyway.

Here are some excerpts that struck a chord in my heart.

Marriage, as we know it in this age, is not the final destiny of any human. In fact, there is some warrant for thinking that the kinds of self-denial involved in singleness could make one a candidate for greater capacities for love in the age to come.
No one has left anything for the sake of the kingdom, says the Lord Jesus, who will not receive back far more (Matthew 19:27-30). Many unmarried people have strengthened their hands with this truth. For example, Trevor Douglas, a single missionary with Regions Beyond Missionary Union, working in the Philippines among the Ifugao people, wrote in 1988:

'In the end, however, Christians know that Jesus will more than make up for every cost incurred by being a single male missionary. As I have applied his promises in Matthew 19:27-30 to myself, I see a tremendous exchange taking place in eternity. The social cost of not fitting in a couple’s world will be exchanged for socializing with Jesus around his throne. I’ll trade the emotional cost of loneliness and the family hurt for companionship with new fathers, mothers, and families. I’ll exchange the physical cost for spiritual children. And when I’m snubbed, I love to think of eternity and the privilege of going from the last of the gospel preachers to the head of the line. The rewards are worth everything.'

That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home, the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world; that you not only pose the question: career or full-time homemaker?, but that you ask just as seriously: full-time career or freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom- to work for someone who tells you what to do to make his or her business prosper, or to be God’s free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and
your creativity could make God’s business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or upward lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the faith of the family and advance the cause of Christ.

That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s needs.

With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world.

Piper's wisdom on singleness and male/female roles is awesome and very relevant for us as Christians. Hope these bits and pieces will serve to encourage you to read some of his stuff!

Ok, longest blog post ever...finished.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"I will go before you and will level the mountains,
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
Riches stored in secret places
So that you may know that
the LORD
who summons YOU by NAME."

Isaiah 45:3