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Pray for Burmese Christians February 28, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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While Joe has been MIA today (and for the last couple of days, I might say!), I have been trying to keep things rolling with a few short posts today. I know I had intended to get down some thoughts on living in light of the Judgment, as we had gotten into over the last couple of days. I will try my best to do that tomorrow.

But as for now, here is a prayer request I received just recently from Voice of the Martyrs. Hearing these stories and lifting up our prayers on their behalf is far more important than anything I’ve got to write:

BURMA Military Government Asks for List of Christians – VOM Sources
The government in Burma has again asked for lists of all the names of Christian children’s homes, assemblies, church pastors, leaders, members and families. The military government has also fixed the time for worship which forbids Christians to meet outside these “official” times. Christian leaders in Burma do not know what the government is going to do with the lists. Pray God gives Christians in Burma wisdom and boldness during this time. Pray for protection of all Christians and ask their experience may draw non-believers into the knowledge of Christ. Revelation 2:10

Thought-Provoking Quote February 28, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes.
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Joe,

Must be another busy day for you.  What do you think about this quote from A.B. Simpson?  I came across it today, and I’ve been running it through my mind a bit:

“Being filled with the fullness of God is like a bottle in the ocean. You take the cork out of the bottle and sink it in the ocean, and you have the bottle completely full of ocean. The bottle is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the bottle. The ocean contains the bottle, but the bottle contains only a little bit of the ocean. So it is with the Christian.”

A Living Miracle February 28, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Links.
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“Sometimes you just can’t explain these things.  Science only takes us so far. There are a lot of us who think God helped us out here, that this is a miracle. Somehow we were allowed to do something that was bigger than all of us.”

These are the words of Miami obstetrician Guillermo Lievano after delivering 21-week six-day old Amillia Taylor, who weighed just 10 ounces, and appears to be the youngest premature baby ever to survive, beating the record by more than a week.

Check out the whole article here.

Wednesday Morning Prayer February 28, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Father, help us to feast upon Your Word. Christ prayed that we would be sanctified in the truth, and Your Word is truth. Apart from Your revelation of Yourself, we have no power to equip us for godliness. May Your Word take deep root in us, bearing fruit in our lives that would testify to Your incomparable grace. Forbid that we should neglect any of Your precious revelation; all of it is profitable. Therefore we hinder our own maturity and belittle the sufficiency of Your Word if we neglect any of it. Empower us today, by the power of Your living and abiding Word, for every good work that You have prepared from all eternity for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).

Larry

Reconsidering the Self-Esteem Movement February 27, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Links.
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Joe,

I think I’ll get to my further thoughts on Judgment tomorrow.  I just read an article and felt compelled to post some thoughts…or more accurately, some quotes.  Obviously I don’t have to tell you about the negative effects of the self-esteem movement. But I was encouraged to read this article on CNN’s website, which shows that even secular psychologists are seeing the damage of the self-esteem (non) gospel. A few exerpts:

NEW YORK (AP) — Today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.

“We need to stop endlessly repeating ‘You’re special’ and having children repeat that back,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. “Kids are self-centered enough already.”

And the researchers have a good idea what has caused this upsurge in self-absorption:

The researchers traced the phenomenon back to what they called the “self-esteem movement” that emerged in the 1980s, asserting that the effort to build self-confidence had gone too far.

As an example, Twenge cited a song commonly sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques” in preschool: “I am special, I am special. Look at me.”

“Current technology fuels the increase in narcissism,” Twenge said. “By its very name, MySpace encourages attention-seeking, as does YouTube.”

One last short clip:

Campbell said the narcissism upsurge seemed so pronounced that he was unsure if there were obvious remedies.

“Permissiveness seems to be a component,” he said. “A potential antidote would be more authoritative parenting. Less indulgence might be called for.”

Of course we know the real solution: a breathtaking sight of the matchless glory of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world, and triumphantly risen and seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High. It is sad that, as the secular world begins to see the dead end of self-esteem, that so many in the Church are still proclaiming improved self-worth as the pathway to true happiness. When will we learn?

Larry

The New Monergism February 27, 2007

Posted by Joe in Links.
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Lar,

I’m sure you have already seen this, but I just had to mention the new design over at Monergism.com. It always was a great site, but I did have a hard time using it because of the design. The new look and format is wonderful. I did some searching and am thankful for the changes. It’s been said before by us, but this really is a great site for any question you might have as a Christian. I would encourage anyone to take 10-15 minutes (not 10-15 hours!) to search the site and become acquainted for future use. I praise the Lord for granting the church this online resource.

Seeking Him with you,

Joe

Reflecting on the Judgment February 27, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Scripture Meditation.
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Joe,

As I have had a day to reflect on the issue you raised yesterday regarding the judgment, it has struck me how much there is to say on this. In no way will we exhaust this issue in a few posts! I thought I would try to move us forward a bit by doing three things: 1. Show some Scripture to show that we will be judged by our works; 2. Specifically show the connection between our words and the Judgment, which you mentioned yesterday and was the initial question; 3. Give a practical application for how the doctrine of the Final Judgment ought to affect the way we live.

So first, a little Scripture. I’ll just post two passages of Scripture:

“5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6He will render to each one according to his works: 7to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11For God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2:5-11).

Here is Paul, that great champion and defender of justification by faith alone, saying quite clearly that God will render to each one “according to his works.” And John writes in Revelation 20,

“11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Other verses could be shown, but these are a couple to show that the Day of Judgment will be a day in which people will be judged according to our works. And I thought your succinct summary of how this relates to being justified by faith was so good that I’ll just quote you: “We will ultimately and finally be judged by our works and words because they serve to reveal plainly before God whether or not our faith was real.” Amen, brother! That is well said. And stunningly, you show us that you can be succinct!!

I think your statement leads directly to the second thing I wanted to touch on, which was the connection with the initial question that was asked about giving an account of our words. I’m guessing that the question arose from contemplation of Matthew 12:34ff. And what we see there is, I think, a confirmation that we will be judged by our words in the sense that our words reveal what is in our hearts. Jesus said,

“34You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.””

We cannot consider verses 36-37 without seeing the connection with what has just been said. The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart. If the heart is good (ie. love for and faith in Christ), then the words coming out of the mouth will reflect that heart transformation, which is wrought by God in the New Birth leading to our receiving of Christ by faith. But if our speech is regularly filthy and corrupt, that is a revelation that our hearts are filled with that same corruption.

I want to stress the word ‘regularly’ in the sentence above, so as to comfort a person who might read this and think that because they snapped one time and had a harsh, bitter word come out of their mouths, that they must have an evil heart and are going to hell. I don’t think that is the conclusion to draw. When Jesus says that a good tree does not bear bad fruit, He does not mean that we will never sin. A good tree might every once in awhile produce a rotten piece of fruit. But if the fruit is constantly rotten, then we really don’t have a good tree, do we?

So the issue with words is, in my humble opinion, a situation of the pattern of our lives. We should not be tolerant of the little outbursts that happen; it should be our aim to crucify those remnants of the old man. But if God has made us new, then Matthew 12 seems to teach that our new nature ought to be manifest in consistently speaking words of life, not death.

Well, that was two of my three points, and this is getting a bit long. I’ll save the application that I was thinking about for later today, or perhaps tomorrow.

Seeking to have the mouth of the righteous, which is a fountain of life,

Larry

Tuesday Morning Prayer February 27, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; 2to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,” (Psalm 92:1-2)

It is good to sing praises to You, for You are most worthy of our worship.  Grant us grace this day, Lord, to desire nothing else on earth but You (Psalm 73:25).  Put a new song in our hearts today, and grant us to rejoice in You with affections that are worthy of such infinite greatness.  Comfort us today with Your steadfast love, which You have displayed for us once and for all on the Cross of Calvary.  Forbid that we should ever doubt Your faithfulness toward us.  You who did not spare Your own Son, but delivered Him up for our sakes, how will You not also with Him, freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)?  So help us, Lord, to embrace Your love and to declare it to others for their enjoyment.  Make our lives instruments for the hallowing of the name of Jesus.

Larry

Thinking Rightly about God February 26, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes.
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Joe,

Thanks for getting the ball rolling on that question about the day of judgment. I am thinking that I’ll try to respond to that tomorrow, although I’ve got to say that your succinct answer was right on the money. While more could certainly be said, sometimes less is more. Your words were clear and biblical; perhaps the only thing left is to bring in some Scripture to show it and to reflect personally, as you suggested. But that is for another day.

I wanted to simply post a quote that is near to my heart right now. I have been doing some study of Romans 9 which, as you know, is a pretty heavy passage of Scripture. Particularly, Romans 9:18 is a verse that is pretty hotly debated about: “So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.” How are we to understand such amazing words? I am drawn to this quote from John Piper (yikes, that’s two quotes from him in one day; someone is likely to say we are obsessed with the man or something. I guess we’ll have to dig up some quotes from others for the rest of the week!):

“How shall we know God? How shall we know what God is like and how we are to think about him? When I ask myself this question, one response comes crashing into my mind with overwhelming certitude: human opinion counts for nothing. What you feel about the way God should be and what I feel about the way God should be counts for nothing. If someone rises up and makes a pronouncement about what they can believe and can’t believe about God, that is as significant in determining what is true about God as the creaking of a window in the wind. Human opinion counts for nothing in defining God.

Piper’s words are just a contemporary echo of what Paul had in mind when he penned these words to the Corinthians:

“20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21)

This is very helpful wisdom to remember as one probes the unsearchable riches of God’s wisdom laid out in Romans 9, and elsewhere in God’s holy Word.

Seeking to come humbly and reverently before God’s Word,

Larry

Question on the Judgment February 26, 2007

Posted by Joe in Scripture Meditation.
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Lar,I was actually posting at the same time you were brother! We are moving a little slow this Monday morning (even though it is late afternoon here!). Anyhow….here is what I posted.

I received this inquiry today and thought it was a good one. Things have been a bit slow for a Monday morning, but this might help to get the conversation started. Here it is….

“What is the day of judgment? And what does it mean that by your words you will be judge and give account of all that you have said on the day of judgment? All the awful things I have said, even if I have confessed and pray to have my heart changed and regenerated, will I still be judged on them?”

Now that is a big one for sure, but I thought it would be helpful to first give very succinct answers to the question. I do this not because I am crazy, but because sometimes that is what I want when I ask a clear question. Sometimes I think to myself, “Just give me the answer up front and then do some explanation!” So that is what I will do. Then I want to recommend one particular sermon that will surely serve to answer the question better than I. That will be it for this post, but then I figure, either you or I could compile some verses to support the brief points I’ll make here.

First, the Day of Judgment is that final day on which the Lord will judge every single human being perfectly and finally to either everlasting joy in His presence or everlasting destruction and suffering in hell.

That seems pretty succinct enough to me. Note: This judgment is upon every human being. It is final. It is perfect. It is complete. It stands forever.

Second, we hear the Bible state often that we will be judged on the basis of our works. Naturally, this includes the question of our being judged by our words. What is up with this? Aren’t we saved only on the basis of faith?

Succinct answer: We will ultimately and finally be judged by our works and words because they serve to reveal plainly before God whether or not our faith was real.

This makes sense right? Faith without good works and words is dead faith. If our faith is real, we will overflow in genuine works of righteousness and faithful speech. Thus, God can say that salvation is wholly by faith and that judgment is on the basis of works. Pretty straightforward I believe.

Lastly, here’s a sermon by John Piper that serves as a great answer to this question. I would encourage everyone to give it a read. Here’s a summary quote.

It is by grace we are saved through faith; not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. But the heart that is full of faith will overflow in attitudes and actions very different from those which flow from unbelief. Therefore, our deeds will testify truly to the genuineness or absence of faith, and it is not inconsistent for God to judge us according to our works. But we must understand that this judgment according to works does not mean we earn our salvation. Our deeds do not earn, they exhibit our salvation. Our deeds are not the merit of our righteousness, they are the mark of our new life in Christ. Our deeds are not sufficient to deserve God’s favor, but they do demonstrate our faith. Please keep that distinction clear in your mind regarding our attitudes and actions: they do not earn, they exhibit; they do not merit, they mark; they do not deserve, they demonstrate. And therefore, “God will render to every man according to his deeds,” including Christians.

That says it quite well right? Better than I could no doubt. There is also more treasure to be found in this sermon, so once again, I would encourage everyone to give it a read. Also, I would mention that we love to receive questions–right Lar? So please feel free to ask away!

Let’s talk a bit more about this, even if it means some personal reflection in response. For as we know, it isn’t enough to know about the judgment. We need to feel the force of this coming reality. We need to be stirred within by such truth. Lord willing, a post on this topic is coming!

Preparing for judgment,

Joe

Forgive, as you have been Forgiven February 26, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Scripture Meditation.
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Joe,

I thought you’d have a post up by now, but I guess things have been busy for you today. I myself am having a bit of trouble thinking of what I want to write about today. I had planned to post some overflow of my message from last night, but then we had to cancel our meeting last night because of snow. I’d rather preach it and then post it, so I will have to save that for next week. So I think I am just going to post some thoughts I had awhile back about Paul’s words in Ephesians 4, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

It’s never a bad idea to take a few moments to marvel at the miracle of God’s forgiveness in Christ. As I think about that verse in 4:32, I am reminded of the description that Paul gave earlier in Ephesians, in chapter 2, verses 1-9. The text doesn’t use the word forgiveness, but it should be pretty plain that this glorious picture is what God’s forgiveness looks like.

Here are three observations about what Ephesians 2:1-9 teaches us about God’s forgiveness. First, it is undeserved. We were objects of wrath before God intervened in our lives. We were hostile to Him, alienated from Him, pursuing the path of the enemy and were carrying out the desires of our bodies and minds. We hated God. There was nothing which would commend us to God as a likely recipient of forgiveness before God slaughtered His precious Son to purchase our forgiveness.

Second, God’s forgiveness was not first sought by the guilty party. It was initiated by the Forgiver, not the one in need of forgiveness. Twice in this passage Paul says that we were dead in our trespasses. Dead people don’t seek forgiveness, and neither were we before God mercifully raised us from the dead to bestow a kingdom upon us! Paul knew this truth well; he was on the way to Damascus to arrest some Christians when the risen Christ met him on that road and caused Paul to see the light of His glory. To be sure, we must receive the gift of forgiveness through faith; but that gift was presented to us while we were not in any way seeking it at all. In the words of a great hymn, “Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God.” Such were we when God showed us His mercy.

What implications does that have for the way we forgive one another? Perhaps you have said, “I’ll forgive so and so, but they haven’t come to me seeking forgiveness. If they come, I certainly will forgive them.” That may sound logical, but it’s not the way God forgave you; He sought you out while you were running the other way from Him to give you His forgiveness.

Third, God’s forgiveness wipes away our sin once and for all. This I take from the parallel to this text in Colossians 2:

13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

In the death of His Son, God set aside the record of our debt and nailed it to the cross once and for all. In that moment, our sin was forgiven and forgotten. So often I hear it said, “I am willing to forgive, but I can’t forget” the wrong that was done to you. But God says, “I, I am He, who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25). When Jesus said hanging from the cross, “It is finished”, He really meant it! This is the way that God has forgiven us: with gracious initiative that totally blots out our wrongdoing.

And this, Christians, is how we are called to forgive others when they offend us. May God give us the grace to truly know the riches of His forgiving love and grace, which will in turn empower us to reflect that grace to others, and so display Christ’s glory in our lives.

Larry

Monday Morning Prayer February 26, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you? 12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.

(Psalm 90:10-12)

Awaken us, Lord, to see the preciousness of time.  Our lives are but a vapor on this earth, and then we fly away, either to everlasting joy in heaven or everlasting torment in hell.  This is the end of every human being on the face of the earth.  May that truth cause us to number our days rightly, that we might live our lives with a heart of wisdom, redeeming the time.  Forbid that we should waste away this precious life on the endless trivialities that our culture bombards us.  ‘Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last’.  Grant us, O God, to be engaged today, and every day, in Your work.

One More Link February 25, 2007

Posted by Joe in Links.
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Lar,

Just wanted to add one more blog entry from Albert Mohler.  Note especially his final commentary.  What kept striking me was the clear connection between worldview and the killing of thousands.  Sadly, we in America somehow continue to deny it.  O brother, let us pray for an outpouring of the Spirit.  We are headed downhill fast.

Seeking Him with you,

Joe

Sunday Odds and Ends February 25, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Links.
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Joe,

I thought a few odds and ends might do well on this Sunday, as I put the final touches on my sermon for tonight.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a pair of sermons from John Piper on marriage; he is in the midst of a series, and from the way he is talking, it could go on for several more weeks. These messages have been a great blessing to me, because they are coming at marriage not merely from a practical, experiential viewpoint, but from a theological one. I would encourage the couples (as I did when I posted the first two) to watch these together. Here’s Part 3 and Part 4. I hope they’re a blessing.

In this short piece from Al Mohler, Mohler addresses something that he just couldn’t help but mention, though he had vowed not to: America’s fascination with Anna Nicole.

Here’s a great sermon by Jonathan Edwards. I know you have already read it, but it was the first thing I ever read by Edwards and it is a great introduction to him. It is not terribly difficult to read, and it lifts up a beautiful portrait of our Savior.

Finally, here’s some delightful song lyrics from Caedmon’s Call worth musing on:

I am thankful that I’m incapable
Of doing any good on my own

‘Cause we’re all stillborn and dead in our transgressions
We’re shackled up to the sin we hold so dear
So what part can I play in the work of redemption
I can’t refuse, I cannot add a thing

‘Cause I am just like Lazarus and I can hear your voice
I stand and rub my eyes and walk to You
Because I have no choice

Have a good Sunday,

Larry

A Must Read Post February 25, 2007

Posted by Joe in Links, Recommendations.
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Lar,

I don’t say that a lot, but this post on Paul Tripp’s blog stirred my soul and increased my joy in our great God! Actually, after looking through this blog, I want to wholeheartedly recommend it and add it to our blogroll! It’s a good one to check out for sure.

Peace brother,

Joe

Sunday Morning Prayer February 25, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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“41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:41-44).

O Father, help us to learn from our Savior how to pray. Whatever trials we may walk through, they cannot compare with the agony that Christ bore in the Gethsemane. Help us to pray with His fervor, and with His submission. “Being in agony, He prayed more earnestly…” In the midst of the storms of our soul, help us to run to You, and not run away from You. Grant us to pray with earnestness, Lord. Enliven our prayers from being mechanical and lifeless to being full of passion and intensity. And help us to always pray in reverent submission to You, “Now my will, but Yours be done.” Grant us to trust in Your perfect wisdom and in Your omnipotent power. You will withold nothing good from those who walk uprightly. So help us to offer everything to You in prayer.

Larry

Don’t Waste Your Life Podcast February 24, 2007

Posted by Joe in Links, Recommendations.
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Lar,

I’m thinking you may have seen this, but it looks great--a ‘Don’t Waste Your Life Podcast.’  I have already viewed the first 5 episodes and have been blessed.  Each episode is only a few minutes long, but they do stir your heart!

Laboring to make my life count,

Joe

The Need for Power February 24, 2007

Posted by Joe in Quotes.
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Lar,

It’s been awhile (for me at least) since I posted a Tozer quote. I received this one today in my email and was stirred. This is nothing fancy from him, but it speaks volumes about us even today. As you know, I long to see a day in the Church when quality is emphasized over quantity. It’s harder for sure, but that is exactly why it is more significant. In particular, to cultivate fellowship with the Holy Spirit takes a great deal of discipline. And sadly, we as a Church aren’t willing to practice such discipline. What might happen if we took much of our working and made it a waiting? How might God move? What mighty works might He (not we) do among us? Let us pray for the grace to become such quality men and faithfully call others to the same.

That being said, here is Tozer.

To please God, a person must be just an instrument for God to use. For a few seconds, picture in your mind the variety of wonderful and useful appliances we have in our homes. They have been engineered and built to perform tasks of all kinds. But without the inflow of electrical power they are just lumps of metal and plastic, unable to function and serve. They cannot do their work until power is applied from a dynamic outside source.

So it is in the work of God in the church. Many people preach and teach. Many take part in the music. Certain ones try to administer God’s work. But if the power of God’s Spirit does not have freedom to energize all they do, these workers might just as well stay home.

Natural gifts are not enough in God’s work. The mighty Spirit of God must have freedom to animate and quicken with His overtones of creativity and blessing.

Let’s labor to give the Spirit that freedom brother!

Seeking Him with you,

Joe

Saturday Morning Prayer February 24, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Prayer.
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28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Colossians 1:28-29)

Father, the world around us toils and labors for so many things: money, popularity, possessions, sexual pleasure, and the list could go on forever.  Help us to be laborers also, but to labor only for that which endures to eternity.  Help us to struggle with all the energy within us to present others mature in Christ.  Help us to proclaim Christ, to teach and encourage and rebuke others in the service of love.  And we praise You that the energy within us is not our own; we struggle with Your energy, that You powerfully work within us.  Energize our hearts today, Lord, for the joyful labor of seeing others conformed more to Your image and likeness.

Larry

Joyful Mourning February 23, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes.
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Joe,

Here’s my semi-regular hymn reflection. I can’t think of a more glorious truth to ponder that our Lord Jesus has been crucified. There is a mourning here, since it was our sin that nailed Christ to the Cross. Yet it is a joyful mourning, since His Cross bought our freedom from sin so that we could enjoy the riches of His glory forever.

O come and mourn with me awhile;
And tarry here the cross beside;
O come, together let us mourn;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

Have we no tears to shed for Him,
While soldiers scoff and foes deride?
Ah! look how patiently He hangs;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

How fast His hands and feet are nailed;
His blessed tongue with thirst is tied,
His failing eyes are blind with blood:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

Seven times He spoke, seven words of love;
And all three hours His silence cried
For mercy on the souls of men;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

Come, let us stand beneath the cross;
So may the blood from out His side
Fall gently on us drop by drop;
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

O break, O break, hard heart of mine!
Thy weak self-love and guilty pride
His Pilate and His Judas were:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

A broken heart, a fount of tears,
Ask, and they will not be denied;
A broken heart love’s cradle is:
Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.

O love of God! O sin of man!
In this dread act Your strength is tried;
And victory remains with love;
For Thou our Lord, art crucified!

Larry