Nothing makes God more supreme and more central in worship than when a people are utterly persuaded that nothing - not money or prestige or leisure or family or job or health or sports or toys or friends - nothing is going to bring satisfaction to their sinful, guilty, aching hearts besides God.
Suffering in the path of Christian obedience, with joy - because the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life (Psalm 63:3) - is the clearest display of the worth of God in our lives. Therefore, faith-filled suffering is essential in this world for the most intense, authentic worship. When we are most satisfied with God in suffering, he will be most glorified in us in worship. Our problem is not styles of music. Our problem is styles of life. When we embrace more affliction for the worth of Christ, there will be more fruit in the worship of... Read more »
What is sin? It is the glory of God not honored. The holiness of God not reverenced. The greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The beauty of God not treasured. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized. The person of God not loved. That is sin.
A woman who fears the Lord will not run away from God to satisfy her longings and relieve her anxieties. She will wait for the Lord. She will hope in God. She will stay close to the heart of God and trust in his promises. The prospect of departing into the way of sin will be too fearful to pursue; and the benefits of abiding in the shadow of the Almighty too glorious to forsake.
Life and death! They seem like complete opposites-at great enmity with each other. But for Paul-and for all who share his faith-there is a unity, because the same great passion is fulfilled in both-namely, that Christ be magnified in this body-our bodies-whether by life or by death.
I've never heard anyone say the really deep lessons of life have come in times of ease and comfort. But, I have heard many saints say every significant advance I've ever made in grasping in the depth of God's love and growing deep with Him, have come through suffering.
My take on tithing in America is that it's a middle-class way of robbing God. Tithing to the church and spending the rest on your family is not a Christian goal. It's a diversion. The real issue is: How shall we use God's trust fund-namely, all we have-for His glory? In a world with so much misery, what lifestyle should we call our people to live? What example are we setting?
He has made me wary of chronological snobbery. That is, he showed me that newness is no virtue and oldness is no vice. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern. This has freed me from the tyranny of novelty and opened for me the wisdom of the ages.
It is a myth that man in his natural state is genuinely seeking God. Men do seek God. But they do not seek him for who he is. They seek him in a pinch as one who might preserve them from death or enhance their worldly enjoyments. Apart from conversion, no one comes to the light of God.
God has given us prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie so that we can call headquarters for everything we need as the kingdom of Christ advances in the world. Prayer gives us the significance of front-line forces, and gives God the glory of a limitless Provider. The one who gives the power gets the glory. Thus prayer safeguards the supremacy of God in missions while linking us with endless grace for every need.
Whenever your heart starts to be anxious about the future, preach to your heart and say, 'Heart, who do you think you are to be afraid of the future and nullify the promise of God? No, heart, I will not exalt myself with anxiety. I will humble myself in peace and joy as I trust this precious and great promise of God - He cares for me.'
Our obedience is God's pleasure when it proves that God is our treasure. This is good news, because it means very simply that the command to obey is the command to be happy in God. The commandments of God are only as hard to obey as the promises of God are hard to believe. The Word of God is only as hard to obey as the beauty of God is hard to cherish.
Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.
Sometimes people stumble over this vastness in relation to the apparent insignificance of man. It does seem to make us infinitesimally small. But the meaning of this magnitude is not mainly about us. It’s about God… The reason for ‘wasting’ so much space on a universe to house a speck of humanity is to make a point about our maker, not us.
We can be content with simplicity because the deepest most satisfying delights God gives us through creation are free gifts from nature and from loving relationships with people. After your basic needs are met, accumulated money begins to diminish your capacity for these pleasures rather than increase them. Buying things contributes absolutely nothing to the heart's capacity for joy.
Ways to be actively involved in the solution: 1. Consider adoption. 2. Be a regular giver of your money to Crisis Pregnancy Centers. 3. Volunteer in a Crisis Pregnancy Center. 4. Be involved in spreading truth with good literature. 5. Make your presence know at the abortion clinics in town (by) writing or phoning or visiting and talking, if you can, with those who work there. 6. Dream a new kind of ministry. 7. Pray!
When I pray for revival I pray first for the most radical thing: The utter devotion and allegiance of your hearts to Christ. That you would love Him so deeply and long for Him so passionately that His coming would be your great hope, and death would be gain, and life would be for Christ and His kingdom.
If we were made to watch a doctor pull off the little baby's legs and arms one by one and place them on the table like a dentist removing cotton from your mouth - if all Americans were made to see what it really is, the pro-life goal of abortion being unthinkable (not just illegal) would be much nearer.
God took the record of all your sins-all your sexual failures-that made you a debtor to wrath, and instead of holding them up in front of your face and using them as the warrant to send you to hell, he put them in the palm of his Son’s hand and nailed them to the cross.