Monday, April 29, 2013

"A sermon born in the head reaches the head; a sermon born in the heart reaches the heart."

“Brethren, we could well manage to be half as intellectual (of the modern pseudo kind) if we were twice as spiritual. Preaching is a spiritual business. A sermon born in the head reaches the head; a sermon born in the heart reaches the heart. Under God, a spiritual preacher will produce spiritually minded people.” [Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1959; 1987), 20.]

"Too many dead men in pulpits giving out dead sermons to too many dead people."

“The tragedy of this late hour is that we have too many dead men in pulpits giving out too many dead sermons to too many dead people. Oh! the horror of it. There is a strange thing I have seen “under the sun,” even in the fundamentalist circles; it is preaching without unction. What is unction? I hardly know. But I know what it is not (or at least I know when it is not upon my own soul). Preaching without unction kills instead of giving life. The unctionless preacher is a savor of death unto death. The Word does not live unless the unction is upon the preacher. Preacher, with all thy getting—get unction.” [Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1959; 1987), 20.]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bonhoeffer Quotes

“. . . only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.” (63)

“For faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience.” (64)

"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." (89)

[Deitrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 63, 64, and 89, respectively.

Praying for Richard Dawkins

Alister McGrath concludes his devastating critique of "New Atheism" with the following:

"I’d just finished giving a lecture in London early in 2010. A young man came up afterward and asked me to sign a copy of my textbook Christian Theology: An Introduction. I asked him what had led him to study theology. He told me that he’d read Richard Dawkin’s The God Delusion a year or so earlier and in seemed so unfair and one-sided that he felt he needed to hear the other side. So he started going to church. After a while he found he could not sustain his faith in the parody of when confronted with the real thing. He converted to Christianity—joyful and decisively. “Without Dawkins,” he told me, “I would never have given God a second thought.”

As I signed the book, the young man told me he had a theological question for me. Since The God Delusion had been instrumental in his conversion, should he thank God for Richard Dawkins in his prayers?

I’m still thinking about that one.”

[Alister McGrath, Why God Won’t Go Away: Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010), 147.]

Hast Thou No Scar?

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die: and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I
Hast thou no wound?
No wound, no scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And, pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?

—Amy Carmichael

If God Is Dead Everything Is Justifiable

“As Dostoevski said, if God is dead everything is justifiable.
This, may I suggest, is North America’s predicament. This is the albatross around our educator’s necks. This is the goad that keeps stabbing away at us as we bleed one another. We continue to talk of values and ethics; we persist in establishing moral boundaries for others while erasing the lines that are drawn for life itself. If my happiness is a right and the ultimate goal of life, why worry about anyone else’s claims to happiness? And if I must worry about someone else’s happiness, whose?—and why his or hers and not another’s? If life is pointless, why should ethics serve any purpose except my own? If I am merely the product of nature and at the mercy of material determinism, why should I subject myself to anyone else’s moral convictions?”

[Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God? (Dallas: Word, 1994), 39-40.]

"Where Sin Is Concerned, People Mumble Now."

“Where sin is concerned, people mumble now.”

[Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 12.]

Church Discipline

“Recovery of the practice of church discipline in our congregations is absolutely essential if the church today is to end the scandal of cheap grace and gross disobedience.” (109)

John Calvin on Church Discipline: “As the saving doctrine of Christ is the soul of the church, so discipline forms the ligaments which connect the members together, and keep each in its proper place. Whoever, therefore, desire either the abolition of all discipline, or obstruct its restoration, whether they act from design for inadvertency, they certainly promote the entire dissolution of the church.” (114)

Haddon Robinson on Church Discipline: “Too often now when people join a church, they do so as consumers. If they like the product, they stay. If they do not, they leave. They can no more imagine a church disciplining them than they could a store that sells goods disciplining them. It is not the place of the seller to discipline the consumer. In our churches we have a consumer mentality.” (115) [Quoted in Marlin Jeschke, Disciplining in the Church: Recovering a Ministry of the Gospel (Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press, 1988), 143.]

[All three quotes found in Ronald J. Sider, The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), 109, 114, 115, respectively.]

BOTH Justification AND Sanctification

“Any notion that salvation is just forgiveness or that Christians can have justification without sanctification is as far from the New Testament teaching as heaven is from hell.”

[Ronald J. Sider, The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), 69.]

Sin Should Be the Exception Rather than the Rule

Secular Sociologist and Agnostic Alan Wolfe writes: “In no other area of religious practice, especially for evangelicals, is the gap between the religion as it is supposed to be and religion as it actually is as great as it is in the area of sin.”

Alan Wolfe, The Transformation of American Religion: How We Actually Live Our Faith (New York: Free Press, 2003), 184.

Lord, Help Us to Act Like Jesus

"American Christianity has largely failed since the middle of the twentieth century because Jesus’ modern-day disciples do not act like Jesus."

George Barna, Think Like Jesus (Nashville: Integrity, 2003), 40.

The Quality of a Tree is Ascertained by its Fruits

“There is no ascertaining the quality of a tree but by its fruits. When the wheels of a clock move within, the hands on the dial will move without. When the heart of a man is sound in conversion, then the life will be fair in profession. When the conduit is walled in, how shall we judge of the spring but by the waters which run through the pipes?” (William Secker, quoted in Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, 1.181; cf. Psalm 15:2)

A Multiplicity of gods Equals a Multiplicity of Griefs

“Matthew Henry pithily says, ‘They that multiply gods multiply griefs to themselves; for whosoever thinks one god too little, will find two too many, and yet hundreds not enough.’” (Matthew Henry, quoted by Spurgeon in The Treasury of David, 1.194, while commenting on Psalm 16:5)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

God's Promises are Yea and Amen

“Man’s words are yea and nay, but the Lord’s promises are yea and amen.”

(Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, 1.143)

Perseverance of the Saints

“For true grace well planted in the heart, how weak, soever, shall hold out for ever. All total decays come from this—that the heart was never truly mollified, nor grace deeply and kindly rooted therein.” (John Ball, quoted by Spurgeon in The Treasury of David, 1.205)

"God Was Taking My Picture."

“A mother watched as her daughter hopped off the school bus and scampered toward her house in a pouring rainstorm. As the little girl ran toward the house, a lightning bolt flashed and the little girl stopped, looked up toward the sky and smiled, then began running back toward the house.
Another lightning bolt flashed, again the little girl stopped, looked toward the sky, and smiled before running once more toward the open door of her house.
When the little girl finally arrived in her house, her Mother immediately asked about her strange behavior. ‘Why did you keep stopping and smiling at the sky?’ she asked her daughter. ‘I had to, Mommy,’ the little girl explained. ‘God was taking my picture.’”

Morality without Christianity

“On the other side, morality must not be without religion, for it so, it may change as I see convenience. Religion must govern it. He that has not religion to govern his morality, is not a dram better than my mastiff-dog; so long as you stroke him, and please him, and do not pinch him, he will play with you as finely as may be, he is a very good moral mastiff; but if you hurt him, he will fly in your face, and tear out your throat.”

(John Seldon, 1584-1654, quoted by Spurgeon, commenting on Psalm 15:3-5, in The Treasury of David, 1.185)

"It is Better to Die Upon Our Feet Than To Live Upon Our Knees."

“A journalist relates a great incident of the Spanish Civil War. There was a little garrison of beleaguered men. The end was near and some wished to surrender and so to save their lives; but others wished to fight on. The matter was settled when a gallant soul declared: “It is better to die upon our feet than to live upon our knees.”” [William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, rev. ed. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1975), 221.]

Be Kissed by the Son so that You May Kiss Him

“Indeed, the Son must first kiss us by his mercy, before we can kiss him by our piety.” (Thomas Adams, quoted by Spurgeon, commenting on Psalm 2:12, in The Treasury of David, 1.20)

Concentrate on the Depth of Ministry and God Will Take Care of its Breadth

“If you concentrate on the depth of your ministry, God will take care of the breadth of it.” —John MacArthur

The Missionary Mindset

“I have but one candle to burn and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.”

—John Keith Falconer

God's Anointed is Appointed and Shall Not Be Disappointed

“God’s Anointed is appointed, and shall not be disappointed.” (Spurgeon, commenting on Psalm 2:6, in The Treasury of David, 1.11)

Whose Child Are You?

“Every liar is a child of the devil, and will be sent home to his father.”

(Spurgeon, commenting on Psalm 24:4, in The Treasury of David, 1.376)

We Only Bear the Burden of the Hour

God broke our years into hours and days,
That hour by hour and day by day,
Just going on a little way,
We might be able, all along,
To keep quite strong.

Should all the weight of life be laid
Across our shoulders at just one place,
And the future, rife with woe and struggle,
Meet us face to face,
We could not go;
Our feet would stop, and so
God lays a little on us every day.

And never, I believe in all life’s way,
Will burdens bear so deep,
Or pathways lie so steep,
But we can go, if, by God’s power,
We only bear the burden of the hour.

—Author Unknown

[Quoted in David Jeremiah, Turning Toward Joy (Wheaton: Scripture Press, 1992), 172.]


People are illogical,
Unreasonable and self-centered;
Love them anyway.

If you do good
People will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Do good anyway.

If you are successful,
You will win false friends and true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today
Will be forgotten tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness
Make you vulnerable;
Be honest and frank anyway.

For you see, in the end
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

—Kent M. Keith

"Hello. My name is Mr. Red Ears."

“A young man came to a family reunion with extremely red ears. He explained that he had been intently watching the championship football game on TV. His wife was standing near his chair, doing the ironing, and she had set the phone on the ironing board so she could talk to her mother while she worked. When she left to hang up the ironed clothes in the closet, the phone rang.
‘I was deeply engrossed in the game at that point,’ the man said. ‘So, keeping my eyes glued to the television, I reached for the phone but grabbed the hot iron instead and put it to my ear.’
‘But how did both ears get burned?’ someone asked.
“I hadn’t any more than hung up,’ the man said, ‘when the guy called back!’”

A Smile

A smile costs nothing, but gives much.
In enriches those who receive it, without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it,
And none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business,
and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad,
and it is nature’s best antidote to trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is of no value
to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.
Give them yours, as none needs a smile so much
As he who has no more to give.


"Backsliders Begin with Dusty Bibles"

“We should keep the image of God so constantly before us that we become in our measure conformed unto it. This inner love to the right must be the main spring of Christian integrity in our public walk. The fountain must be filled with love to holiness, and then the streams which issue from it will be pure and gracious. . . . To put away the Scriptures from the mind’s study is the certain way to prevent their influencing the outward conversion. Backsliders begin with dusty Bibles, and go on to filthy garments.” (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, 1.243)