The Days of Our Years

2015_std_t_nv2015In my traveling, I am doing more reading than writing (other than sermons !)

I read this this morning, enjoy!

The Days of Our Years

A few days after these words appear in print the old year of our Lord will have gone to join the long procession of years and centuries that move on into the shadows of a past that can come no more.
In the year just gone the world has been writing history, not with ink only but with blood and tears; not in the quiet of the study but in violence, terror and death in city streets and along the borders of nations; and other and milder but more significant history has been written by incredible feats of power in sending man-made objects out to circle the moon and the sun.
But what is more important is that each of us has also been writing history. That the church has made history is not so significant as that you have and I have. What is done by a group is possible only because individuals have been at work. A company cannot work as a company nor will it be judged as such. Paul by inspiration singled out the individual and stood him up alone to receive judgment:

Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13–15)

And again,

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

At that day there will be no hiding in the crowd. Each one will come carrying his own book of history under his arm. So we should close reverently the book of the year just gone; we shall see it again.
To each one fortunate enough to live out 1959, God will have given 365 days broken into 8,760 hours. Of these hours, 2,920 will have been spent in sleep, and about the same number at work. An equal number has been given us to spend in reverent preparation for the moment when days and years shall cease and time shall be no more. What prayer could be more spiritually appropriate than that of Moses, the man of God: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Tozer, A. W., & Verploegh, H. (1993). The warfare of the spirit (pp. 133–135). Camp Hill, PA.: WingSpread.

NAFWB Seminar – Evernote, Dropbox, Google & Ministry

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https://www.dropbox.com/s/8q6rmgdc6zieqns/DV-2013-07-22-140658.m4a

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http://t.co/hKSp6lynVa

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Taking the Hard Road to Further the Gospel

Taking the Hard Road to Further the Gospel

Paul and Agrippa – Acts 26

 

I love reading the book of Acts. My passion is the local church and when I journey through Luke’s accounting of the Acts of the Holy Spirit it sets my soul on fire! One of the characteristics of the apostle Paul that challenges me is that when faced with an opportunity for personal comfort over Gospel proclamation, he seized the chance to witness for Christ.

He is here before King Agrippa in a place where he could gain his freedom. He could avoid controversy, avoid entanglements, avoid being

wrongfully accused, mistreated, and scorned. To use our way of thinking, he is without a doubt unskillful at public relations management during a media crisis.

Instead of seeking his own freedom, he seeks the spiritual freedom of Festus and Agrippa and those in the king’s court. That seems so backwards to American Christians today. Personal comfort is at the highest premium, it is the one non-negotiable. For too many, the American Dream has replaced the Macedonian Call and materialism has replaced joy and contentment.

Imprisoned and in front of wicked men, Paul is consistent not only to preach to others that Jesus died for their sins, but that these men could and must be saved.

17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

The Preaching-A Devotional Outline of the Passage

-Foundation of the Word

-Fulfillment of Prophecy

-Failure of Judaism without Jesus Christ

-Faith in the Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ

-Freedom (real) to all who who would submit to the Gospel (Jews and Gentiles)

The Protest

-Festus accuses Paul of being “mad” / Rational or Enlighted Attack.

-Agrippa plays games with his soul / “with such a little” can you convince ME? It was not the view of Paul’s message as being insufficient, but Agrippa’s self-aggrandizing view of himself that is the problem.

The Predicament / Prize

-The Predicament was that Paul stayed in bonds. Apparently, according to verse 32, he might have been freed.

-The Prize was that Paul stayed in bonds. Yes, that is the prize! Paul willingly suffered this injustice and indignity because he wanted to preach Christ to Caesar. As you read the first chapter of Philippians, you see the fruits of this decision and desire as “those of Caesar’s household salute you.” In spite of and because of his “bad” circumstances, he was proclaiming the liberating truth of the Gospel!

 

What are you willing to go through to share the good news of Jesus Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection?

 

 

 

 

Difference between a Child & a Christian

As I was reading through our Pastor‘s new devotional book this morning, the commentary on Psalm 131 resonated in my soul.

 

Psalm 131

A Song of degrees of David.

1 Lord, My heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, As a child that is weaned of his mother: My soul is even as a weaned child.

3 Let Israel hope in the Lord From henceforth and for ever.

 

He wrote that a child as it is weaned becomes Independent of their mother, but as a child of God is weaned (more mature) is is more Dependent upon God.

 

Wow!

The Supernatural Afflatus is Not There

A.W. TozerThis was just too good not to share from my reading today.

It would be less than accurate to say that the power of God is always experienced in a direct and unmediated form, for when He so wills the Spirit may use other means as Christ used spittle to heal a blind man. But always the power is above and beyond the means. While the Spirit may use appropriate means to bless a believing man, He never need do so, for they are at best but temporary concessions made to our ignorance and unbelief. Where adequate power is present almost any means will suffice, but where the power is absent not all the means in the world can secure the desired end. The Spirit of God may use a song, a sermon, a good deed, a text or the mystery and majesty of nature, but always the final work will be done by the pressure of the inliving Spirit upon the human heart.

 
In the light of this it will be seen how empty and meaningless is the average church service today. All the means are in evidence; the one ominous weakness is the absence of the Spirit’s power. The form of godliness is there, and often the form is perfected till it is an aesthetic triumph. Music and poetry, art and oratory, symbolic vesture and solemn tones combine to charm the mind of the worshiper, but too often the supernatural afflatus* is not there. The power from on high is neither known nor desired by pastor or people. This is nothing less than tragic, and all the more so because it falls within the field of religion where the eternal destinies of men are involved.

 
To the absence of the Spirit may be traced that vague sense of unreality which almost everywhere invests religion in our times. In the average church service the most real thing is the shadowy unreality of everything. The worshiper sits in a state of suspended thought; a kind of dreamy numbness creeps upon him; he hears words but they do not register; he cannot relate them to anything on his own life-level. He is conscious of having entered a kind of half-world; his mind surrenders itself to a more or less pleasant mood which passes with the benediction, leaving no trace behind. It does not affect anything in his everyday life. He is aware of no power, no presence, no spiritual reality. There is simply nothing in his experience corresponding to the things which he heard from the pulpit or sang in the hymns.

Aiden Wilson Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007). 90-92.

* afflatus /əˈfleɪtəs/ noun formal a divine creative impulse or inspiration. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).