Sunday, July 28, 2019

It is God Himself that Nourishes the Soul



This is from the Chosen Rebel's Blog:

The poverty of evangelical reflection, the shallowness of our deepest thoughts about God is becoming the Achilles heal of our witness in the world. Our deepest thoughts about God barely skim the surface of the reality of who God is and what He has revealed about Himself in His word. 
And it is killing us.
We are so pragmatic, so filled up to our ears with “relevance” and the flood of information and entertainment at our finger tips and those BORG-like extensions of the human body called “mouses” and “smart phones”* that there is no room for any proper and sustained reflection on anything, let alone the wonder and majesty of the nature of God.

Every word I write on the subject seems alien to the pragmatic spirit of this age. The helter-skelter of activity, seemingly for activities sake, leaves no time, no space, no mental energy for the examination of the glory that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”  (2 Cor. 5:19)


Pastors, I’m begging you, as I’m preaching to myself, make time in your schedule, your overwhelmingly busy schedule, to pursue God.


The situation we find ourselves in is not new. It is part of a long declension seen long ago by such men as A.W. Tozer and others who saw the eclipse of God in the culture in the 50’s and 60’s and wondered aloud and in print about where it would lead. Tozer in particular saw what was happening and gave, many years ago, the antidote.
To great sections of the Church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the “program.”
. . . it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.
The Pursuit of God
A.W. Tozer, p. 10
That’s it. We have got to get back to nourishing our souls with God Himself.
  • Not success. 
  • Not power. 
  • Not political influence. 
  • Not likes and thumbs up in social media. 
  • Not bigger budgets. 
  • Not bigger buildings. 
  • Not better music. 
  • Not conferences attended or spoken at. 
  • Not “cutting edge” programs. 
  • Not ___________________________________. (Fill in the blank with anything that isn’t Jesus and Him crucified dead and buried, gloriously raised from the dead and coming again for His bride.)
Read the Tozer quote above again. Read it again, slowly. Ask yourself if this isn’t a major problem in your own heart and therefore and inevitably, a problem in your congregation.

Then do something about it.
  • Shut your mouth.
  • Close your door. 
  • Take your Bible in hand.
  • Pray.
  • And seek the living God.
Your congregation, your community, your neighbors, your culture, your nation, your family, need you to be a man who pursues the living God. You and they need that more than anything you can preach this week.

* The irony of “smart phones” making us dumber is a painful but inescapable truth.



Thursday, July 18, 2019

Peace with God means Conflict with the World

Jurgen Moltmann, German Reformed Theologian


This is from the blog A Word in Season:

“That is why faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but is itself this unquiet heart in man. Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it. Peace with God means conflict with the world, for the goad of the promised future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present.”
 
― J├╝rgen Moltmann


The World is the Battleground

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mary Magdalen de Pazzi: "the presence of God"



This is from the blog Dover Beach:

“Prayer ought to be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering, and accompanied with great reverence. One should consider that he stands in the presence of a God, and speaks with a Lord before whom the angels tremble from awe and fear.”

--St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi