And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. And he stood up to read; 17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
And he was teaching them on the sabbath; 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority. What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God. For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.
And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them; 43 but he said to them,. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. Who can forgive sins, but God alone? And he arose and stood forth. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Woe unto you that laugh now! For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he delivered him to his mother. A reed shaken with the wind? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
And he saith, Master, say on. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And they launched forth. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this!
I beseech thee, torment me not. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness. And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And he suffered them. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. But as he went the people thronged him. When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And he desired to see him. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen. Bring thy son hither. Obsessed people don't put it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace.
People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God's Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages. A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn't depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God James A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying "Thank You!
An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as a child and friend of God. Christians like to play it safe. We want to put ourselves in situations where we are safe 'even if there is no God. We have to do things that cost us during our life on earth but will be more than worth it in eternity. Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made? Many Spirit-filled authors have exhausted the thesaurus in order to describe God with the glory He deserves.
His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can't contain Him. Isn't it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate? Never forget that God is your friend. And like all friends, He longs to hear what's been happening in your life. Good or bad, whether it's been full of sorrow or anger, or even when you're questioning why terrible things have to happen.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven. Spending time with God is the key to our strength and success in all areas of life. Be sure that you never try to work God into your schedule, but always work your schedule around Him.
We can never know who or what we are till we know at least something of what God is. For years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone? I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put Him. We have kept Him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on Him in prayer, we wonder where He is.
He is exactly where we left him. God doesn't bless us just to make us happy; He blesses us to make us a blessing. To love someone is to desire and work toward their becoming the best version of themselves. The one person in all the universe who can do this perfectly for you is God. All God's giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them. A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in little things is a great thing. Consider six or eight hours a day sacred to the Lord and His work, and let nothing hinder your giving this time to language study and practice till you can preach fluently and intelligibly.
Devotion to God is still a voluntary thing; hence the differences of attainment among Christians. I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done. Not infrequently our GOD brings His people into difficulties on purpose that they may come to know Him as they could not otherwise do.
Satan may build a hedge about us and fence us in and hinder our movements, but he cannot roof us in and prevent our looking up. Wave after wave of trial rolled over us; but at the end of the year some of us were constrained to confess, that we had learned more of the loving-kindness of the Lord than in any previous year of our lives. While unbelief sees the difficulties, faith sees God between itself and them. Let us give up our work, our thoughts, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into His hand, and then, when we have given all over to Him, there will be nothing left for us to trouble about, or to make trouble about.
9 Powerful Gifts of the Spirit From the Bible
If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world. Not all dreamers are winners, but all winners are dreamers. Your dream is the key to your future. The Bible says that, "without a vision dream , a people perish. God leads us. God will do the right thing at the right time.
And what a difference that makes. Following the crowd is not a winning approach to life. In the end it's a loser's game, because we never become who God created us to be by trying to be like everybody else. I should have died when I was sixteen, when I planned to commit suicide. And I was an atheist until then. I was an atheist, and what the heck, if life sucks what do you have to live for? If you're an atheist, it's just about living, you know? So at the time, I didn't want to wake up anymore and then seriously, God chased me down and proved that he was real and that he loved me.
The born-again Christian sees life not as a blurred , confused, meaningless mass, but as something planned and purposeful. We must focus on prayer as the main thrust to accomplish God's will and purpose on earth. The forces against us have never been greater, and this is the only way we can release God's power to become victorious. When God is involved, anything can happen.
Be open and stay that way. God has a beautiful way of bring good vibrations out of broken chords. Have I today done anything to fulfill the purpose for which Thou didst cause me to be born? Life is short and we have scarcely begun to live when we are called to die. We honor God by asking for great things when they are a part of His promise. We dishonor Him and cheat ourselves when we ask for molehills where He has offered mountains.
- What TIME Is It?!
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Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life a life such as yours, this earth would be God's paradise. The life of faith is a daily exploration of the constant and countless ways in which God's grace and love are experienced. True prayer is measured by weight, not by length.
A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length. Leadership requires vision, and whence will vision come except from hours spent in the presence of God in humble and fervent prayer? Prayer shouldn't be casual or sporadic, dictated only by the needs of the moment. Prayer should be as much a part of our lives as breathing. Don't wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.
Fear lurks in the shadows of every area of life. The future may look very threatening. Jesus says, "Stop being afraid. Trust me! When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible man, and he crushes him. We are either the masters or victims of our attitudes. It is a matter of personal choice. Who we are today is the result of choices we made yesterday. Tomorrow, we will become what we choose today. To change means to choose change. We know so little about the future that to worry about it would be the height of foolishness. The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. Be patient. God is using today's difficulties to strengthen you for tomorrow. He is equipping you. The God who makes things grow will help you bear fruit. Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things. The fact that we were created to enjoy God and to worship him forever is etched upon our souls.
Don't ever come to church without coming as though it were the first time, as though it could be the best time, and as though it could be the last time. More often than not, when something looks like it's the absolute end, it is really the beginning.
God doesn't always change the circumstances, but He can change us to meet the circumstances. That's what it means to live by faith. After all, a crisis doesn't make a person; it reveals what a person is made of. Sometimes your medicine bottle says, "shake well before using. He has to shake them well before they are usable.
Many books in my library are now behind and beneath me. They were good in their way once, and so were the clothes I wore when I was ten years old; but I have outgrown them.
A Soul is like a Seed
Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years. God looketh upon any thing we say, or any thing we do, and if He seeth Christ in it, He accepteth it; but if there be no Christ, He putteth it away as a foul thing. Trust in yourself and you are doomed to disappointment; trust in money and you may have it taken from you, but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity. Confidence in the natural world is self-reliance; in the spiritual world, it is God-reliance. Walk by faith!
Stop the plague of worry. Learn to say, "Lord, this is Your battle. Christ alone can bring lasting peace - peace with God - peace among men and nations - and peace within our hearts. The peace that Jesus gives is never engineered by circumstances on the outside. Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God. Don't expect wisdom to come into your life like great chunks of rock on a conveyor belt. Wisdom comes privately from God as a byproduct of right decisions, godly reactions, and the application of spiritual principles to daily circumstances.
It may not seem obvious at first glance, but the way we make decisions in life tells a lot about the kind of faith we have in Jesus Christ. I have since learned that the most mature believer is the one who is bent over, leaning most heavily on the Lord, and admitting his total inability to do anything without Christ. It's not that your most important work is meaningless; it's that your most trivial movements are also significant.
If you have put your faith in Christ and have spent significant time in the Word of God, the tough times can be like a magnet that draws you to the Lord Jesus. Nothing is going to happen - ever - that will catch Jesus Christ by surprise. He is able to help His children work through anything, and not a single thing is going to happen in the future that can change that fact. You asked the Holy Spirit for a miracle, and now that you've got one you're trying to argue it away.
People who don't believe in miracles shouldn't pray for them. The day you learn to be publically specific in your prayer, that is the day you will discover power. The backslider likes the preaching that wouldn't hit the side of a house, while the real disciple is delighted when the truth brings him to his knees. The Bible will always be full of things you cannot understand, as long as you will not live according to those you can understand.
We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right. These days its not just that the line between right and wrong has been made unclear, today Christians are being asked by our culture today to erase the lines and move the fences, and if that were not bad enough, we are being asked to join in the celebration cry by those who have thrown off the restraints religion had imposed upon them. It is not just that they ask we accept, but they now demand of us to celebrate it too. How quickly we forget God's great deliverances in our lives. How easily we take for granted the miracles he performed in our past.
If we rationalize our problems when He points them out, we will spend less and less time meditating because we won't want to face God in that area of our lives. Temptation can be defined as an inducement to do evil. Three powerful forces work together to ruin a believer's character and witness: Satan, the world system, and our own lustful "flesh" tendencies. When friends abandoned him, Paul asked God not to count their actions against them. He followed the example of Jesus, who prayed for the Father to forgive His persecutors. What's your response when friends let you down? Forgiveness is the choice that pleases God every time.
When you become consumed by God's call on your life, everything will take on new meaning and significance. You will begin to see every facet of your life - including your pain - as a means through which God can work to bring others to Himself. Concentrate on counting your blessings and you'll have little time to count anything else. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. If there is one single reason why good people turn evil, it is because they fail to recognize God's ownership over their kingdom, their vocation, their resources, their abilities, and above all their lives.
The work that God does in us when we wait is usually more important than the thing for which we wait! Success is not what you have done compared to what others have done. Success is what you have done compared to what you were supposed to do. One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time. Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do.
Expect unexpected things 'above all that we ask or think. I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me. Most of the world's great souls have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross.
No one is a friend to the man with a cross. Trials are not enemies of faith but opportunities to prove God's faithfulness. Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will. If you find a path in life with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child.
We would be more grateful if we knew how much of what we take for granted is planned by God. Lord, help me to put aside the things that are breaking my heart, to pray about things that break Yours. Remember the God you knew in the wilderness, and allow those memories to enable you to stand in the future. We have to walk with God or we will not get to the place he has prepared for us.
And for all these people alike, the key to healing turned out to be the same. Each had a hurt he had to forgive. If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest. The Lord has shown me that I can do anything, but that He has said, apart from Me ye can do nothing. So it comes to this, that everything I have done, and can still do apart from Him is nothing! The real question today is not when human life begins, but, what is the value of human life?
The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother's body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law -- the same right we have. Many people treat the Bible like a drunk treats a lightpost; for support, not illumination.
The Word of God is like a lion. You don't have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself. True boldness for Christ transcends all, it is indifference to the displeasure of either friends or foes. Boldness enables Christians to forsake all rather than Christ, and to prefer to offend all rather than to offend Him. Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change.
We need to remind ourselves that God can change things If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities in the problems, we can have victory. It is a mindless philosophy that assumes that one's private beliefs have nothing to do with public office. Does it make sense to entrust those who are immoral in private with the power to determine the nation's moral issues and, indeed, its destiny?
One of the most dangerous and terrifying trends in America today is the disregard for character as a central necessity in a leader's credentials. The duplicitous soul of a leader can only make a nation more sophisticated in evil. I go out to preach with two propositions in mind. First, every person ought to give his life to Christ. Second, whether or not anyone else gives him his life, I will give him mine. I'm tired of hearing about 'anointing.
Instead I want to see character. I want to see men who have made the hard moral decisions and thus have embodied the excellence of the Christian faith. I want to hear about people who have made every effort to add to their faith goodness We may not be responsible for all the things that happen to us, but we are responsible for the ways we react when they do happen.
Most people would not want to live where there are no churches but many people live as though there were no churches. In other days people chose a church on the basis of their doctrinal convictions. Now, lacking doctrinal convictions, they choose for social reasons. To a large extent, the American church has become merged with the world. It has adopted so many of the world's ideals and standards that it has lost its ability to stem the tide of crime, deception and immorality that is sweeping the nation.
For millions of church members there is no deep commitment to the cause of Christ, no regularity of attendance at public worship, no sacrificial giving, no personal religious discipline. Courage is contagious. When a brave person takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened. When you leave behind a vibrant Christian who knows his calling and his commission, you can be buried, but you will live on through all those in whom you have been reproduced. In three decades of pastoring and counseling couples, there's only one thing we've found truly makes for a lasting marriage, both people must want to be married to each other more than they want to divorce.
When a person does not know the doctrines of the Christian faith, he can easily be captured by false religions. I believe in the eternal security of the believer and in the insecurity of the make-believer.
THE GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE
Vernon McGee. We have now moved from the burden of raising money to the adventure of trusting God. Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends. The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.
God buries our sins in the depths of the sea and then puts up a sign that reads, "No fishing. Our evangelical culture tends to take the awesome reality of a transcendent god who is worthy to be feared and downsize Him so He could fit into our "buddy system. It's been a long time since we've heard a good sermon on the "fear of God.
Trusting Jesus in a Messy World
If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get. If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.
Only those who see themselves as utterly destitute can fully appreciate the grace of God. For the Christian, humility is absolutely indispensable. Without it there can be no self-knowledge, no repentance, no faith and no salvation. Humility is a strange thing: the moment you think you have it, you have lost it. Most of the world around you doesn't read the Bible. God gives the world a living epistle-- you. In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up that makes us rich. Worry is an old man with bended head, carrying a load of feathers which he thinks are lead. Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control.
Only he who can say, "The Lord is the strength of my life" can say, "Of whom shall I be afraid? Order my footsteps by Thy Word and make my heart sincere; let sin have no dominion, Lord, but keep my conscience clear. If a single living cell was found on a distant planet, scientists would exclaim that we have found life elsewhere in the universe. So why is a single living cell found in the womb of a pregnant woman not considered life? Nothing that God has ever said about Himself will be modified; nothing the inspired prophets and apostles have said about Him will be rescinded.
His immutability guarantees this. W Tozer. When men no longer fear God, they transgress His laws without hesitation. The fear of consequences is no deterrent when the fear of God is gone. Faith is not about how much you believe in what you believe. Faith is about believing that the One you believe in is believable. Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so that you will discover He is the Rock at the bottom. Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.
You know all of my fears. There's nothing your eyes can't see. When I tried to give up Lord, you never gave up on me. For one who has made thanksgiving the habit of his life, the morning prayer will be, 'Lord, what will you give me today to offer back to you? A man who loves his wife will love her letters and her photographs because they speak to him of her.
So if we love the Lord Jesus, we shall love the Bible because it speaks to us of him. Christian love draws no distinction between one enemy and another, except that the more bitter our enemy's hatred, the greater his need of love. The true mark of a Christian leader is trying to build up other people. Raise up other leaders! You can tell the size of your God by looking at the size of your worry list. The longer your list, the smaller your God.
I believe that you measure the health or strength of a church by its sending capacity rather than its seating capacity. Money is emphasized in Scripture simply because our temptation to love it is inexplicably powerful. When fathers are tongue tied religiously with their offspring, need they wonder if their children's hearts remain sin tied? The problem with Christians today is that no one wants to kill them anymore. If we don't discipline ourselves, God will make certain we are disciplined by others. No man ever yet thought whether he was preaching well without weakening his sermon.
There will be no peace as long as God remains unseated at the conference table. Jesus Christ came to send a sword through every peace that is not based on a personal relationship to Himself. A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done.
God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it. It is not great talents or great learning or great preachers that God needs, but men great in holiness, great in faith, great in love, great in fidelity, great for God What can God have that gives him greater satisfaction than that a thousand times a day all his creatures should thus pause to withdraw and worship him in the heart. I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them. It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him. Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God.
Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might. The devil is in constant conspiracy against a preacher who really prays, for it has been said that what a minister is in his prayer closet is what he is, no more, no less.
Satan is not fighting churches; he is joining them. He does more harm by sowing tares than by pulling up wheat. He accomplishes more by imitation than by outright opposition. The purpose of prayer is not to inform God of our needs, but to invite Him to rule our lives. I am reminded that one old saint was asked, "Which is the more important: reading God's Word or praying? The preacher who jests and jokes with his people all week will soon find that he cannot stand in his pulpit on Sunday with power to reprove, rebuke and exhort. He may be the life of the party but it will be the death of the prophet.
The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not "What a lovely sermon! Satan hates God for His own sake, and everything that is dear to God he hates for the very reason that God loves it. I believe Satan exists for two reasons: first, the Bible says so, and second, I've done business with him. You can tell whether you are becoming a servant by how you act when people treat you like one. God will open up places of service for you as He sees you are ready. Meanwhile, study the Bible and give yourself a chance to grow.
It is futile for us to try to serve God without the power of the Holy Spirit. Talent, training, and experience cannot take the place of the power of the Spirit. The Lord doesn't ask about your ability, only your availability; and, if you prove your dependability, the Lord will increase your capability. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Reading Christians are growing Christians.
When Christians cease to read, they cease to grow. Missionaries: People who leave their families for a short time so others can be with their families for eternity. Those whom God will employ are first struck with a sense of their unworthiness to be employed. The world's idea of greatness is to rule, but Christian greatness consists in serving. To be entirely safe from the devil's snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the Word of the Lord.
The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs but when he obeys them. Be thankful if your job is a little harder than you like. A razor can't be sharpened on a piece of velvet. What Matthew Henry prayed after he was robbed: "I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.
If you can't be thankful for what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped. Jesus came to pay a debt He didn't owe because we owed a debt we couldn't pay. The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all - doing nothing. Sin is the most expensive thing in the universe. Nothing else can cost so much. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: a virgin's womb and an empty tomb. You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there's a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it.
The community will already know it. In our prayers, we talk to God, in our Bible study, God talks to us, and we had better let God do most of the talking. Nobody ever outgrows Scriptures; the Book widens and deepens with our years. The Bible differs from all other books in that it never wears out. Other books are read and laid aside, but the Bible is a constant companion. No matter how often we read it or how familiar we become with it, some new truth is likely to spring out at us from its pages whenever we open it, or some old truth will impress us as it never did before.
Every Christian can give illustrations of this. No one ever said at the end of his days; 'I have read my bible too much, I have thought of God too much, I have prayed too much, I have been too careful with my soul' - J. Multitudes of people who expect to go to Heaven will go to a Hell of torment. Thousands of "good" people, "moral" people, church members, even church workers - yes, and, alas, even prophets, priests and preachers - will find themselves lost when they expected to be saved, condemned when they expected approval, cast out of Heaven when they expected to be received into eternal bliss.
That is the explicit meaning of the words of our Lord Whiskey and beer are all right in their place, but their place is in hell. If I had my ministry over again, I would devote far more time to the ministry of comfort and encouragement. I want to feel my own nothingness, I want to give myself up in absolute resignation to God, to lie prostrate and passive at His feet, with no other disposition in my heart than that of merging my will into His will, and no other language in my mouth than that of prayer for the perfecting of His strength in my weakness. I lay it down as a fact that if all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies -- probably because they are generally the same people. It is much easier to repent of sins that we have already committed than to repent of those we intend to commit. It seems that Satan first makes friends with the parents to make it easier to get their boys and girls.
There is one thing for which you should be abundantly thankful: Only you and God have all the facts about yourself. Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
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