IN TUNE WITH GOD

Thomas Merton said…The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility (From: New Seeds of Contemplation)

THE POWER OF LOVE

Karl Barth said...God's omnipotence is not power in itself, but the power of love

TRUE WISDOM

Matthew Henry said…Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.

THE WILL OF GOD

François de Sales said…If I want only pure water, what does it matter whether it be brought in a vase of gold or of glass? What is it to me whether the will of God be presented to me in tribulation or consolation, since I desire and seek only the Divine will? (From: Maxims and Counsels of St. Francis de Sales).

GOD’S WISDOM IS THE SOURCE OF GROWTH

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said…

Christians hunger and thirst for righteousness, they long for the redeeming Word again and again. It can only come from the outside. In themselves they are destitute and dead. Help must come from the outside; and it has come and comes daily and anew in the Word of Jesus Christ, bringing us redemption, righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.

CHOOSE WISDOM – A GIFT FROM GOD

Henri Nouwen said…We have very little control over what happens in our lives, but we have a lot of control over how we integrate and remember what happens. It is precisely these spiritual choices that determine whether we live our lives with dignity.

LISTEN TO GOD

Thomas á Kempis said…Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from grace (From: Of the Imitation of Christ).

THE TRAP OF SIN

Antoine de Saint Exupery said...He who would travel happily must travel light.

WISDOM IS GOD GIVEN

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance (Benjamin Franklin).

Gaining Wisdom

Knowledge leads us from the simple to the complex; wisdom leads us from the complex to the simple (Anonymous).

Proof of God's existence

Søren Kierkegaard said…

To stand on one leg and prove God's existence is a very different thing from going on one's knees and thanking Him (From: Journals)

Eph 5:18-20 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The movies God is not dead and Dead is not dead 2 are typical of the age in which we live...

Shutting God out or letting Him in?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said…

Come to church! You can do that of your own free will. You can leave your home on a Sunday morning and come to hear the sermon. If you will not, you are of your own free will excluding yourself from the place where faith is a possibility (From: The Cost of Discipleship)

Acts 16:13, 14: On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

Constant Conversion

Martin Luther said…

When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent", He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance (First of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses posted on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517)

Matthew 4: 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

I have seen notice boards at churches with the words of John 3:3 written in large letters: “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

Conversion

E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973) said…

To pass from estrangement from God to be a son of God is the basic fact of conversion. That altered relationship with God gives you an altered relationship with yourself, with your brother man, with nature, with the universe.

Isaiah 58:3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’  5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself?  Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 

Many Christians speak a lot about revival and conversion these days.  We believe that it is the key to the solution of many problems in our land.  We have to focus on prayer, fasting and seeking God’s will for our lives.  It is right that we do it. 

But what kind of conversion and revival is necessary?  Maybe you ask immediately if there are different kinds of revivals and conversions.  Maybe not.  Maybe we just misunderstood what real conversion and revival are.  From Isaiah 58 it is clear that we can in no way separate our devotion to God from a sincere care for others.  The prophet says that real fasting consists of social justice: ‘‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (58:6, 7).  According to Jesus, almost all these things will again be mentioned when God finally judges us (Matt 25:31-46).

Only when we understand that true commitment to God, the sincere seeking of his will, make us stand up from our knees to make this world a better place, yes, only then will we see the glory of God (58:8).  Only then will God hear our prayers (58:9-10).

God’s will is not unclear.  We don’t have to go on a retreat to find out what it is.  We don’t have to fast about it.  We know what it is.  Revival in our land will break out in our land when the people of God stand up for justice and righteousness, look after poor people, start building projects to provide shelter for the homeless and displaced, provide medical care for the helpless, share our bread and clothes with those who suffer.  This is true revival and conversion.

Lord, bring revival in our hearts, so that we will go and live our gospel amongst broken people, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

True Character

Thomas McCauley said…

The test of one’s true character is what one would have done if one were not caught out.

Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: ‘‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

I think we all struggle with hidden agendas, wrong deeds and attitudes that no one knows about. Actually, these things are expressions of our true character...

Substitutes?

The Mahatma Gandhi said…

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

Proverbs 21: 3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

I don’t know why, but somehow we all have the inclination to believe that God would be satisfied with the empty ritual. We go through the motions, but it does not change our lives...

Worship and Love

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said...

For the Christian, worship cannot be divorced from the service of the brethren ... If we despise our brother our worship is unreal, and it forfeits every divine promise.

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The True God or Your God?

Anne Lamott, writer (1954- ) said...

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

The True Lord

William Barclay (1907-1978) said…

True and genuine worship is when man, through his spirit attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit … speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible (From: The Gospel of John – 1975 vol. 1, p. 154)

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Nothing but You, Lord

A. W. Tozer said…

The sovereign God wants to be loved for Himself and honoured for Himself, but that is only part of what He wants. The other part is that He wants us to know that when we have Him we have everything - we have all the rest.