Monthly Archives: February 2011

“Does God Have All of Me?”

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Psalm 86:11 NIV

One of my favorite authors and teachers is the late Alan Redpath, his sermons and books stir me to the core of my spiritual life. Today, I listened to his message, “God Seeks a Man of Prayer,” I was deeply affected by Redpath’s passion for Christ and his passionate heart-cry for prayer. His message was one of the most anointed sermons I have ever heard.

In that sermon, Redpath, former pastor of Moody Memorial Church, relates a story concerning leaving a church meeting with Stephen Olford. As they walked out the door, a Bible student asks Olford, “What is the secret to Christian leadership?” Olford responds, “Bent knees, wet eyes, and a broken heart.” Redpath elaborated by admonishing those in Christian ministry not to rely on a theological degree for ministry success, but be dependent on God’s grace and Spirit that “God clothes you with himself.” Redpath quoted Isa. 59:16 and Ezek. 22:30 as examples of Christians not seeking God, but God seeking us. Redpath relates that God is looking for a man (or woman) who is determined enough, bold enough, and small enough to pray and intercede for our nation on God’s behalf. With this kind of bold intercession, we not only grab ahold of God, but God lays claim to every aspect of our hearts.

Alan Redpath had two daughters who loved to swarm him when he came home at night. As he came in the door one evening, his little girls ran to meet him. One grabbed his leg and hugged him with all her might. He snatched the other daughter up in his arms. The one squeezing his leg said, “Now, I’ve got all of Daddy.” The daughter in his arms replied, “Yes, but Daddy has got all of me!” Perhaps the question we need to continually ask is, “Does God have all of me?”

Daily Christian Quote/Alan Redpath

Come to Christ

Don’t Wait, Come!

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Matt. 11:28 NLT

Thirty years of pastoral experience has shown me that often, very often, seekers of truth will do anything and everything to find peace, but do the one thing needful–meet Christ. They will attend church, float from conference to conference, adore celebrity Christian speakers, but they avoid a living encounter with the risen Christ. Why circle around Christ, but never meet him? To encounter Christ means laying down your life for others, it means yielding your rights to his Lordship, and it means following the Lamb wherever he goes. Do we want true freedom? Do we want real peace? Do we want release from guilt and shame? Do we want a love that never lets go? Come to Christ. Run straight to him. Know that he never reject you (John 6:37). Know that real life–genuine life–resides only in Christ (John 10:10).

He that thirsts and wants relief must come to Christ Himself. He must not be content with coming to His church and His ordinances, or to the assemblies of His people for prayer and praise. He must not stop short even at His holy table, or rest satisfied with privately opening his heart to His ordained ministers. Oh, no! He that is content with only drinking these waters ‘shall thirst again’ (John 4:13).

He must go higher, further, much further than this. He must have personal dealings with Christ Himself all else in religion is worthless without Him. The King’s palace, the attendant servants, the richly furnished house, the very banquet itself—all are nothing unless we speak with the King. His hand alone can take the burden off our backs and make us feel free. The hand of man may take the stone from the grave and show the dead; but none but Jesus can say to the dead, ‘Come forth and live’ (John 11:41–43). We must deal directly with Christ.

J. C. Ryle, Holiness : It’s Nature, Hinderances, Difficulties and Roots, electronic ed. (Simpsonville, SC: Christian Classics Foundation, 1996), 258.

HT: Ray Ortlund

The Christ Life vs. the Self-Life

Spirit vs. Flesh

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Gal. 5:16-17

The Christ Life is peace, a peace that comes from knowing that our sins are forgiven. The Christ Life is rest, a rest that experiences by faith God’s adequacy and faithfulness in every life situation resulting in freedom from worry, anxiety, and care. The Christ Life is power, power to walk apart from sin and live unto God.

The Self Life is striving, the frustration of living the Christian life without joy and victory. The Self Life is manipulation, our attempt to achieve in our own power what only the Holy Spirit can achieve. The Self Life is self-righteousness, the prideful assumption that we can keep God’s law by our best efforts.

The self-life is living the Christian life by your own capability without regard to the leadership, ability, and power of the Holy Spirit. The self-life manipulates people and controls circumstances while contriving spiritual success. The self-life does God’s work, your way, and achieves limited worldly success.

F. B. Meyer

240 Words

The Bible Storyline in 240 Words

God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.

Eph. 1:9

D. A. Carson is wonderful teacher, I have read a number of his books and listened to scores of his sermons. Below, Carson lays out the entire Bible storyline in a few sentences. Why is this important? To fully understand what God has done in Jesus Christ, we must know the Bible storyline. We must learn of the Fall, the covenants, the law, the prophets, and the sacrifice. We should appreciate that from time immemorial, God planned and purposed to redeem us in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:4).

God is the sovereign, transcendent and personal God who has made the universe, including us, his image-bearers. Our misery lies in our rebellion, our alienation from God, which, despite his forbearance, attracts his implacable wrath.

But God, precisely because love is of the very essence of his character, takes the initiative and prepared for the coming of his own Son by raising up a people who, by covenantal stipulations, temple worship, systems of sacrifice and of priesthood, by kings and by prophets, are taught something of what God is planning and what he expects.

In the fullness of time his Son comes and takes on human nature. He comes not, in the first instance, to judge but to save: he dies the death of his people, rises from the grave and, in returning to his heavenly Father, bequeaths the Holy Spirit as the down payment and guarantee of the ultimate gift he has secured for them—an eternity of bliss in the presence of God himself, in a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

The only alternative is to be shut out from the presence of this God forever, in the torments of hell. What men and women must do, before it is too late, is repent and trust Christ; the alternative is to disobey the gospel (Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17).

D. A. Carson, “The Biblical Gospel,” in For Such a Time as This: Perspectives on Evangelicalism, Past, Present and Future, ed. Steve Brady and Harold Rowdon (London: Evangelical Alliance, 1986), 80.

HT: C. J. Mahaney

Have You Listened Lately?

A Listening Ministry

But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.

Psalm 66:19 NLT

Ministry does not start with talking, it starts with listening. Paying attention to a friend’s needs, cares, longings, and desires is the utmost sign of respect and concern. Christ’s love is extended when we stop, hold our tongue, and listen to others’ problems. As we listen, we pray for the Holy Spirit to minister to their pain asking Christ to heal their hurt.

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together.

HT: reformation21

Sadly, He Never Changed

Hearing, But Never Doing

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:22-23 ESV

What a frightening thing to read. He listened and listened to three years of the most anointed and insightful sermons that have ever been preached and his heart was never moved. Not one truth did he take to heart, not one insight did he apply, and not one sentence did he act upon. Years of hearing truth without ever allowing the message to change his motives, his character, or his behavior. Who am I talking about? Of course, I talking about Judas, he heard all of Jesus sermons and the truth never impacted his life. Sadly, Judas never changed.

This realization should lower us to our knees, and cause us to cry out for God’s mercy. How much truth have I heard and never applied? How many Biblical insights have I gained, but never lived? How much of Jesus have I experienced, but never walked out? (James 1: 22-25). Oh, God! Change our hearts, change our lives, make us like you.

All external means cannot work faith. Christ preached, and preached as powerfully as ever man did, he ‘spake as never no man spake,’ — John 6:63, ‘The words I speak to you are spirit and life,’ — yet the Jews remained unbelievers; and Judas, that heard all his sermons, and missed not one, yet remained an unbeliever.

Thomas Goodwin, Works of Thomas Goodwin: The Object and Acts of Justifying Faith (2006 Biblesoft and Ages Software).