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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Jul 2012, 9:28 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Chastening is an Expression of God's Love

As the cross stands in the way of obedience, so chastisement is found in the way of disobedience. God never chastens a perfectly obedient child. Consider the fathers of our flesh; they never punished us for obedience, only for disobedience. When we feel the sting of the rod we may be sure we are temporarily out of the right way. Conversely, the pain of the cross means that we are in the way. But the Father's love is not more or less, wherever we may be. God chastens us not that He may love us but because He loves us. In a well-ordered house a disobedient child may expect punishment; in the household of God no careless Christian can hope to escape it.

Verse
Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10

Thought
God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness. It is the only way we shall ever share in that holiness. To that end He chastens us in love.

Prayer
O thank You, Lord, for Your persistent, consistent discipline. I don't learn easily and I often have to relearn but You are patiently loving in chastening me.
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Jul 2012, 11:17 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The Rod and the Cross

For the Christian cross carrying and chastisement are alike but not identical. They differ in a number of important ways. The two ideas are usually considered to be the same and the words embodying the ideas are used interchangeably. There is, however, a sharp distinction between them. When we confuse them we are not thinking accurately; and when we do not think accurately about truth we lose some benefit that we might otherwise enjoy. The cross and the rod occur close together in the Holy Scriptures, but they are not the same thing. The rod is imposed without the consent of the one who suffers it. The cross cannot be imposed by another. Even Christ bore the cross by His own free choice. He said of the life He poured out on the cross, "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself" (John 10:18). He had every opportunity to escape the cross but He set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem to die. The only compulsion He knew was the compulsion of love.
Verse
And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27
Thought
The rod is an instrument of discipline, correction wielded by the loving Father. The cross is the instrument of self-discipline, dying to self in order to live fully for Christ.
Prayer
Lord, if I sometimes drop my cross along the way, show me, so that I pick it up again and carry it all the way.

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
July 5, 2012

VERSE:
If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with
each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless
or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if
you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you
live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever
and ever.
-- Jeremiah 7:5-7
THOUGHT:
What is the true measure of our character? Certainly it is not
merely how we act "at church." The real test of our character, our
godliness, is our partnership with him in his work of redeeming the
lost, forgotten, downtrodden, and broken. When we live only for
ourselves, when the "have-nots" are left so far behind, a culture
collapses upon itself because it lacks the heart of God, and people
become jealous and resentful of one another.
PRAYER:
Loving God, Almighty and Sovereign Lord, please forgive us and
use your children to heal our land. Father, I especially pray that
you will use me to be a blessing to someone who has no one to whom
he or she can turn in times of crisis. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 10:03 am

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Living With Eternity's Values In View

7. The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments. By faith he rises above the tug of earth and the flow of time and learns to think and feel as one who has already left the world and gone to join the innumerable company of angels and the general assembly and Church of the First-born which are written in heaven. Such a man would rather be useful than famous and would rather serve than be served. And all this must be by the operation of the Holy Spirit within him. No man can become spiritual by himself. Only the free Spirit can make a man spiritual.

Verse
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17

Thought
Living with eternity's values in view lightens our momentary troubles. It equips us to live our todays in the perspective of the eternal tomorrow.

Prayer
Thank You, Father, for the privilege of experiencing inner renewal even when the external wastes away.
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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 12:23 am

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Honoring Others Above Ourselves

5. Another desire of the spiritual man is to die right rather than to live wrong. A sure mark of the mature man of God is his nonchalance about living. The earth-loving, body-conscious Christian looks upon death with numb terror in his heart; but as he goes on to live in the Spirit he becomes increasingly indifferent to the number of his years here below, and at the same time increasingly careful of the kind of life he lives while he is here. He will not purchase a few extra days of life at the cost of compromise or failure. He wants most of all to be right, and he is happy to let God decide how long he shall live. He knows that he can afford to die now that he is in Christ, but he knows that he cannot afford to do wrong, and this knowledge becomes a gyroscope to stabilize his thinking and his acting. 6. The desire to see others advance at his expense is another mark of the spiritual man. He wants to see other Christians above him and is happy when they are promoted and he is overlooked. There is no envy in his heart; when his brethren are honored he is pleased because such is the will of God and that will is his earthly heaven. If God is pleased, he is pleased for that reason, and if it pleases God to exalt another above him he is content to have it so.

Verse
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

Thought
Love for others promotes them above ourselves, even at our expense. It makes us encouragers, developers of people.

Prayer
Thank You, Father, for those whom You have used to develop me. Use me in honoring and encouraging others. For Jesus' sake.
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Jul 2012, 6:49 pm

Tozer Devotional

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cross-Carrying

3·. The spiritual man wants to carry his cross. Many Christians accept adversity or tribulation with a sigh and call it their cross, forgetting that such things come alike to saint and sinner. The cross is that extra adversity that comes to us as a result of our obedience to Christ. This cross is not forced upon us; we voluntarily take it up with full knowledge of the consequences. We choose to obey Christ and by so doing choose to carry the cross. Carrying a cross means to be attached to the Person of Christ, committed to the Lordship of Christ and obedient to the commandments of Christ. The man who is so attached, so committed, so obedient is a spiritual man. 4. Again, a Christian is spiritual when he sees everything from God’s viewpoint. The ability to weigh all things in the divine scale and place the same value upon them as God does is the mark of a Spirit-filled life. God looks at and through at the same time. His gaze does not rest on the surface but penetrates to the true meaning of things. The carnal Christian looks at an object or a situation, but because he does not see through it he is elated or cast down by what he sees. The spiritual man is able to look through things as God looks and think of them as God thinks. He insists on seeing all things as God sees them even if it humbles him and exposes his ignorance to the point of real pain.

Verse
Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.' Matthew 16:24

Thought
Today crosses are placed on church steeples or made of gold and used as necklaces or lapel pins. The cross of which Jesus spoke is an instrument of death--ours.

Prayer
Forgive me, Lord, for storing my cross in the basement. You want me to carry it daily
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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Jul 2012, 10:22 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gasping for the Glory of God

True spirituality manifests itself in certain dominant desires. These are ever-present, deep-settled wants sufficiently powerful to motivate and control the life. For convenience let me number them, though I make no effort to decide the order of their importance. 1. First is the desire to be holy rather than happy. The yearning after happiness found so widely among Christians professing a superior degree of sanctity is sufficient proof that such sanctity is not indeed present. The truly spiritual man knows that God will give abundance of joy after we have become able to receive it without injury to our souls, but he does not demand it at once. John Wesley said of the members of one of the earliest Methodist societies that he doubted that they had been made perfect in love because they came to church to enjoy religion instead of to learn how they could become holy. 2. A man may be considered spiritual when he wants to see the honor of God advanced through his life even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary dishonor or loss. Such a man prays “Hallowed be Thy name,” and silently adds, “at any cost to me, Lord.” He lives for God’s honor by a kind of spiritual reflex. Every choice involving the glory of God is for him already made before it presents itself. He does not need to debate the matter with his own heart; there is nothing to debate. The glory of God is necessary to him; he gasps for it as a suffocating man gasps for air.

Verse
Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name! John 12:27-28

Thought
God's glory at any cost, even my own. Too often "our glory" gets in the way. Self intrudes. It is God's glory that matters!

Prayer
Father, glorify Your name through me. Bring me to that place where I can pray with all my heart 'Your glory at any cost to me.'
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Post  Admin on Sat 30 Jun 2012, 9:54 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, June 30, 2012

Concepts of Spirituality

The concept of spirituality varies among different Christian groups. In some circles the highly vocal person who talks religion continually is thought to be very spiritual; others accept noisy exuberance as a mark of spirituality, and in some churches the man who prays first, longest and loudest gets a reputation for being the most spiritual man in the assembly. Now a vigorous testimony, frequent prayers and loud praise may be entirely consistent with spirituality, but it is important that we understand that they do not in themselves constitute it nor prove that it is present. True spirituality manifests itself in certain dominant desires. These are ever-present, deep-settled wants sufficiently powerful to motivate and control the life. . . .

Verse
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. 1 Corinthians 3:1-2

Thought
It is submission to the control of the Spirit that makes me spiritual. Changes in daily living result as do dominant desires.

Prayer
Deliver me, Lord, from assuming a form of spirituality that fits people expectations. You know the real me and that is what needs changing.
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Post  Admin on Sat 30 Jun 2012, 12:23 am

Tozer Devotional
Friday, June 29, 2012
Keeping Fresh

To stay free from religious ennui we should be careful not to get into a rut, not even a good rut. Our Lord warned against vain repetition. There is repetition that is not vain, but oft-repeated prayers become vain when they have lost their urgency. We should examine our prayers every now and again to discover how much sincerity and spontaneity they possess. We should insist on keeping them simple, candid, fresh and, original. And above all we should never seek to induce holy emotions. When we feel dry it is wise either to ignore it or to tell God about it without any sense of guilt. If we are dry because of some wrong on our part the Spirit through the Word will show us the fault. In short, we can keep from going stale by getting proper rest, by practicing complete candor in prayer, by introducing variety into our lives, by heeding God’s call to move onward and by exercising quiet faith always.

Verse
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Thought
Repetition of prayer in the same verbal form may leak meaning and eventually degenerate into empty religious formula. Periodic rephrasing contributes to fresh expression of worship, praise and prayer.

Prayer
Breath of God, blow upon me. Refresh, renew. In Jesus' name.
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Jun 2012, 8:46 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Resisting Monotony By Means of Variety

Some of the purest souls have written of the dangers of continuous spiritual exercises uninterrupted by lowlier considerations. Von Hugel speaks of the "neutral cost" of prayer and advises that we should sometimes break off thoughts of heavenly things and go for a walk or dig in the garden. We have all known the disappointment felt when returning to a passage of Scripture that had been so fresh and fragrant the day before only to find the sweetness gone out of it. It is the Spirit's way of urging us on to new vistas. I notice that in the wilderness God kept Israel moving. One may wonder what would have happened if they had camped in one place for forty years. The lives of the great Christians show that they differed not only from each other but from themselves at different periods of their lives. Spiritual exercises that helped them at one stage of their development later became useless and had to be changed for others.

Verse
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. . . . Psalm 40:3a

Thought
Better to pray as we walk than to fall asleep on our knees. Better to struggle in prayer expression than to mouth beautiful phrases that have lost their meaning. Variety in spiritual exercises aids in avoiding dull and sometimes empty habit.

Prayer
Thank You, Lord, for the variety and creativity You give to counter monotony and the overly familiar. Help me to stay fresh!
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Post  Admin on Wed 27 Jun 2012, 7:52 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The Faith Walk

Periods of staleness in the life are not inevitable but they are common. He is a rare Christian who has not experienced times of spiritual dullness when the relish has gone out of his heart and the enjoyment of living has diminished greatly or departed altogether. Since there is no single cause of this condition there is no one simple remedy for it. Sometimes we are to blame, as for instance when we do a wrong act without immediately seeking forgiveness and cleansing; or when we permit worldly interests to grow up and choke the tender plants of the inner life. When the cause is known, and particularly when it is as uncomplex as this, the remedy is the old-fashioned one of repentance. But if after careful and candid examination of the life by prayer and the Word no real evil is discovered, we gain nothing by putting the worst construction on things and lying facedown in the dust. To say that we have not sinned when we have is to be false to the fact; to insist that we have sinned when we have not is to be false to ourselves. There comes a time when the most spiritual thing we can do is to accept cleansing from all sin as an accomplished fact and stop calling that unclean which God has called clean.

Verse
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Thought
There are times when the Christian life is reduced to what it essentially is--a walk by faith. By faith not by sight or good feelings. God sometimes leads us through a period of dark clouds and we know that He is there only by faith.

Prayer
Thank You, Lord. I am saved by faith not by feeling saved. I live by faith not by feelings. May I clearly distinguish between feelings which can deceive and faith fixed on You.
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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Jun 2012, 10:11 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, June 25, 2012
Emergency Living

Before there can be acceptable service there must be an acceptable life. Before we can know how much we owe we must learn how great is the need. Men are caught in a disaster worse than earthquake or flood, and the redeemed of the Lord are to work for their rescue. In considering these things we must not go on the defensive. The Lord loves the artless, the candid, the childlike. He cannot work with those who argue or bargain or plead or excuse themselves. He hides His profoundest mysteries from the wise and the prudent and reveals them unto babes. The poor in spirit always receive the kingdom, the meek inherit the earth, the mourner is comforted and the pure in heart see God. My old friend Tom Haire, the praying plumber, after several months of ministry in the United States, told me one day that he was going back home for a rest. In the thickest of Irish brogues he explained how it was with him. “I’m preached out,” he said, “and I am going back to spend three months waiting on God. There are some spiritual matters that I want to get straightened out. I want to appear before the judgment seat now while I can do something about it.”

Verse
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

Thought
A vital ingredient of serving is living. Christlike living will determine how we serve and why. Emergency living gives quality to emergency serving.

Prayer
Lord, You came to serve not to be served. May I serve You in serving others.
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Post  Admin on Mon 25 Jun 2012, 10:33 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Utilizing Our Spiritual Resources

I think that most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into their personal affairs too closely. They want Him to save them, keep them happy and take them to heaven at last, but not to be too inquisitive about their conduct or service. But He has searched us and knows us; He knows our downsitting and our uprising and understands our thoughts afar off. There is no place to hide from those eyes that are as a flame of fire and there is no way to escape from the judgment of those feet that are like fine brass. It is the part of wisdom to live with these things in mind. God is love and His kindness is unbounded, but He has no sympathy with the carnal mind. He remembers that we are dust, indeed, but He refuses to tolerate the doings of the flesh. He has given us His word; He has promised that we would never be tempted above what we were able to bear; He has placed Himself at our disposal in response to believing prayer; He has made available to us the infinite moral power of His Holy Spirit to enable us to do His will here on earth. There is no excuse for our acting like timid weaklings.

Verse
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in all the church and in Christ Jesus thoughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Thought
Are we using the spiritual resources God has placed at our disposal? We are enabled believers. But that enablement of the Spirit must be appropriated in daily life.

Prayer
How I have grieved You, Lord, in failing to utilize the spiritual dynamic You have made available to me. Teach me, Spirit of God
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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jun 2012, 9:19 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, June 23, 2012

When Our Giving Expresses a Given Heart

Not by its size is my gift judged, but by how much of me there is in it. No man gives at all until he has given all. No man gives anything acceptable to God until he has first given himself in love and sacrifice. The hero is cited by his country not for the number of persons he has saved only, but for the degree of danger to himself present in his act. Service that can be done without peril, that carries no loss, no sacrifice, does not rate high in the sight of men or God. In the work of the Church the amount one man must do to accomplish a given task is determined by how much or how little the rest of the company is willing to do. It is a rare church whose members all put their shoulder to the wheel. The typical church is composed of the few whose shoulders are bruised by their faithful labors and the many who are unwilling to raise a blister in the service of God and their fellow men. There may be a bit of wry humor in all this, but it is quite certain that there will be no laughter when each of us gives account to God of the deeds done in the body.

Verse
. . . Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we exprected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 2 Corinthians 8:3c-5

Thought
Those Macedonian believers gave out of severe trial and extreme poverty. They gave joyously and generously, pleading for the privilege of giving to the saints in need. They gave as they did because they first gave themselves to the Lord.

Prayer
Lord, in giving myself to You did I remember to include my billfold?
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Post  Admin on Sat 23 Jun 2012, 3:52 pm

Tozer Devotional
Friday, June 22, 2012
Being God's People in this World

. . . The needs of the people, not our own convenience, decide how far we shall go and how much we shall do. Had there been no disaster there would have been no need for the Eternal Son to empty Himself and descend to Bethlehem’s manger. Had there been no Fall there would have been no incarnation, no thorns, no cross. These resulted when the divine goodness confronted the human emergency. While Christ was the perfect example of the healthy normal man, He yet did not live a normal life. He sacrificed many pure enjoyments to give Himself to the holy work of moral rescue. His conduct was determined not by what was legitimate or innocent, but by our human need. He pleased not Himself but lived for the emergency; and as He was so are we in this world. Before the judgment seat of Christ my service will be judged not by how much I have done but by how much I could have done. In God’s sight my giving is measured not by how much I have given but by how much I could have given and how much I had left after I made my gift. The needs of the world and my total ability to minister to those needs decide the worth of my service.

Verse
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

Thought
Some of us are much more alert than others to the major reason for our presence in this world. We are those through whom Christ seeks to reach out to people. He desires to express His love through us to people all around us.

Prayer
Whom would You reach through me today, Lord? May I be Your instrument through whom You touch others.
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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Jun 2012, 2:07 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Fulfilling Our Commission

One mighty fact there is which for us men overwhelms all other considerations and gives significance to everything we do. It is that the human race has left its first estate and is morally and spiritually fallen. Since the fall of man the earth has been a disaster area and everyone lives with a critical emergency. Nothing is normal. Everything is wrong and everyone is wrong until made right by the redeeming work of Christ and the effective operation of the Holy Spirit. The universal disaster of the Fall compels us to think differently about our obligation to our fellow men. What would be entirely permissible under normal conditions becomes wrong in the present situation, and many things not otherwise required are necessary because of abnormal conditions.

Verse
Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' John 20:21

Thought
Our Lord Jesus Christ has sent us into the world as the Father sent Him. We do not come as redeemers but as the Lord's "EMS" Sent Ones, witnessing of Him by life and word.

Prayer
Lord, so easily I fall into tedium as if all were well in the world. Shock me into seeing the emergency!

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The Misuse of Humor

. . . We may be known by the following: 7. What we laugh at. No one with a due regard for the wisdom of God would argue that there is anything wrong with laughter, since humor is a legitimate component of our complex nature. Lacking a sense of humor we fall that much short of healthy humanity. But the test we are running here is not whether we laugh or not, but what we laugh at. Some things lie outside the field of pure humor. No reverent Christian, for instance, finds death funny, nor birth nor love. No Spirit-filled man can bring himself to laugh at the Holy Scriptures, or the Church which Christ purchased with His own blood, or prayer or righteousness or human grief or pain. And surely no one who has been even for a brief moment in the presence of God could ever laugh at a story involving the Deity. These are a few tests. The wise Christian will find others.

Verse
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:4

Thought
God gives us grace to laugh at ourselves and there is much to laugh at. Other targets of humor are subject to restriction because humor can degenerate into mockery of other people and the things of God.

Prayer
Thank You for the gift of humor, Lord. Make me sensitive to its misuse and misdirection. For Jesus' sake.
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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 5:15 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More Clues to Self-Discovery
. . . We may be known by the following: 4. What we do with our leisure time. A large share of our time is already spoken for by the exigencies of civilized living, but we do have some free time. What we do with it is vital. Most people waste it staring at the television, listening to the radio, reading the cheap output of the press or engaging in idle chatter. What I do with mine reveals the kind of man I am. 5. The company we enjoy. There is a law of moral attraction that draws every man to the society most like himself. “Being let go, they went to their own company” (Acts 4:23). Where we go when we are free to go where we will is a near-infallible index of character. 6. Whom and what we admire. I have long suspected that the great majority of evangelical Christians, while kept somewhat in line by the pressure of group opinion, nevertheless have a boundless, if perforce secret, admiration for the world. We can learn the true state of our minds by examining our unexpressed admirations. Israel often admired, even envied, the pagan nations around them, and so forgot the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the law and the promises and the fathers. Instead of blaming Israel let us look to ourselves.

Verse
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Thought
Our use of leisure, the company we enjoy and our secret objects of admiration disclose much about who we are. Have we subjected those areas to the Spirit's review?

Prayer
Can I engage in these things in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to You? O God, show me.
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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 1:01 am

Tozer Devotional
Monday, June 18, 2012

Revelators of Who We Are

. . . We may be known by the following: 1. What we want most. We have but to get quiet, recollect our thoughts, wait for the mild excitement within us to subside, and then listen closely for the faint cry of desire. Ask your heart, What would you rather have than anything else in the world? Reject the conventional answer. Insist on the true one, and when you have heard it you will know the kind of person you are. 2. What we think about most. The necessities of life compel us to think about many things, but the true test is what we think about voluntarily. It is more than likely that our thoughts will cluster about our secret heart treasure, and whatever that is will reveal what we are. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). 3. How we use our money. Again we must ignore those matters about which we are not altogether free. We must pay taxes and provide the necessities of life for ourselves and family, if any. That is routine, merely, and tells us little about ourselves. But whatever money is left to do with as we please--that will tell us a great deal indeed. Better listen to it.

Verse
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. . . . 1 Peter 3:15a

Thought
Those secret desires, what we think about when free to think what we will, our use of finances--revelator s of who we are. Well, who are we?

Prayer
O God, there is so much of me yet to be changed into what You want me to be. Increase my sensitivity to Your Spirit's promptings in those areas of life that I may surrender them to Christ's Lordship.
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Jun 2012, 9:59 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Discovering Who I Am and Who I Can Be

Now, our true moral and spiritual state can be disclosed only by the Spirit and the Word. The final judgment of the heart is God’s. There is a sense in which we dare not judge each other (Matt. 7:1-5), and in which we should not even try to judge ourselves ( 1 Cor. 4:3). The ultimate judgment belongs to the One whose eyes are like a flame of fire and who sees quite through the deeds and thoughts of men. I for one am glad to leave the final word with Him. There is, nevertheless, a place for self-judgment and a real need that we exercise it (1 Cor. 11:31-32). While our self-discovery is not likely to be complete and our self-judgment is almost certain to be biased and imperfect, there is yet every good reason for us to work along with the Holy Spirit in His benign effort to locate us spiritually in order that we may make such amendments as the circumstances demand. That God already knows us thoroughly is certain (Psa. 139:1-6). It remains for us to know ourselves as accurately as possible. For this reason I offer some rules for self-discovery; and if the results are not all we could desire they may be at least better than none at all. . . .

Verse
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

Thought
In discovering who I am I will also be finding whom I am not and whom I can be through Christ. Revealed will be those areas where I most need to submit to the Spirit's transforming power.

Prayer
Only by Your power, O Lord, can I be changed into what You desire me to be.
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jun 2012, 9:26 am

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Self-Discovery

Hardly anything else reveals so well the fear and uncertainty among men as the length to which they will go to hide their true selves from each other and even from their own eyes. Almost all men live from childhood to death behind a semiopaque curtain, coming out briefly only when forced by some emotional shock and then retreating as quickly as possible into hiding again. The result of this lifelong dissimulation is that people rarely know their neighbors for what they really are, and worse than that, the camouflage is so successful that mostly they do not quite know themselves either. Self-knowledge is so critically important to us in our pursuit of God and His righteousness that we lie under heavy obligation to do immediately whatever is necessary to remove the disguise and permit our real selves to be known. It is one of the supreme tragedies in religion that so many of us think so highly of ourselves when the evidence lies all on the other side; and our self-admiration effectively blocks out any possible effort to discover a remedy for our condition. Only the man who knows he is sick will go to a physician.

Verse
. . . All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' 1 Peter 5:5

Thought
Do I know the real me? Our tendency is to refuse to admit what God shows us to be. Yet accurate self-identification is necessary if we are to escape the enemy's deception and to grow in Christ.

Prayer
Father, deliver me from religious pretense and self-deception. You know the real me. Help me to know also that I may trust You for inner healing.
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Post  Admin on Fri 15 Jun 2012, 3:06 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thu, June 14, 2012
Cleansing Destroys Regret

It may be argued that the absence of regret indicates a low and inadequate view of sin, but the exact opposite is true. Sin is so frightful, so destructive to the soul that no human thought or act can in any degree diminish its lethal effects. Only God can deal with it successfully; only the blood of Christ can cleanse it from the pores of the spirit. The heart that has been delivered from this dread enemy feels not regret but wondrous relief and unceasing gratitude. The returned prodigal honors his father more by rejoicing than by repining. Had the young man in the story had less faith in his father he might have mourned in a corner instead of joining in the festivities. His confidence in the lovingkindness of his father gave him the courage to forget his checkered past.

Verse
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14

Thought
Christ's death for us removes our sin and scrubs clean our consciences. It is time to bury regret and serve the living God!

Prayer
Lord, I turn from that regret that refuses to accept Your Word and Your promise. May praise to You fill my heart as I serve You.
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 10:59 pm

Tozer Devotional
Wed, June 13, 2012
Godly Sorrow that Leaves No Regret

There is indeed a godly sorrow that worketh repentance (2 Cor. 7:10), and it must be acknowledged that among us Christians this feeling is often not present in sufficient strength to work real repentance; but the persistence of this sorrow till it becomes chronic regret is neither right nor good. Regret is a kind of frustrated repentance that has not been quite consummated. Once the soul has turned from all sin and committed itself wholly to God there is no longer any legitimate place for regret. When moral innocence has been restored by the forgiving love of God the guilt may be remembered, but the sting is gone from the memory. The forgiven man knows that he has sinned, but he no longer feels it. The effort to be forgiven by works is one that can never be completed because no one knows or can know how much is enough to cancel out the offense; so the seeker must go on year after year paying on his moral debt, here a little, there a little, knowing that he sometimes adds to his bill much more than he pays. The task of keeping books on such a transaction can never end, and the seeker can only hope that when the last entry is made he may be ahead and the account fully paid. This is quite the popular belief, this forgiveness by self-effort, but it is a natural heresy and can at last only betray those who depend upon it.

Verse
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

Thought
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation. Godly sorrow leaves no regret because genuine repentance has occurred. Perpetual regret is not from God. It only leads to endless effort to earn God's grace.

Prayer
I know, Lord, that I can never earn Your forgiveness or merit Your grace. Forgive me for trying.
Tozer Devotional
Tue, June 12, 2012
The Vain Penance of Perpetual Regret

Long after we have learned from the Scriptures that we cannot, by fasting or the wearing of a hair shirt or the making of many prayers, atone for the sins of the soul, we still tend by a kind of pernicious natural heresy to feel that we can please God and purify our souls by the penance of perpetual regret. This latter is the Protestant’s unacknowledged penance. Though he claims to believe in the doctrine of justification by faith he still secretly feels that what he calls “godly sorrow” will make him dear to God. Though he may know better he is caught in the web of a wrong religious feeling and betrayed.

Verse
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- -it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5

Thought
It seems that when we have repeatedly been forgiven for a particular sin and then fall again that asking forgiveness does not seem enough. We feel that we have to do something for God. What we have to do is to ask forgiveness, receive it and then walk by

Prayer
Thank You for forgiveness and cleansing, Lord. I trust You for enablement to live for You as I walk by Your Spirit day by day.
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Jun 2012, 11:47 am

Tozer Devotional
Mon, June 11, 2012
That Amazing Grace!

The human heart is heretical by nature. Popular religious beliefs should be checked carefully against the Word of God, for they are almost certain to be wrong. Legalism, for instance, is natural to the human heart. Grace in its true New Testament meaning is foreign to human reason, not because it is contrary to reason but because it lies beyond it. The doctrine of grace had to be revealed; it could not have been discovered. The essence of legalism is self-atonement. The seeker tries to make himself acceptable to God by some act of restitution, or by self-punishment or the feeling of regret. The desire to be pleasing to God is commendable certainly, but the effort to please God by self-effort is not, for it assumes that sin once done may be undone, an assumption wholly false.

Verse
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalm 32:1-2

Thought
O the blessedness of sins forgiven, knowing that God no longer counts them against us. The amazing grace of God!

Prayer
O Christ, I could never atone for my sins. You have done it. I receive the forgiveness You give. I glory in Your grace.
Tozer Devotional
Sun, June 10, 2012
What Are You Thinking?
We must think of the surrounding world of people and things against the background of our thoughts of God. The experienced Christian will never think of anything directly; his thoughts go first to God and from God out to His creation. His thoughts, like the angels of Jacob’s ladder, ascend and descend, but ever God stands above them presiding over all. To be heavenly-minded we must think heavenly thoughts. “So let us return to ourselves, brothers, . . . for it is impossible for us to be reconciled and united with God if we do not first return to ourselves . . . striving constantly to keep attention on the kingdom of heaven which is within us.” So wrote Nicephorus, a father of the Greek Orthodox Church, in the fourteenth century, and nothing since has changed. God must have all our thoughts it we would experience the sanctification of our minds.

Verse
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

Thought
What are my thoughts toward God, myself, other people, circumstances and situations? Is my thinking faith-focused or mired in doubt? Do I see other people as God sees them? For many of us, basic changes are needed in our thinking.

Prayer
Father, purify my thinking. Increase my sensitivity to what I think. Transform my mind. For Christ's sake.
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jun 2012, 12:24 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sat, June 09, 2012
Reacting to Circumstances

. . . External things and events are the raw material only; the finished product is whatever the mind makes of these. Judas Iscariot and John the Beloved lived in the same world, but how differently they interpreted it. The same may be said of Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, Saul and David. From these we learn that circumstances do not make men; it is their reaction to circumstances that determines what kind of men they will be. What then can we Christians do? The answer is, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phpns. 2:5). “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). The mental stuff of the Christian can be and should be modified and conditioned by the Spirit of Christ which indwells his nature. God wills that we think His thoughts after Him. The Spirit-filled, prayerful Christian actually possesses the mind of Christ, so that his reactions to the external world are the same as Christ’s. He thinks about people and things just as Christ does. All life becomes to him the raw nectar which the Spirit within him turns into the honey of paradise. Yet this is not automatic. To do His gracious work God must have the intelligent cooperation of His people. If we would think God’s thoughts we must learn to think continually of God. “God thinks continuously of each one of us as if He had no one but ourselves,” said Francois Malaval; “it is therefore no more than just if we think continuously of Him, as if we had no one but Himself.”

Verse
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

Thought
As Kate Wilkinson put it: "May the mind of Christ, my Savior, live in me from day to day, by His love and power controlling all I do and say. May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing--this is victory."

Prayer
Change my thinking, Lord, then shall I be changed.
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Jun 2012, 7:42 pm

Tozer Devotional
Fri, June 08, 2012

Thinking is a Kind of Living

Thinking is a kind of living. To think and to be aware that we think is to be conscious; life without consciousness is but a shadow of life, having no meaning and being of no value to the individual. Our thoughts are the product of our thinking, and since these are of such vast importance to us it is imperative that we learn how to think rightly. I am not concerned here with that kind of profound cerebration known as “heavy thinking.” Few of us have the intellectual equipment to enable us, or the will power to compel us, to engage in such heroic mental exercise. I am dealing here with that kind of thinking done by every normal person every waking moment from birth to death. After all, it is not our heavy thinking that shapes our characters, but the quiet attention of the mind to the surrounding world day after day throughout our lives. Men are influenced more by their common, everyday thinking than by any rare intellectual feat such as writing a great poem or painting a famous picture. Feats of thinking may create reputation, but habits of thinking create character The incredible mental accomplishments of an Einstein, for instance, had almost nothing to do with the kind of human being he was; the constant, undramatic, moment-by-moment interplay of his mind with his environment, on the other hand, had almost everything to do with it. We all live in two environments, the one being the world around us, the other our thoughts about that world. The larger world cannot affect us directly; it must be mediated to us by our thoughts, and will be to us at last only what we allow it to be.

Verse
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 Peter 3:1

Thought
We all think. All day long we think. What we think has so much to do with what we are and what we are becoming. It strongly influences our living. Are we disciplining ourselves in wholesome thinking?

Prayer
Holy Spirit, guide me in my thinking. How I perceive and interpret the world around me, the words and actions of people. Stimulate me to wholsome thinking. In Jesus' name.
Tozer Devotional
Thu, June 07, 2012
Being Participants in Truth

Truth cannot aid us until we become participators in it. We only possess what we experience. St. Gregory of Sinai, who lived in the fourteenth century, taught that understanding and participation were inseparable in the spiritual life. “He who seeks to understand commandments without fulfilling commandments, and to acquire such understanding through learning and reading, is like a man who takes a shadow for truth. For the understanding of truth is given to those who have become participants in truth (who have tasted it through living). Those who are not participants in truth and are not initiated therein, when they seek this understanding, draw it from a distorted wisdom. Of such men the apostle says ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit,’ even though they boast of their knowledge of truth.” Here is a simple but neglected doctrine that should be restored to its rightful place in the thinking and teaching of the Church. It would work wonders.

Verse
The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is made up only of rules taught by men.' Isaiah 29:13

Thought
Some of us measure our commitment to Christ by the truth we mouth and the rules we keep--rules which may be man-made and not from God. But truth must be tasted through living if we are to be participants in it.

Prayer
Lord, teach me what it means to participate in Your truth that through it I may be free.
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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jun 2012, 8:47 am

Tozer Devotional
Wed, June 06, 2012
Surrendering to Truth

We must be willing to obey if we would know the true inner meaning of the teachings of Christ and the apostles. I believe this view prevailed in every revival that ever came to the Church during her long history. Indeed a revived Church may be distinguished from a dead one by the attitude of its members toward the truth. The dead church holds to the shell of truth without surrendering the will to it, while the church that wills to do God’s will is immediately blessed with a visitation of spiritual powers. Theological facts are like the altar of Elijah on Carmel before the fire came, correct, properly laid out, but altogether cold. When the heart makes the ultimate surrender, the fire falls and true facts are transmuted into spiritual truth that transforms, enlightens, sanctifies. The church or the individual that is Bible taught without being Spirit taught (and there are many of them) has simply failed to see that truth lies deeper than the theological statement of it.

Verse
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

Thought
God does teach us His way. Are we walking in His truth? Unless we do our heart is divided and our faith reduced to intellectual affirmations without full heart commitment.

Prayer
Show me, Lord, those areas of Your truth to which I have not yet surrendered. I want to walk in Your truth with an undivided heart.
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