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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Apr 2011, 12:24 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Public Bible-Reading as Part of Worship

To read the Bible well in public we must first love it. The voice, if it is free, unconsciously follows the emotional tone. Reverence cannot be simulated. No one who does not feel the deep solemnity of the Holy Word can properly express it. God will not allow His Book to become the plaything of the rhetorician. That is why we instinctively draw back from every simulated tone in the reading of the Scriptures. The radio announcer's artificial unction cannot hide the absence of the real thing. The man who stands to declaim the Scriptures like a schoolboy reciting a passage from Hamlet can only leave his hearers with a feeling of disappointment. They know they have been cheated, though most of them could not tell just how. Again, to read the Bible well, one must know what the words mean and allow them to mean just that, without putting any body English on the passage to make it take a turn of meaning not found in the text. Probably the hardest part of learning to read well is eliminating ourselves. We read best when we get ourselves out of the transaction and let God talk through the imperfect medium of our voice. The beginner should read aloud whole books of the Bible in the privacy of his own room. In that way he can learn to hear his own voice and will know how he sounds to others. Let him consult a pronouncing Bible to learn the correct pronunciations of the names and places of the Bible. Let him cultivate the habit of reading slowly and distinctly with the reverence and dignity proper to the subject matter. Surely Protestants deserve a better sort of Scripture reading than they are now getting in our churches. And we who do the reading are the only ones who can give it to them.

Verse
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13

Thought
Public reading of the Scripture is closely related to preaching and teaching. Certainly preaching and teaching need to be done well but so does the public reading of the Scripture. All are part of corporate church worship.

Prayer
May we read Your Word from our hearts, Father, and may we listen with our hearts when we hear it read.
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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Apr 2011, 3:42 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, April 04, 2011

The Word of God

Of course we of this generation cannot know by firsthand experience how the Word of God was read in other times. But it would be hard to conceive of our fathers having done a poorer job than we do when it comes to the public reading of the Scriptures. Most of us read the Scriptures so badly that a good performance draws attention by its rarity. It could be argued that since everyone these days owns his own copy of the Scriptures, the need for the public reading of the Word is not as great as formerly. If that is true, then let us not bother to read the Scriptures at all in our churches. But if we are going to read the Word publicly, then it is incumbent upon us to read it well. A mumbled, badly articulated and unintelligent reading of the Sacred Scriptures will do more than we think to give the listeners the idea that the Word is not important. We do not, however, concur in the belief that because the Word has attained such wide circulation we should not read it in our public meetings. We should by all means read it, and we should make the reading a memorable experience for those who hear. Every man who is honored with the leadership of public worship should learn to read well. And do not imagine that anyone who can read at all can read well. Even learned men break down here. We are all familiar with those public figures who can talk fluently on almost any subject but flunk out miserably when they try to quote the Scriptures. Reading the Bible well is something not picked up overnight.

Verse
He [Ezra] read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law." Nehemiah 8:3

Thought
Ezra read the Book of the Law of Moses to the people from daybreak till noon. There was no public address system. Ezra must have read well. The people stood and listened attentively.

Prayer
O God, help us to read Your Word well and to listen attentively. For it is Your Word.




Tozer Devotional
Sunday, April 03, 2011

Keeping the Message of the Bible Central

The Bible is the most important book in the world, and for Christians it is just about the only book--certainly the only book that should claim the place of honor in the public worship of God. We are, we trust, duly grateful for every good spiritual book written since the close of the New Testament canon. We do not undervalue the devotional book or the carefully prepared theological work, but when saints meet in communion there should be but one book, the Bible. The place given to the Scriptures by the different churches may be learned from the very architecture of the building in which their congregations gather. The ritualistic church builds itself around the altar. Toward that altar all eyes are directed and around that altar various and sundry choirs are ranged, to chant or respond or sing as the occasion may demand. The typical Protestant church is quite different. Its center of interest is the pulpit, and upon that pulpit rests a copy of the Bible printed in the language of the people. Preachers may come and preachers may go, but that old pulpit Bible remains. There it lies while generations pass, a source of light in the world's darkness, a fountain of pure water in the world's barren desert. And that minister is considered the best who can expound its sweet mysteries. Lack of oratorical gifts will be forgiven if the man of God will but open the Book and give his hearers to eat of the heavenly manna.

Verse
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Thought
The pulpit has been replaced by the small podium or just empty space. Preachers seem to walk miles around the platform. Pulpit Bibles are a thing of the past. Pulpits and pulpit Bibles are not biblically decreed. But the careful exposition of the Bible i

Prayer
Lord, may Your Word be central in our church services. May it be clearly and carefully presented so that we might grow.
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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Apr 2011, 4:39 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, April 02, 2011

Let's Go On!

The will of God is always the proper goal for every one of us. Where God is must be the place of desire. Any motion toward God is a forward motion. Even repentance is not a retreat toward the past but a decided march into a more glorious future. Restitution is not a return to yesterday but a step into a blessed tomorrow. There is such a thing as going backward in the spiritual life. There is such a thing as a retreat from a spiritual position once held by us as individual Christians. And there is such a thing as denominations and missionary societies making a wholesale withdrawal from ground once won at tremendous cost. If we find that we have gone back, then we should immediately reverse the direction and again go forward. The great truths of superior spiritual experiences, of high levels of personal living, of rapturous communion with the Three Persons of the Godhead, of victory over the flesh, of the gifts and power of the Spirit: what has happened to these? Once they marked us out and made us peculiar. What about it today? These are fair questions and they demand an answer. If candid self-examination reveals a departure from the green pastures where once our fathers grazed, what then? Let there be no wasting of time in a futile mooning over the past. Rather let us arise and go! Let us go forward to a new and better place in God. The land lies before us. Let us go in and take it.

Verse
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, . . . And God permitting, we will do so. Hebrews 6:1, 3

Thought
Let's go on to maturity! Let's grow in Christ! Christ wants us to know Him, to experientially know Him. Let's make it our highest priority.

Prayer
From Your Word, Lord, from the lives of Your people, I know there are bridges to cross and mountains to climb that take me deeper into You. I want to go on by Your Spirit!
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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Apr 2011, 2:41 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making the Most of Today

We have little sympathy for the psychology expressed in the various "Back To" movements among Christians today. Our direction is not back, but forward. Few acts are as futile as sitting down and singing "Backward, turn backward, O Time, in thy flight." We cannot turn the clock back. We cannot bring back better days. And it is not necessary or desirable that we should. If by means of some fantastic "time machine" one of us were permitted to go backward and visit some favorite period of the past, he would in all probability find the experience extremely disappointing. He would find himself a kind of anachronism, wholly out of place and thoroughly unhappy. To each one it is given to occupy his own spot in history. He must, like David, do the will of God by serving his own generation. It is in his own day that he must meet God in satisfying encounter. It is in his today, not in some pensive yesterday, that he must explore the riches of divine grace, do his allotted work and win his crown. Psychologists attribute certain abnormal mental conditions to an unconscious desire to escape the responsibilities of adult life by returning to the quiet and security of the prenatal state. Our habit of trying to recapture the spiritual glow of some better time by going backward creates a suspicion that we have lost the will to fight and are retiring to a safer spot behind the lines where we can sit down in peace to dream of armies defeated and battles won.

Verse
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Thought
Today is an opportunity to know God and to serve Him. We no longer have yesterday and may have left no tomorrows. But today is uniquely God-given.

Prayer
My tendency, Lord, is to look back or forward. In doing so, I often miss the strategic value of today. Thank You for this day.
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Post  Admin on Thu 31 Mar 2011, 11:30 am

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In the World But Not of It

We are sent to bless the world, but never are we told to compromise with it. Our glory lies in a spiritual withdrawal from all that builds on dust. The bee finds no honey while crawling around the hive. Honey is in the flower far away where there is quiet and peace and the sun and the flowing stream; there the bee must go to find it. The Christian will find slim pickings where professed believers play and pray all in one breath. He may be compelled sometimes to travel alone or at least to go with the ostracized few. To belong to the despised minority may be the price he must pay for power. But power is cheap at any price.

Verse
I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as John 17:14-16

Thought
In the world but not of the world--a distinction often difficult to maintain. God's enablement is the only means.

Prayer
Oh Lord, may I experience Your power to be in the world but not of it. May I be light to it. For Jesus' sake.
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Post  Admin on Wed 30 Mar 2011, 4:43 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When Fish Catch the Fisherman

History shows clearly enough that true spirituality has never at any time been the possession of the masses. In any given period since the fall of the human race, only a few persons ever discerned the right way or walked in God's law. God's truth has never been popular. Wherever Christianity becomes popular, it is not on its way to die--it has already died. Popular Judaism slew the prophets and crucified Christ. Popular Christianity killed the Reformers, jailed the Quakers and drove John Wesley into the streets. When it comes to religion, the crowds are always wrong. At any time there are a few who see, and the rest are blinded. To stand by the truth of God against the current religious vogue is always unpopular and may be downright dangerous. The historic church, while she was a hated minority group, had a moral power that made her terrible to evil and invincible before her foes. When the Roman masses, without change of heart, were made Christian by baptism, Christianity gained popularity and lost her spiritual glow. From there she went on to adopt the ways of Rome and to follow her pagan religions. The fish caught the fisherman, and what started out to be the conversion of Rome became finally the conversion of the church. From that ignominious captivity, the church has never been fully delivered.

Verse
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19

Thought
That the world hates us because we are disciples of Christ is a positive indication that we are indeed following Him. If the world welcomes us as disciples of Christ, alarms go off. How closely are we walking with Him?

Prayer
Lord, help me to express Your love to the people of the world without conforming to the world.
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Post  Admin on Tue 29 Mar 2011, 1:45 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, March 28, 2011

Standing for Truth

We have developed in recent times a peace-loving, soft-spoken, tame and harmless brand of Christian of whom the world has no fear and for whom it has little respect. We are careful, for instance, never to speak in public against any of the false cults lest we be thought intolerant. We fear to talk against the destructive sins of modern civilization for fear someone will brand us as bigoted and narrow. Little by little we have been forced off the hard earth into a religious cloud-land where we are permitted to wing our harmless way around, like swallows at sundown, saying nothing that might stir the ire of the sons of this world. That Neo-Christianity, which seems for the time to be the most popular (and is certainly the most aggressive), is very careful not to oppose sin. It wins its crowds by amusing them and its converts by hiding from them the full implications of the Christian message. It carries on its projects after the ballyhoo methods of American business. Well might we paraphrase Wordsworth and cry, "Elijah, thou shouldst be living at this hour; America has need of thee." We stand in desperate need of a few men like Elijah who will dare to face up to the brazen sinners who dictate our every way of life. Sin in the full proportions of a revolution or a plague has all but destroyed our civilization while church people have played like children in the marketplace. What has happened to the spirit of the American Christian? Has our gold become dim? Have we lost the spirit of discernment till we can no longer recognize our captors? How much longer will we hide in caves while Ahab and Jezebel continue to pollute the temple and ravage the land? Surely we should give this some serious thought and prayer before it is too late--if indeed it is not too late already.

Verse
Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. Isaiah 59:15

Thought
In our culture today there seem to be only two absolutes: (1) that there are no absolutes except that there are no absolutes; and (2) everything must be tolerated since there is no absolute truth. Painful and uncomfortable as it is, we must stand up for

Prayer
Father, give me courage and boldness to lovingly and graciously stand for You in my sphere of influence. May I be Your ambassador.
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Post  Admin on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 5:11 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daring to Stand for Truth

The nearer we draw to the heart of God the less taste we will have for controversy. The peace we know in God's bosom is so sweet that it is but natural that we want to keep it unbroken to enjoy as fully and as long as possible. The Spirit-filled Christian is never a good fighter. He is at too many disadvantages. The enemy is always better at invective than he will allow himself to be. The devil has all the picturesque epithets, and his followers have no conscience about using them. The Christian is always more at home, blessing than he is opposing. He is, moreover, much thinner-skinned than his adversaries. He shrinks from an angry countenance and draws back from bitter words. They are symbols of a world he has long ago forsaken for the quiet of the kingdom of God where love and good will prevail. All this is in his favor, for it marks him out as a man in whom there is no hate and who earnestly desires to live at peace with all men. In spite of his sincere longing for peace, however, there will be times when he dare not allow himself to enjoy it. There are times when it is a sin to be at peace. There are circumstances when there is nothing to do but to stand up and vigorously oppose. To wink at iniquity for the sake of peace is not a proof of superior spirituality; it is rather a sign of a reprehensible timidity which dare not oppose sin for fear of the consequences. For it will cost us heavily to stand for the right when the wrong is in the majority, which is 100 percent of the time.

Verse
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:15

Thought
It is easier to excuse ourselves from religious conflict than to assert the truth in a Spirit-emboldened manner. But there are times when we are God's strategically- placed person. We speak and live as His representative.

Prayer
Lord, You know that my inclination is to flee from controversy and confrontation. O Lord, show me when to confront and enable me to do it for Christ's sake.
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Post  Admin on Sun 27 Mar 2011, 5:05 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, March 26, 2011

Costs of Complaining

The complainer is further embarassed by the moral company in which he finds himself. His is a spiritual affinity with some pretty shady characters: Cain, Korah, the sulky elder brother, the petulant Jews of the Book of Malachi who answered every fatherly admonition of God with an ill-humored "Wherefore have we? Wherein have we?" These are but a few faces that stand out in the picture of the disgruntled followers of the religious way. And the complaining Christian, if he but looks closely, will see his own face peering out at him from the background. Lastly, the believer who complains against the difficulties of the way proves that he has never felt or known the sorrows which broke over the head of Christ when He was here among men. After one look at Gethsemane or Calvary, the Christian can never again believe that his own path is a hard one. We dare not compare our trifling pains with the sublime passion endured for our salvation. Any comparison would itself be the supreme argument against our complaints, for what sorrow is like unto His? After saying all this we are yet sure that no one can be reasoned out of the habit of complaining. That habit is more than a habit--it is a disease of the soul, and as such, it will never yield to mere logic. The only cure is cleansing in the blood of the Lamb.

Verse
Korah son of Izhar, the sons of Kohath, . . . and certain Reubenites . . . became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. Numbers 16:1-2

Thought
Korah and members of the council challenged Moses' leadership. They experienced God's judgment as a result. Are there churches experiencing God's judgment because of grumbling and complaint against God-appointed leaders? It is far easier to criticize lea

Prayer
Lord, I find it far easier to grumble and complain against leaders than to graciously submit to them. May I faithfully pray for my leaders.
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Post  Admin on Sat 26 Mar 2011, 11:32 am

Tozer Devotional
Friday, March 25, 2011

The Illogic of Complaining

Among those sins most exquisitely fitted to injure the soul and destroy the testimony, few can equal the sin of complaining. Yet the habit is so widespread that we hardly notice it among us. The complaining heart never lacks for occasion. It can always find reason enough to be unhappy. The object of its censure may be almost anything: the weather, the church, the difficulties of the way, other Christians or even God Himself. A complaining Christian puts himself in a position morally untenable. The simple logic of his professed discipleship is against him with an unanswerable argument. Its reasoning runs like this: First, he is a Christian because he chose to be. There are no conscripts in the army of God. He is, therefore, in the awkward position of complaining against the very conditions he brought himself into by his own free choice. Secondly, he can quit any time he desires. No Christian wears a chain on his leg. Yet he still continues on, grumbling as he goes, and for such conduct he has no defense.

Verse
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation. Philippians 2:14-15

Thought
The cause for complaint is often a God-given opportunity for growth and praise. What at first appear to be thorns may prove to be divine prods that move us closer to God.

Prayer
Deliver me from complaining, Lord. Rather, teach me to praise You and thank You for the opportunities to grow.
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Post  Admin on Fri 25 Mar 2011, 10:27 am

Devotional
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Staying with the Clear Teaching of Scripture

Every believer as well as every minister of Christ must decide whether he will put his emphasis upon the majors or the minors. He must decide whether he will stay by the sober truths which constitute the beating heart of the Scriptures or turn his attention to those marginal doctrines which always bring division and which, at their best, could not help us much on our way to the Celestial City. No man has any moral right to propound any teaching about which there is not full agreement among Bible Christians until he has made himself familiar with church history and with the development of Christian doctrine through the centuries. The historic approach is best. After we have discovered what holy men believed, what great reformers and saints taught, what the purest souls and mightiest workers held to be important for holy living and dying--then we are in a fair position to appraise our own teaching. Humility is the only state of mind in which to approach the Scriptures. The Spirit will teach the humble soul those things that make for his salvation and for a holy walk and fruitful service here below. And little else matters.

Verse
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, 'Do not go beyond what is written.' Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. 1 Corinthians 4:6

Thought
There is the danger of embellishing the written, even ranging beyond it, in order to serve up the new, the exotic, the innovative. Oh, for preachers who open to us the meat of God's Word with contextual accuracy, clarity, sound exegesis and meaningful ap

Prayer
Thank You for access to Your Word, Lord. There are many in the world without the Word in their language. May I receive it and live it to Your glory. Amen.

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Post  Admin on Thu 24 Mar 2011, 12:33 pm

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Heart Health Food or Just Tasty Snacks

Dr. Samuel Johnson, the famous English sage, once said that one of the surest evidences of intellectual immaturity is the desire to startle people. Yet there are Christians who have been fed upon the odd, the strange and the curious so long and so exclusively that they have become wholly unfitted spiritually to receive or to appreciate sound doctrine. They live to be startled by something new or thrilled by something wonderful. They will believe anything so long as it is just a little away from the time-honored beliefs of sober Christian men. A serious discourse calling for repentance, humbleness of mind and holiness of life is impatiently dismissed as old-fashioned, dull and lacking in "audience appeal." Yet these things are just the ones that rank highest on the list of things we need to hear, and by them we shall all be judged in that great day of Christ. A church fed on excitement is no New Testament church at all. The desire for surface stimulation is a sure mark of the fallen nature, the very thing Christ died to deliver us from. A curious crowd of baptized worldlings waiting each Sunday for the quasi-religious needle to give them a lift bears no relation whatsoever to a true assembly of Christian believers. And that its members protest their undying faith in the Bible does not change things any. "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Verse
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. Acts 2:42-43

Thought
Is the "apostles' teaching" still at the heart of our worship services or do we feature the more interesting story-telling and Christian entertainment? Perhaps it is the Spirit's power demonstrated in some wonders and miraculous signs we need.

Prayer
Lord, give me a hunger for the solid food that feeds the heart and a holy dissatisfaction with anything less.
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 Mar 2011, 11:49 am

Tozer Devotional
Monday, March 21, 2011

Growing Oaks or Ears of Popcorn

The church must claim again her ancient dowry of everlastingness. She must begin again to deal with ages and millenniums rather then with days and years. She must not count numbers but test foundations. She must work for permanence rather than for appearance. Her children must seek those enduring things that have been touched with immortality. The shallow brook of popular religion chatters on its nervous way and thinks the ocean too quiet and dull because it lies deep in its mighty bed and is unaffected by the latest shower. Faith in one of its aspects moves mountains; in another it gives patience to see the promises afar off and to wait quietly for their fulfillment. Insistence upon an immediate answer to every request of the soul is an evidence of religious infantilism. It takes God longer to grow an oak than to grow an ear of popcorn. It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run--and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.

Verse
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6

Thought
Abraham believed God and kept on believing God. He waited 25 years for the birth of Isaac. In his lifetime, Abraham never saw the emergence of the people Israel or experienced possession of the promised land. He just believed and kept on believing. What

Prayer
Father, You are everlasting. You are forever. Help me to trustfully walk with You through the valleys and over the mountains. I want to be an oak.
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Post  Admin on Mon 21 Mar 2011, 3:32 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Contemporary vs. the Eternal

Pastors and churches in our hectic times are harassed by the temptation to seek size at any cost and to secure by inflation what they cannot gain by legitimate growth. The mixed multitude cries for quantity and will not forgive a minister who insists upon solid values and permanence. Many a man of God is being subjected to cruel pressure by the ill-taught members of his flock who scorn his slow methods and demand quick results and a popular following regardless of quality. These children play in the marketplaces and cannot overlook the affront we do them by our refusal to dance when they whistle or to weep when they out of caprice pipe a sad tune. They are greedy for thrills, and since they dare no longer seek them in the theater, they demand to have them brought into the church. We who follow Christ are men and women of eternity. We must put no confidence in the passing scenes of the disappearing world. We must resist every attempt of Satan to palm off upon us the values that belong to mortality. Nothing less than forever is long enough for us. We view with amused sadness the frenetic scramble of the world to gain a brief moment in the sun. "The book of the month," for instance, has a strange sound to one who has dwelt with God and taken his values from the Ancient of Days. "The man of the year" cannot impress those men and women who are making their plans for that long eternity when days and years have passed away and time is no more.

Verse
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Thought
Contemporary and Eternal. Are they compatible? The challenge is to recognize and communicate the eternal without contemporary or traditional forms letting in syncretistic or current worldview error.

Prayer
Father, Your Word is my light along the way. It keeps me from detouring into the momentary popular or the hoary traditional. Increase my sensitivity to perceive Your light. In Jesus' name.
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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Mar 2011, 11:29 am

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Psychology of Impermanence

Time may show that one of the greatest weaknesses in our modern civilization has been the acceptance of quantity rather than quality as the goal after which to strive. This is particularly evident in the United States. Costly buildings are constantly being erected with no expectation that they shall last more than one short generation. . . . Not only in our architecture but almost everywhere else is this psychology of impermanence found. A beauty salon ad recently defined a term which has long needed clarification. It read: "Permanent Waves. Guaranteed to last three months." So, permanence is the quality of lasting three months! These may be extreme cases, but they illustrate the transiency of men's hopes and the brevity of their dreams apart from God. The church also is suffering from a left-handed acceptance of this philosophy of impermanence. Christianity is resting under the blight of degraded values. And it all stems from a too-eager desire to impress, to gain fleeting attention, to appear well in comparison with some world-beater who happens for the time to have the ear or the eye of the public. This is so foreign to the Scriptures that we wonder how Bible-loving Christians can be deceived by it. The Word of God ignores size and quantity and lays all its stress upon quality. Christ, more than any other man, was followed by the crowds, yet after giving them such help as they were able to receive, He quietly turned from them and deposited His enduring truths in the breasts of His chosen 12. He refused a quick shortcut to the throne and chose instead the long painful way of the cross. He rejected the offers of the multitude and rested His success upon those eternal qualities which He was able to plant in the hearts of a modest number of redeemed men. The ages have thanked God that He did.

Verse
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. Acts 9:31

Thought
Quantity growth of the church is noted at least 9 times in Acts 2--9. Occasionally specific numbers are given. But quality is not sacrificed for quantity. That growing first century church is characterized by Spirit-filled witness, healings, miracles, pe

Prayer
Lord, give discernment to our church leaders so that they are deceived neither by growth in numbers nor desperate clinging to decline and methods of the past. May their eyes be focused on the primary goal of Spirit-filled living.
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Post  Admin on Sat 19 Mar 2011, 7:03 pm

Tozer Devotional
Friday, March 18, 2011

The Unending Chapter

That next chapter after the last is the source of all the Christian's hope, for it assures us that our Lord has put death in its place and has delivered us from the ancient curse. Death did not end the activities of our Lord; it did not even interrupt them, for while His body lay in Joseph's new tomb, He was preaching to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:18-20). And after three days, His spirit was reunited with His body and the new chapter began, the chapter which can have no ending. Had Christ not risen from the dead, His life, beautiful as it was, would have been a human tragedy. Since He did in fact rise, His life has been shown to be an unrelieved triumph. The blood, the pain, the rejection, the agony of dying, the cold, stiff body and the colder tomb--these belong to the former days. The days that are now are days of hope and life and everlasting freedom. What is true of Christ is true also of all who believe in Him. How many saints since New Testament times have lived and hoped and labored and worshiped, only to grow old and bent and to drop at last, weak and helpless, into the open grave. If that was for them the end, then we Christians would be of all men most miserable. But it was not the end. For all of God's true children there will be another chapter, a chapter that will begin with the resurrection and go on as long as eternity endures.

Verse
But Christ indeed has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen alseep. 1 Corinthians 15:20

Thought
Relatively little is revealed in Scripture concerning the believer's life in heaven. Are not able to grasp what it will be like? We have little or nothing in human experience that qualifies as an accurate simile.

Prayer
My only hope for life in that unending chapter is You, O Christ. You are the firstfruits. We are those that follow!
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Post  Admin on Fri 18 Mar 2011, 10:32 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Period Becomes a Comma

He was dead, but He is alive forevermore. That such a thing could be was intimated by the miracles of restoration which our Lord performed during His earthly ministry. The widow's son was brought back to life for a brief time; at our Lord's gentle call Jairus's little daughter rose from her bed of death; and Lazarus, at Christ's command, came forth bound hand and foot. These were but vague disclosures of what was to come, and were at best only temporary suspensions of the inexorable law which demands that death shall always follow life--death complete and final. For these all died again, and the rule of biography was upheld. Each ended in a sepulcher at last. And that sepulcher was the period at the end of the last chapter. What a perpetual wonder it is, then, that the biography of Jesus had to be resumed. Luke added not merely another chapter, but a whole book. The book of Acts was a logical necessity. "He showed himself alive after his passion," writes Luke. The rest of the New Testament gives us some idea of what He is doing now, and prophecy reveals a little of what He will be doing through the ages to come.

Verse
The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let him go. John 11:44

Thought
What was it like for Lazarus to be dead four days and then be raised to life again? Did he want to return? There is nothing recorded concerning Lazarus after that experience. The period became a comma. Lazarus would die again but he would be raised forev

Prayer
Thank You, Father, that for the believer the period becomes a comma. From here we go home through Christ. Amen!
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Post  Admin on Thu 17 Mar 2011, 4:31 pm

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Chapter after the Last

Matthew says, "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb." Mark says, "And he [Joseph] bought fine linen, and took him [Jesus] down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock." Luke writes, "And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid." John says, ". . . There was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, . . . There laid they Jesus." They all agree: Jesus was dead. The life about which they had been writing was gone, The biography was ended. Then for the only time in this history of human thought, a biographer adds to his book a new section which is authentic biography and begins to write a chapter to follow the last chapter. This time the story did not end with a funeral. The Subject, whose story should have ended at death, was once again back among men to challenge new writers to try to find enough paper and enough ink to write the rest of the story of the life that can never end. Whatever is written of Him now is written of a living man. He was dead, but He is alive forevermore.

Verse
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

Thought
What if Christ had not risen? That demonstration of His post-resurrection power would be absent. Those promises of His unfulfilled- -the coming of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ with us, His intercession for us, His coming again.

Prayer
Forgive me, Lord, for failure to live in the experience of Your resurrection power. You declare that I died with You and may know new life just as You were raised from the dead.
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Post  Admin on Tue 15 Mar 2011, 10:44 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Last Chapter

The four Gospels tell the story of the life and ministry of Jesus, and in so doing, they follow accurately the ordinary course of biography, giving the facts of His birth, growth, work, death and burial. That is the way with biography: the very word itself suggests it, for it comes from bios, life, and graphein, to write, and means the written history of a person's life. So says Noah Webster. Now, when we look at the Gospels we note an odd--and wonderful--thing. An extra chapter is added. Why? Biography, by its own definition, must confine itself to the record of the life of an individual. That part of the book which deals with the family tree is not biography, but history, and that part which follows the record of the subject's death is not biography either. It may be appraisal, or eulogy, or criticism, but not biography, for the reason that the "bios" is gone: the subject is dead. The part that tells of his death is properly the last chapter. The only place in world literature where this order is broken is in the four Gospels. They record the story of the man Jesus from birth to death, and end like every other book of biography has ended since the art of writing was invented. . . . They all agree: Jesus was dead. The life about which they had been writing was gone. The biography was ended. Then, for the only time in this history of human thought, a biographer adds to his book a new section which is authentic biography and begins to write a chapter to follow the last chapter. . . .

Verse
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 1 Corinthians 15:17-18

Thought
If Christ had not risen from that tomb of death our faith and that of millions of believers over the centuries would be utterly futile. There would be no hope, absolutely none.

Prayer
O Risen Christ, my faith looks up to You. Because You live so may I. Hallelujah!

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Post  Admin on Mon 14 Mar 2011, 6:57 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, March 14, 2011

A PRAYER OF CONCERN

Gracious Father in heaven, I am a pastor in the flock of God and I confess that I am a troubled man. It is too late in my ministry for me to be engaged week after week with men and women who do not hear Thy pleading voice. O Lord, we often wonder if Thou wilt be forced to turn from those who have heard all of the Bible truths over and over again, in order to find willing and responsive listeners elsewhere? We recognize that Thou hast given us plain warnings in Thy Word. We remember all too well that the Jews of Jesus' day held stubbornly to their attitudes of presumption: "We are Abraham's descendents. We know who we are. If God is going to bless anyone, He is going to bless us." Yet at that very time those same self-serving men were planning to kill their promised Messiah, the eternal Son whom Thou hadst sent in the fullness of time. We pray earnestly, 0 God, that we may not be found among those with hardened hearts, no longer able to hear Thy voice.

Prayer
We pray earnestly, 0 God, that we may not be found among those with hardened hearts, no longer able to hear Thy voice.


Tozer Devotional
Sunday, March 13, 2011

CHRIST WILL RULE

I am not surprised that I still meet people who do not believe that Jesus Christ is going to return to earth. In fact, some of them, armed with their own Bibles and interpretations, are insistent on setting me "straight." One gentleman has written saying that I have it all wrong, and that Paul did not mean what I had said he meant, as I applied Paul's statement to everyday life. I took time to write a reply: "When it comes to saying what he meant, Paul's batting average has been pretty good up to now. So, I will string along with what Paul plainly, clearly said." I did not figure I needed someone to straighten me out-particularly someone who had decided the Bible does not mean what it says. No one is going to argue me out of my faith in what God has revealed and what God has said. As far as I am concerned, it is a fact that Jesus is coming again! The question I do raise is this: Are we prepared spiritually for His coming? Are we tolerating conditions in our midst that will cause us embarrassment when He does come?

Verse
I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Thought
"When it comes to saying what he meant, Paul's batting average has been pretty good up to now. So, I will string along with what Paul plainly, clearly said."

Prayer
Dear Lord I pray that you make the words you have inspired and on which we depend so heavily a solid foundation and a brightly burning beacon. I thank you for your words so reassuring and true.
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Post  Admin on Sun 13 Mar 2011, 12:08 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, March 12, 2011

A BELIEVING REMNANT

What is God trying to do with His believing people?-the Bible calls us a remnant according to grace, believers taken out of the great, teeming swarm of so-called religious people in today's world. I am inclined to join others in wondering if the Lord is postponing His coming because He is trying to get His Bride ready? For years it has been the popular idea in evangelical Christianity that the whole body of believers in Christ would rise like a flock of frightened birds when the Lord comes. But A.B. Simpson and William MacArthur and others in the past generation said, "Oh no! The Lord will take with Him those who are prepared and ready for His coming!" I do not presume to give an answer satisfying to everyone in our churches. But I know that many Christians are too smug about this, saying in effect: "I am converted to Christ through grace, so I can live as I please!" Of some things we cannot be dogmatic; but we know this for sure-God has no halfway house between heaven and hell where He takes us to fumigate us!

Verse
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Romans 11:5

Thought
The Bible calls us a remnant according to grace, believers taken out of the great, teeming swarm of so-called religious people in today's world.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for this reminder that you have a distinct and good purpose for my life. Thank you for setting me appart. Help me to remember how special that responsibility is.
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Post  Admin on Sat 12 Mar 2011, 2:39 pm

Tozer Devotional
Friday, March 11, 2011

MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH

Not all of the pooled efforts of any church can make a Christian out of a lost man! The Christian life begins with the individual; a soul has a saving encounter with God and the new life is born. All else being equal, every individual. Christian will find in the communion of a local church the most perfect atmosphere for the fullest development of his spiritual life. There he will also find the best arena for the largest exercise of those gifts and powers with which God may have endowed him. Unfortunately, the word "church" has taken on meanings which it did not originally have. The meaning of the word for the true Christian was fixed by our Lord and His apostles, and no man and no angel has authority to change it! The universal Church is the Body of Christ, the Bride of the Lamb, the habitation of God through the Spirit, the pillar and the ground of the Truth. Without doubt, the most important body on earth is the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood!

Verse
The house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

Thought
The Christian life begins with the individual; a soul has a saving encounter with God and the new life is born.

Prayer
Lord, I understand just how personal my salvation is, and I am very proud to be a part of the universal body we call the Church.


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Post  Admin on Fri 11 Mar 2011, 4:26 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, March 10, 2011

WE GET AROUND IT

The Lordship of Jesus is not quite forgotten among Christians, but it has been relegated to our hymn book, where all responsibility toward it may be comfortably discharged in a glow of pleasant religious emotion. The idea that the Man Christ Jesus has absolute and final authority over all its members in every detail of their lives is simply not accepted as true by the rank and file of evangelical Christians. To avoid the necessity of either obeying or rejecting the plain instruction of our Lord in the New Testament, we take refuge in a liberal interpretation of them. We find ways to avoid the sharp point of obedience, comfort carnality and make the words of Christ of none effect. And the essence of it all is that "Christ simply could not have meant what He said." Dare we admit that His teachings are accepted even theoretically only after they have been weakened by "interpretation" ? Dare we confess that even in our public worship, the influence of the Lord is very small? We sing of Him and preach about Him, but He must not interfere!

Verse
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. John 13:14

Thought
Dare we confess that even in our public worship, the influence of the Lord is very small? We sing of Him and preach about Him, but He must not interfere!

Prayer
Lord, I pray that you will not let me forget that you are the Lord of my life no matter what reminders you may need to bring into my life.
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Post  Admin on Thu 10 Mar 2011, 2:17 pm


Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, March 09, 2011

JOURNEY OF THE HEART

I object to the charge that "Tozer preaches experience." I preach Christ, the Savior-that is my calling! But I am positive about the validity, the reality and the value of genuine Christian experience. We can talk to Jesus just as we talk to our other friends. As a boy, I was not a Christian. I did not have the privilege of growing up in a home where Christ was known and loved. God spoke to me through a street preacher who quoted the word of Jesus, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." That invitation let me know that Jesus is still calling "Come now!" I went home and up into the attic. There in earnest prayer I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ. My feet had taken me home and into the attic. But it was my heart that went to Jesus! Within my heart I consented to go to Jesus. I have been a Christian ever since that moment.

Verse
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31

Thought
My feet had taken me home and into the attic. But it was my heart that went to Jesus!

Prayer
Lord, I pray that you will remind me daily of the joy that filled my life when I took my journey of the heart.
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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Mar 2011, 4:31 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, March 08, 2011

SPIRITUAL READINESS

When the Bible says that God is calling a special people out of the nations to bear the name of His eternal Son, I believe it - and His name is Jesus! Our pious forefathers believed in spiritual preparation, and they said so. They saw themselves as a bride being prepared to meet the Bridegroom. They regarded this earth as the dressing room to outfit themselves for heaven. The evangelical church has come through a period when nearly everyone has believed that there is just one prerequisite to readiness: being born again. We have made being born again almost like receiving a pass to a special event-when Jesus returns we whip out the pass to prove our readiness. Frankly, I do not think it will be like that. I do not believe that all professed believers are automatically ready to meet the Lord. Our Savior Himself was joined by Peter and John and Paul in warning and pleading that we should live and watch and pray, so to be ready for Jesus' coming.

Verse
The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 1 Peter 4:7

Thought
Our pious forefathers believed in spiritual preparation, and they said so.

Prayer
Lord, I am not so pious as I might be, and I know not all that I could learn, nor do all that I should do, but I pray that your transforming love will show through when you wonderful day arrives.
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