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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Jun 2013, 10:30 pm

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Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Thu, June 13, 2013

Overflowing Hope

So strong, so beautiful is hope that it is scarcely possible to overpraise it. It is the divine alchemy that transmutes the base metal of adversity into gold. In the midst of death Paul could be bold and buoyant because he had firm confidence in the final outcome. "For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake," he said, but his heart remained cheerful knowing that "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:11,17). His lovely little benediction pronounced over the Roman Christians shows how faith and peace and joy live with hope like four fair sisters dwelling in the same cottage: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).

Faith is confidence in the character of God, and hope is the sweet anticipation of desirable things promised but not yet realized. Hope is an electronic beam on which the Christian flies through wind and storm straight to his desired haven. To the child of God, hope is a gift from the heavenly Father "who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope" (2 Thessalonians 2:16).

The Christian' s hope is sound because it is founded upon the character of God and the redeeming work of His Son Jesus Christ. For this reason Peter could call it "a living hope" (1 Peter 1:3). It is living because it rests on reality and not on fancy. It is not wishful dreaming but vital expectation with the whole might of the Most High behind it.

Verse
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Thought
Overflowing hope is the gift of the God of hope by the power of the Spirit. It is that hope that carries us through the difficult experiences of life. How is your hope supply?

Prayer
O Spirit of God, pour into me hope as I walk into the unknown. All the unknown is known to You.
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Post  Admin on Sun 09 Jun 2013, 10:57 pm

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Devotions » Tozer Devotional

Sun, June 09, 2013
Faithless Action and Actionless Faith

Rightly understood, faith is not a substitute for moral conduct but a means toward it. The tree does not serve in lieu of fruit but as an agent by which fruit is secured. Fruit, not trees, is the end God has in mind in yonder orchard; so Christlike conduct is the end of Christian faith. To oppose faith to works is to make the fruit the enemy to the tree; yet that is exactly what we have managed to do. And the consequences have been disastrous.

A miscalculation in laying the foundation of a building will throw the whole superstructure out of plumb, and the error that gave us faith as a substitute for action instead of faith in action has raised up in our day unsymmetrical and ugly temples of which we may well be ashamed, and for which we shall surely give a strict account in the day when Christ judges the secrets of our hearts.

Verse
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26

Thought
Action without faith is directionless and empty. Faith without action is comatose or dead. What does our action (or lack of it) reveal about your faith and mine?

Prayer
Lord, may my faith and action walk hand-in-hand for Your glory.
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Post  Admin on Sat 08 Jun 2013, 10:39 pm

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The Union of Faith and Works

Just as in eternity God acted like Himself and when incarnated in human flesh still continued to be true to His holiness in all His conduct, so does He when He enters the nature of a believing man. This is the method by which He makes the redeemed man holy. He enters a human nature at regeneration as He once entered human nature at the incarnation and acts as becomes God, using that nature as a medium of expression for His moral perfections.

Cicero, the Roman orator, once warned his hearers that they were in danger of making philosophy a substitute for action instead of allowing it to produce action. What is true of philosophy is true also of religion. The faith of Christ was never intended to be an end in itself nor to serve instead of something else. In the minds of some teachers faith stands in lieu of moral conduct and every inquirer after God must take his choice between the two. We are presented with the well-known either/or: either we have faith or we have works, and faith saves while works damn us. Hence the tremendous emphasis on faith and the apologetic, mincing approach to the doctrine of personal holiness in modern evangelism. This error has lowered the moral standards of the church and helped to lead us into the wilderness where we currently find ourselves.

Verse
But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18

Thought
Our faith is not in our works. Our faith is the generator of our works. Faith produces works. Works reveal faith or the lack of it. Being is expressed in doing.

Prayer
I want to be a doer of Your Word, Lord, not a hearer only. But only as You have total Lordship in me can I be and only by Your enablement can I do.

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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Jun 2013, 4:06 pm

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Sat, June 01, 2013
Waiting Rather than Fretting

Of one thing we may be sure; we can never escape the external stimuli that cause vexation. The world is full of them and though we were to retreat to a cave and live the remainder of our days alone, we still could not lose them. The rough floor of our cave would chafe us, the weather would irritate us and the very silence would cause us to fret.

Deliverance from a fretting spirit may be by blood and fire, by humility, self-abnegation and a patient carrying of the cross. There will always be "evildoers" and "workers of iniquity," and for the most part they will appear to succeed while the forces of righteousness will seem to fail. The wicked will always have the money and the talent and the publicity and the numbers, while the righteous will be few and poor and unknown. The prayerless Christian will surely misread the signs and fret against the circumstances. That is what the Spirit warns us against.

Let us look out calmly upon the world; or better yet, let us look down upon it from above where Christ is seated and we are seated in Him. Though the wicked spread himself like "a green tree in its native soil" (Psalm 37:35), it is only for a moment. Soon he passes away and is not. But "the salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble" (verse 39). This knowledge should cure the fretting spirit.

Verse
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7

Thought
God's timing is usually quite different from ours but it fully accords with His will and purpose. It is for us to wait--patiently, faithfully wait for the Lord. Lay your cause for fretting before Him today and leave it there!

Prayer
Lord, all my anxiety I bring to You. Help me to leave it with You!

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Devotions » Tozer Devotional

Sun, June 02, 2013
The Fallacy of "Secret Sin"

No sin is private. It may be secret but it is not private.

It is a great error to hold, as some do, that each man's conduct is his own business unless his acts infringe on the rights of others. "My liberty ends where yours begins" is true, but that is not all the truth. No one ever has the right to commit an evil act, no matter how secret. God wills that men should be free, but not that they be free to commit sin.

Sin is three-dimensional and has consequences in three directions: toward God, toward self and toward society. It alienates from God, degrades self and injures others. Adam's is the classic example of a secret sin that overflowed to the injury of all mankind. History provides examples of persons so placed that their sins had wide and injurious effect upon their generation. Such men were Nero, Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin, to name but four. These men dramatized the destructive social results of personal sin; but every sin, every sinner injures the world and harms society, though the effects may be milder and less noticeable.

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like today if Napoleon had become a Christian when he was in his teens? Or if Hitler had learned to control his temper? Or if Stalin had been tenderhearted? Or if Himmler had fainted at the sight of blood? Or if Goebles had become a missionary to Patagonia? Or if the twelve men in the Kremlin should get converted to Christianity? Or if all businessmen should suddenly turn honest? Or if every politician should stop lying?

Verse
My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. Jeremiah 16:17
Thought

Some sin seems strictly personal, its effects internal only. But even the most personal sin can affect our attitudes, judgments and values, all of which influence our behavior toward others.

Prayer
Father, Satan tries to delude me with the fallacy of secret sin but all sin is known to You. You know sin's effects on me and on others.
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Post  Admin on Fri 31 May 2013, 7:05 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional

Fri, May 31, 2013
Spiritual Burdens and Worry Weights

It was not to the unregenerate that the words "Do not fret" were spoken, but to God-fearing persons capable of understanding spiritual things. We Christians need to watch and pray lest we fall into this temptation and spoil our Christian testimony by an irritable spirit under the stress and strain of life.

It requires great care and a true knowledge of ourselves to distinguish a spiritual burden from religious irritation. We cannot close our minds to everything that is happening around us. We dare not rest at ease in Zion when the church is so desperately in need of spiritually sensitive men and women who can see her faults and try to call her back to the path of righteousness. The prophets and apostles of Bible times carried in their hearts such crushing burdens for God's wayward people that they could say, "My tears have been my food day and night" (Psalm 42:3), and "Oh that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people" (Jeremiah 9:1). These men were heavy with a true burden. What they felt was not vexation but acute concern for the honor of God and the souls of men.

By nature some persons fret easily. They have difficulty separating their personal antipathies from the burden of the Spirit. When they are grieved they can hardly say whether it is a pure and charitable thing or merely irritation set up by other Christians having opinions different from their own.

Verse

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8

Thought

There are valid prayer burdens and there are weights of worry. The difference God will show us as we wait before Him. Then, let's lay aside the worry weights and bring the prayer burdens where they belong--to Him.

Prayer

O God, deliver me from fretting and teach me to bring legitimate prayer burdens to You.
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Post  Admin on Tue 28 May 2013, 10:15 pm

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Tue, May 28, 2013

Christ's Unique Sacrifice

In a friendly conversation with a Catholic priest I learned from the lips of this appointed spokesman of the Roman Church the philosophy of the Mass.

He started with the blood offering of Abel and traced the practice of propitiatory sacrifice down through the Scriptures to the cross. "There must always be a sacrifice," he said, "and in the Mass the sacrifice is repeated each time the bread and wine are consecrated on the altar. At each celebration of the Mass the sacrifice of Christ is repeated."

If the Mass rests upon the notion of the perpetual sacrifice then its foundation is only sand, for the New Testament is very clear that Christ's sacrifice is a once-for-all act and can never be repeated. Whatever tradition and dogma may say, thus saith the Lord.

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:10-12).

And if that is not plain enough the inspired writer further says, "Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" (verse 14); and, "where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin" (verse 18).

Verse
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10

Thought
Christ has made the sin sacrifice no one else could ever offer. By His death our sin-debt is fully and eternally paid. Amazing love and amazing grace!

Prayer
Beyond my comprehension, Father, is Christ's death for me. And because of His unique sacrifice, sin's power over me is broken. May I so live.
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Post  Admin on Mon 27 May 2013, 8:44 pm

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Mon, May 27, 2013

Ministry Methods

Once the prophet, the apostle, the reformer, saw a vision or heard a voice, or in later times had an encounter with God through the holy Scriptures and went out firm and sure to declare the Word of the Lord. Now we watch the world to get our next cue and when we have been tipped off as to what our latest "burden of the Word of the LORD" (Zechariah 12:1, KJV) shall be, we rush out and breathlessly declare the expected message as if we had been with Moses on Mount Sinai. It takes a war, an election, race tensions or an outbreak of juvenile crime to afford subject matter for our modern prophets. . . .The world always moves first and the church comes meekly after, trying pitifully to look and sound like her model and at the same time maintain a weak religious testimony by inserting a dutiful commercial now and then to the effect that everybody ought to accept Jesus and be born again.

Secularized fundamentalism is a horrible thing, a very horrible thing, much worse in my opinion than honest modernism or outright atheism. It is all a kind of heart heterodoxy existing along with creedal orthodoxy. Its true master may be discovered by noting whom it admires and imitates. The test is, Whom do these Christians want to be like? Who excites them and makes their eyes shine with pleasure? Whom go they forth to see? Whose techniques do they borrow? Never the meek soul, never the godly saint, never the self-effacing, cross-carrying follower of Jesus. Always the big wheel, the celebrity, the star, the VIP--provided of course that these persons have given a "testimony&quo t; in favor of Christ somewhere in the midst of the fleshly, vain world of artificial lights and synthetic sounds which they inhabit.

The sad thing about all this is its effect upon a new generation of Christians. Whole companies of young people are growing up who have known nothing else but the degenerate brand of Christianity now passing for the religion of Christ. They are the innocent victims of a condition which they did not help to create. Not they but a spiritually emasculated leadership must answer for their plight.

What is the remedy? It is simple. A radical return to New Testament Christianity both in message and in method. A bold repudiation of the world and a taking up of the cross. Such a return on any wide scale will mean a reformation of vast proportion. Some that are now high will be brought low and many of the humble will be exalted. It will mean a moral revolution. How many are willing to pay the price?

Verse
You are the light of the world. . . . Matthew 5:14a

Thought
In our desire to win the world there is the danger of becoming like it. What would the ministry of Paul, Peter, John the Baptist, Christ Himself be like in our context today? Worship service emcees, highly contemporary music, a parade of celebrities, sermonettes addressing felt needs or self-crucifixion and cross-bearing?

Prayer
In this world give me discernment, Lord, as to how to reach out to people in Spirit-anointed ministry
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Post  Admin on Fri 10 May 2013, 9:11 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Thu, May 09, 2013

Disciminating Reading

I hope my readers conclude right here that I have contradicted myself in the above paragraphs. It will indicate that they have been reading with their critical faculties awake. But actually there is no self-contradiction present. I have warned against harmful books and declare that there is no harm in reading in fields far removed from the standard evangelical meadows considered safe by the timid souls who think they must defend Christianity and protect the faithful from the effects of alien ideas. I'll explain.

By harmful books I do not mean those on a high intellectual level, such as the classics, poetry, history, political science and whatever falls within the category of the liberal arts. I mean cheap fiction (religious or secular), shallow religious chop suey such as is found in so many religious magazines, the world of religious trash designed to entertain the saints; I mean the self-glorifying religious adventure stories written by the brethren of the restless feet who refuse to take any responsibility or to stay in one place long enough to plant a single tree or lay a single foundation, but who always manage to spin an exciting yarn when they get back home. I mean the "digest" type of religious literature, precooked and predigested, to be ingested with a minimum of effort and in the shortest possible time. Such matter not only affords no nourishment for the soul, but its continuous use creates a parasitic mind in the reader, gives him a morbid appetite for wind and makes the reading of serious religious books not only distasteful but impossible.

I deliberately omit from my list of dangerous books the vulgar and the unclean. I take it for granted that no Christian would stain his soul with such literary putrefaction. At least I am quite sure that no one who reads this page will need to be warned about such books.

Verse
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. Acts 18:24

Thought
Apollos was a learned man. He was informed and possessed a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures. Though, at the time he lacked the baptism of the Spirit, he is to us an example of one discriminating in his study.

Prayer
There is that which builds up, that which tears down and that which just wastes time. Father, please sensitize me to be disciminating in my reading.
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Post  Admin on Thu 09 May 2013, 9:13 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Wed, May 08, 2013

Sharpening the Axe

I have never subscribed to the doctrine that we Christians should live in an intellectual vacuum, refusing to hear what the world has to say. A faith that must be "protected&quo t; is no faith at all. If I can retain my faith in Christ only by closing my mind against every criticism, I give proof positive that I am not well convinced of the soundness of my position. The soul that has had a saving encounter with God is sure beyond the possibility of a doubt. His happy testimony will be, "To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side" (Psalm 3:4-6). Such a man will not need to shield himself from the classics nor from comparative religions or philosophy or psychology or science. The Spirit bears witness to Christ deep within his consciousness. His heart knows, though his reason my not yet have caught up with his heart.

When a very young minister, I asked the famous holiness preacher, Joseph H. Smith, whether he would recommend that I read widely in the secular field. He replied, "Young man, a bee can find nectar in the weed as well as in the flower." I took his advice (or, to be frank, I sought confirmation of my own instincts rather than advice) and I am not sorry that I did.

John Wesley told the young ministers of the Wesleyan Societies to read or get out of the ministry, and he himself read science and history with a book propped against his saddle pommel as he rode from one engagement to another. Andy Dolbow, the American Indian preacher of considerable note, was a man of little education, but I once heard him exhort his hearers to improve their minds for the honor of God. "When you are chopping wood," he explained, "and you have a dull axe you must work all the harder to cut the log. A sharp axe makes easy work. So sharpen your axe all you can."

Verse
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that your have. But do this with gentleness and respect . . . First Peter 3:15

Thought
With full commitment to Christ we may sharpen the axe by judicious reading so that we have understanding of worldviews and, in that context, can gently and respectfully give the reason for our hope.

Prayer
Lord, my inclination is to shield myself from opposing positions. You want me to gracefully give answer. That calls for prayerful study and thought, depending upon Your Spirit for understanding and wisdom.
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Post  Admin on Tue 07 May 2013, 11:03 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Mon, May 06, 2013

Reading that Incites ThinkingWhen the noted scholar Dr. Samuel Johnson visited the king, the two sat for a while before the fire in silence. Then the king said, "I suppose, Dr. Johnson, that you read a great deal." "Yes, Sire," replied Johnson, "but I think a great deal more." One of the English poets--I believe it was Coleridge--boasted to a Quaker lady about his study habits. He began his studies the instant he got up in the morning: while he dressed he memorized poetry; he studied his Greek vocabulary while he shaved; and so to the end of the day. The lady was unimpressed. "Friend, " she asked reproachfully, "when does thee think?"

Apart from technical information which, of course, must be received from others, a man can teach himself much more than he can learn from books. A good book should do no more than prime the pump. After that the water will flow up from within as long as we keep the handle working and long after the original cup of water has been forgotten.

All else being equal it is desirable that Christians, especially ministers of the gospel, should be widely read. It is a disagreeable experience to present oneself before a teacher for religious instruction and discover in less than three minutes that the said teacher should have changed places with his listeners and learned from them rather than they from him. If he is a humble man and sticks close to the small plot of ground with which he is familiar, he may, if he loves God and men, succeed in ministering to the spiritual needs of his flock. If, however, his ignorance is exceeded by his arrogance, then God help his hearers. If he boasts of his ignorance and scorns learning, show me the nearest exit! I can learn more from a child laughing on the lawn or a cloud passing overhead.

Verse
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Thought
Thinking is an integral part of mind renewal. Good reading incites thinking--raises questions, suggests answers, expands horizon, strengthens foundations, reveals models of godly pilgirms.

Prayer
Lord, I want to strengthen the discipline of good reading, even at the expense of TV watching and internet surfing.
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Post  Admin on Sun 05 May 2013, 10:21 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Sun, May 05, 2013
Determined Implementation of Change. . . Well, here are some suggestions which anyone can follow and which, I am convinced, will result in a wonderfully improved Christian life.

8. Deliberately narrow your interests. The jack-of-all- trades is the master of none. The Christian life requires that we be specialists. Too many projects use up time and energy without bringing us nearer to God.

If you will narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. "Jesus only" seems to the unconverted man to be the motto of death, but a great company of happy men and women can testify that it became to them a way into a world infinitely wider and richer than anything they had ever known before. Christ is the essence of all wisdom, beauty and virtue. To know Him in growing intimacy is to increase in appreciation of all things good and beautiful. The mansions of the heart will become larger when their doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it.

9. Begin to witness. Find something to do for God and your fellow men. Refuse to rust out. Make yourself available to your pastor and do anything you are asked to do. Do not insist upon a place of leadership. Learn to obey. Take the low place until such time as God sees fit to set you in a higher one. Back your new intentions with your money and your gifts, such as they are.

10. Have faith in God. Begin to expect. Look up toward the throne where your Advocate sits at the right hand of God. All heaven is on your side. God will not disappoint you.

If you will follow these suggestions you will most surely experience revival in your own heart. And who can tell how far it may spread? God knows how desperately the church needs a spiritual resurrection. And it can only come through the revived individual.

Verse
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. Second Timothy 1:7

Thought
Implementation of change in personal habits and life patterns can be difficult when we are acting alone. But if we are to have personal revival we must follow God's will regardless of what others do.

Prayer
O God, I trust You for determination and enablement to implement the changes You want me to make. In Jesus' name.

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Post  Admin on Fri 03 May 2013, 8:50 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Fri, May 03, 2013
Serious Repentance and Restitution

. . . Well, here are some suggestions which anyone can follow and which, I am convinced, will result in a wonderfully improved Christian life.

3. Put yourself in the way of the blessing. It is a mistake to look for grace to visit us as a kind of benign magic, or to expect God's help to come as a windfall apart from conditions known and met. There are plainly marked paths which lead straight to the green pastures; let us walk in them. To desire revival, for instance, and at the same time to neglect prayer and devotion is to wish one way and walk another.

4. Do a thorough job of repenting. Do not hurry to get it over with. Hasty repentance means shallow spiritual experience and lack of certainty in the whole life. Let godly sorrow do her healing work. Until we allow the consciousness of sin to wound us, we will never develop a fear of evil. It is our wretched habit of tolerating sin that keeps us in our half-dead condition.

5. Make restitution whenever possible. If you owe a debt, pay it, or at least have a frank understanding with your creditor about your intention to pay, so your honesty will be above question. If you have quarreled with anyone, go as far as you can in an effort to achieve reconciliation. As fully as possible make the crooked things straight.

Verse
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8

Thought
Repentance and restitution result when we seriously reflect on what God shows us in His Word. What is it of which we need to repent and is there restitution to be made?

Prayer
My tendency, Lord, is not to take seriously my sin that hurts other people and to leave unrepaired the damage I have left in the lives of others. Make me sensitive, Lord!
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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Apr 2013, 8:12 pm

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Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Mon, April 08, 2013
Peter: the Rock that Sank

Peter contained or has been accidentally associated with more contradictions than almost any other Bible character. He appeared to be a combination of courage and cowardice, reverence and disrespect, selfless devotion and dangerous self-love. Only Peter could solemnly swear that he would never desert Christ and then turn around and deny Him the first time he got in a tight place. Only Peter could fall at Jesus' feet and acknowledge his own sinfulness and then rebuke his Lord for suggesting something with which he did not agree. The two natures that strove within him made him say and do things that appeared to be in direct contradiction to each other--and all within a matter of hours. Peter was a "rock," yet he wavered, and so, I suppose, managed to become the only wavering rock in history. And he surely was the only man in the world who had faith enough to walk on water but not enough faith to continue to do so when the wind blew.

For better or for worse, that was Peter, and it took God a long time to unify his nature so that the strife within him ceased. And he had to learn some things the hard way even after Pentecost.

Verse
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Matthew 14:30

Thought
It is true that after walking on the water, Peter the Rock sank. Rocks do sink on water. Yet of all the disciples only Peter is reported to have walked on water. If only he had kept his eyes on Jesus!

Prayer
Lord, remind me to keep my eyes fixed on You this day.
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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Apr 2013, 8:09 pm

Seeing Ourselves in Peter

For some queer reason, we seem to love people more when they are not too perfect.

In the presence of a faultless saint, the average one of us feels ill at ease. We are likely to be discouraged rather than inspired by the sight of a character too impeccable to be human. We draw more help from a man if we know that he is going through the fire along with the rest of us, and we may even take courage from the fact that he does not enjoy it any more than we do.

This may be the reason Christians have always felt a special affection for Simon Peter. We speak of Paul with solemn respect but of Peter with an understanding smile. When the doughty old fisherman is mentioned, the face of the ordinary struggling Christian lights up. Here is a man who is one of us, we say to ourselves. He had faults, but he conquered them and went on to become great in spite of them. He was no alabaster saint, faintly redolent of incense, gazing absently over our heads as we labor onward through the storm. He too knew the sting of the wind and the fury of the waves and, what is more to our comfort, he did not always acquit himself like a hero when he was in a tight spot. And that helps a lot when we are not doing too well ourselves.

Verse
'Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.' Luke 22:31-32

Thought
Satan sought to sift Peter as wheat as he does all of us. But Jesus prayed for Peter as He does for us. Through the experience of his own failure and restoration, Peter became a stengthener of others. So may we!

Prayer
Lord, may I learn from my failures the lessons You seek to teach me.
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Post  Admin on Sat 06 Apr 2013, 11:38 am

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Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Fri, April 05, 2013
Pursuing Truth

One of the great religious thinkers of this century has pointed out a strange contradiction in the mental attitude of our times--our eager love of knowledge and our universal neglect of truth.

That men love knowledge is too well demonstrated to need proof, if by knowledge we mean facts, know-how, statistics, technical information, scientific and mechanical skills. Our printing presses are constantly rolling out books crammed with useful information. Our schools are bulging with eager students bent on acquiring all possible knowledge in the shortest possible time. Among the most popular and lucrative radio programs on the air today are those designed to discover how many unrelated bits of information the participants possess. "Who? What? When? Where?" run the endless questions, and the impression is created that the one who can answer the greatest number is in some way a superior person.

It is vitally important that we make a sharp distinction between knowledge and truth--that is, between the knowledge that is but the sum of facts we possess and truth which is a moral and spiritual thing. It is possible to fill the mind with facts and be none the better for it, for facts have no moral or spiritual significance. Facts bear the same relation to truth that a corpse bears to a man. They serve as a medium whereby truth relates itself to outward life and circumstance but must depend for their significance upon the inner essence of truth.

Verse
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13

Thought
What is truth?" that poignant question of Pilate (John 18:38). Christ has sent the Spirit to guide us into all truth. Are we responsive to our Guide? Are we seeking truth?

Prayer
O Father, may I pursue Truth and not be satisfied with just facts and knowledge.


Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Sat, April 06, 2013
Finding Truth in Christ
The Christian is concerned primarily with truth, and especially with Him who is Truth incarnated. Facts are not to be despised. They are to be sought for their practical value and used in the service of truth, but they are never to be allowed to substitute for those "treasures of wisdom and knowledge" which are hidden in Christ.

In this day of moral confusion, truth is not always understood to be a master to which we must render obedience; it is rather conceived to be a servant which we may use to further ends that lie outside of truth. Private ends are often sought by the aid of truth, ends that stand outside of and bear no relation whatever to truth itself.

If we were to observe strict accuracy, we should always capitalize the word Truth, for when we have pushed it back as far as we can, we will come to God Himself. For this reason, truth will always be the master, never the servant. And truth can never be understood apart from its moral and spiritual implications.

Verse
Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' John 14:6

Thought
Christ is the Truth. He is the way, the truth and the life. Through Him we come to the Father Himself.

Prayer
Thank You, Lord, I can know truth in experientially knowing You.
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Apr 2013, 5:58 pm

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Thu, April 04, 2013
Our Model Intercessor

Two other considerations may help us here. One is that our Lord did on at least one occasion pray for sinners. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing," was a request made to God on behalf of evil men. Is it not reasonable that if Christ prayed for sinners once, He may be expected to pray for them again? Also we must remember that Jesus was a Son of man and frequently referred to Himself by that title. As such, He had and has a relationship to the whole human race. Is it thinkable that He would not pray for the race to which He belonged?

I realize that we are on holy ground right here, and common modesty would urge us to withhold any dogmatic judgments. But I believe that the question, Does our Lord pray for the unsaved? may be answered truthfully as follows: (1) As High Priest of His own redeemed people, Christ prays an efficacious prayer of intercession which avails only for those who trust Him as their Redeemer and Lord. This prayer is found in essence in John 17. (2) As Son of man and Savior, He prays for the lost world as well. Unless His prayers for the world were ascending to heaven, the judgment of God would not be withheld for a moment from the earth.

Verse
Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' Luke 23:34

Thought
Amazing the love of Christ! He asks the Father to forgive those responsible for His crucifixion because they do not understand what they are doing. He models in His death what He instructs us to practice in life (Luke 6:35-36).

Prayer
Lord, I want to be a faithful intercessor for brothers and sisters in Christ, for those who have not yet received You, and for those who are my enemies.
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Post  Admin on Wed 03 Apr 2013, 8:48 pm

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Wed, April 03, 2013
Our Ever Living Intercessor

Christ in His high priestly prayer specifically states, "I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me" (John 17:9). That is what He said; it only remains to learn by reverent comparison with other Scripture just what the words mean.

To insist that by these words Christ meant that He never prayed for sinners would be to read into the words more than is there. We must remember that these words were spoken in a particular context; the great High Priest was appearing before the throne of mercy as Advocate and Intercessor and could at that time include in His prayers only those who were His own.

When a high priest of the Old Testament appeared before the mercy seat to offer blood for the sins of Israel, his intercessions extended to Israel only. They were the only ones for whom that atonement was made. They were the only ones who trusted in Him and looked to Him for help. Christ came in fulfillment of the Old Testament type, and it may safely be assumed that the prayer of John 17 was made only for those who accept Christ's atonement and avail themselves of the protection it affords.

Verse
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25

Thought
Christ as our High Priest made the only sacrifice necessary for us. Now He ever lives to intercede for us. He prays for us!

Prayer
Thank You for Your intercession for me, Lord. Even today You are praying for me!
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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 8:40 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Tue, April 02, 2013
Confining the Holy Spirit to a Footnote

The question being discussed by many these days--why religion is increasing and morality slipping, all at the same time--finds its answer in this very error, the error of religious intellectualism. Men have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. The text alone will not elevate the moral life. To become morally effective, the truth must be accompanied by a mystic element, the very element supplied by the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit will not be banished to a footnote without taking terrible vengeance against His banishers. That vengeance may be seen today in the nervous, giggling, worldly minded and thoroughly carnal fundamentalism that is spreading over the land. Doctrinally, it wears the robes of scriptural belief, but beyond that it resembles the religion of Christ and His apostles not at all.

The mysterious presence of the Spirit is vitally necessary if we are to avoid the pitfalls of religion. As the fiery pillar led Israel through the wilderness, so the Spirit of truth must lead us all our journey through. One text alone could improve things mightily for us if we would but obey it: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5).

Verse
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Thought
Trusting in the LORD with all our heartrelieves us of dependence upon our own understanding. Acknowledging Him in all our ways invites Him to make our paths straight. All of which opens the way to deeper perception.

Prayer
Forgive me, Holy Spirit, for overdependence on my own understanding and so relegating You to a footnote. I want to trust You with all my heart.
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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Apr 2013, 11:19 pm

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Mon, April 01, 2013
Knowing God

One of the heaviest problems the inquiring Christian faces today is why so many good and apparently sincere religious leaders are going so far astray from the plain teachings and practices of the New Testament. Destructive elements are being innocently introduced into present-day worship and service by Bible-loving evangelicals, elements so opposed to the true genius of Christianity that the two are mutually exclusive. One or the other must go. Either these new parasitic growths must be destroyed, or they will in a short time destroy the Christian faith. Yet these deadly things are encouraged in the churches by some of the most zealous orthodox leaders. Why?

The answer is simpler than we might suppose. These leaders are depending on their brain to guide them in their religious practices. They conceive the truth to be a doctrinal deposit, a kind of a theological road map to lead them to heaven. They check the map to make sure they are going the right direction, and after that they are on their own. No Unseen Guide is necessary. If they should be attacked by doubts, they need only stop under a lamppost and reassure themselves that they have indeed "accepted" Christ. Then they get underway again with complete confidence that they are on the same road as the apostles and prophets.

Verse
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

Thought
Do we need to turn down the sound systems, deemphasize the tempo, reduce the chatter and just be quiet before the Lord? Are our church services in danger of becoming soulish rather than spiritual?

Prayer
It is in the quiestness of heart that I hear You, Lord, when the noise subsides and there is just You and me.
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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Mar 2013, 4:31 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sun, March 24, 2013
Recognizing the Witness of the Spirit

Again, the experience of the Spirit's fullness coming upon the believer' s heart is often judged by the amount and quality of emotional charge that accompanies it. Some go so far as to declare bluntly that no one is filled with the Spirit who has not experienced certain physical phenomena, particularly the act of speaking in unidentified tongues. Others will settle for an increased degree of joy or more effectiveness in their service.

All this is wrong, both scripturally and psychologically. It is the result of a misunderstanding of the nature of man's soul and of the relation of the spirit of man to the Spirit of God.

The workings of God in the hearts of redeemed men always over flow into observable conduct. Certain moral changes will take place immediately in the life of the new convert. A moral revolution without will accompany the spiritual revolution that has occurred within. As the evangelists tell us, even the cat will know it when the head of the house is converted. And the grocer will know it too, and the old cronies in the haunts where the man used to hang out will suspect that something has happened when they miss the new Christian from his accustomed place. All this is collateral proof of the validity of the man's Christian profession. But it is in no sense evidence to the man's own heart. It is not the witness of the Spirit.

Verse
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba,Father. ' Romans 8:15

Thought
Of all creation only into humankind did God breathe the breath of life. It is by means of our spirit that we may commune with the Spirit of God. And it is in our spirit that we recognize the witness of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer
It seems, Lord, that I sometimes become caught up in soulish expressions of worship and mistake them for spiritual worship--my spirit communing with Your Spirit.
Tozer Devotional
Mon, March 25, 2013

Knowing God

The witness of the Spirit is a sacred inner thing which cannot be explained. It is altogether personal and cannot be passed from one to another. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of God's waterspouts, and the outward ear cannot hear what it says. Much less can the worldly onlooker know what is taking place. The Spirit whispers its mysterious Presence to the heart, and the heart knows without knowing how it knows. Just as we know we are alive by unmediated knowledge and without recourse to proof, so we know we are alive in the Holy Spirit. Our knowledge is by immediate cognition altogether independent of inference and without the support of reason. The witness is in the hidden regions of the spirit, too deep for proof, where external evidence is invalid and "signs" are of no use.

When all is said, it may easily be that the great difference between professing Christians (the important difference in this day) is not between modernists and evangelicals but between those who have reduced Christianity to an intellectual formula and those who believe that the true essence of our faith lies in the supernatural workings of the Spirit in a region of the soul not accessible to mere reason.

Verse
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me . . . John 10:14

Thought
Holy Spirit to human spirit communication takes place at the deepest levels of the spirit. Unshakable assurance results though inexplicable at the intellectual and emotional levels. It is just that one knows!

Prayer
Thank You, Lord, for that knowing of spirit You give even when my feelings and thoughts are in denial.
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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Mar 2013, 11:06 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sat, March 23, 2013

The Inner Witness of the Spirit

Then, there is another kind of divine working that may occur without our being aware of it, or at least without our recognizing it for what it is. This is that wondrous operation of God known in theology as prevenient grace. It may be simple "conviction, " or a strange longing which nothing can satisfy, or a powerful aspiration after eternal values, or a feeling of disgust for sin and a desire to be delivered from its repulsive coils. These strange workings within are the stirrings of the Holy Spirit but are rarely identified as such by the soul that is undergoing the experience.

But there are two acts of God within the life of the seeking man that are never done without his knowledge. One is the miracle of the new birth and the other is the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Of the new birth, Paul explicitly states, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit, that we are God's children" (Romans 8:16), and John says, "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart" (1 John 5:10). These passages declare the fact of a divine witness but do not state the nature of it. This has made it possible for various people to read into it their own peculiar psychological reactions and set up those reactions as criteria by which they judge the spiritual claims of everyone. Some at the time of their conversion have felt unusually light on their feet; others have heard voices or seen lights or felt an unseen hand pass over them. In some places, the new convert must shout aloud or his profession is not accepted.

Verse
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Romans 8:16

Thought
Despite our personality, emotional and experiential differences, we can all know the witness of the Spirit with our spirit that we are children of God. It is His witness to us that matters!

Prayer
I feel my sinfulness, unworthiness, failures, Father. But thank You for Your Spirit's assurance that I am Yours!
Tozer Devotional
Blessed Suffering
The Christian who finds himself in trouble for his faith's sake may draw a lot of consolation from Paul's epistles to the Corinthians.

Nowhere else in the entire New Testament is the humanity of the great apostle seen so clearly as when he staggers under the cruel attacks of the anti-Paul bloc in the Corinthian church. His sufferings are there the most poignant and nearest to the sufferings of Christ because they are inward and of the soul. For always the soul can suffer as the body cannot.

Verse
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. First Peter 4:15-16

Thought
Always must the suffering Christian make certain that he or she is suffering for Christ's sake and not because of his or her lack of love, understanding, sensitivity, or because of careless words or living.

Prayer
Lord, strengthen me to suffer for Your sake and to understand when it is not for Your sake that I suffer
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Post  Admin on Sat 23 Mar 2013, 10:30 am

Tozer Devotional
Fri, March 22, 2013
Evidence of the Spirit at Work

Someone wrote to me recently asking what I meant by a statement which occurs in the booklet Paths to Power, which I wrote some years ago. The passage reads: "No one was ever filled with the Holy Spirit without knowing it. The Holy Spirit always announces Himself to the human consciousness. " What bothered my correspondent was the nature of this "announcement. " Of what does it consist? How may we recognize it? Is it some kind of physical evidence, or what?

This whole question is worthy of larger treatment than I can give it in this limited space. But possibly these thoughts will prove helpful to any who may be confused about the nature of spiritual evidence.

There is such a thing as the secret workings of the Spirit in the soul of man, for a time unknown and unsuspected by the individual. In fact, most of the fruits of the Spirit are unsuspected by the man in whom they are found. The most loving, most patient, most compassionate soul is unlikely to be aware of these graces. He is almost certain to believe that he is anything but loving or patient or kind. Others will discover the operations of the Spirit within him long before he will and will thank God for his sweet Christian character while he may at the same time be walking in great humility before God, mourning the absence of the very graces that others know he possesses.

Verse
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Thought
God has wisely arranged it so that the fruit of the Spirit produced in believers is far more evident to others rather than to themselves. That encourages humility rather than misplaced pride.

Prayer
O Lord, may Your Spirit produce in me fruit. I'm so conscious of works of the sinful nature.
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 8:26 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thu, March 21, 2013

The Gift of i>Today

At the great unveiling, there will be other emotions beside joy. There will be grief and shock and self-reproach and disillusionment. But it need not be so for you and me if we will but use the information we have at hand, if we will but take advantage of the opportunities that lie beside our pathway and the promises that jut like uncut diamonds from the Sacred Scripture. Yesterday may have been marked by shameful failure, prayerlessness, backsliding. Today all that can be changed and tomorrow--if there is for us an earthly tomorrow--can be filled with purity and power and radiant, fruitful service.

The big thing is to be sure we are not lulled to sleep by a false hope, that we do not waste our time dreaming about days that are not to be ours. The main thing is to make today serve us by getting ready for any possible tomorrow. Then whether we live or die, whether we toil on in the shadow or rise to meet the returning Christ, all will be well.

Verse
And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God will all your heart and will all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Thought
The past we cannot relive. Today we can offer to God and by his enablement spend it with eternal values in view. Todays well spent contribute to a radiant tomorrow!

Prayer
Father, todays I receive from You. May I use the remaining ones for Your glory!
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2013, 12:25 am

Tozer Devotional
Wed, March 20, 2013

Doing Today What Ought to be Done

Altogether apart from the prophetic expectations of devout men, there is the familiar fact of death itself. Of those Christians who had died, Paul said simply, "Some have fallen asleep." What a vast and goodly company they make, those sleeping saints, and how their number will be increased this year. And which ones among us can give assurance that he may not join them before all the days of the year have run their course?

Since we know not what a day may bring forth, does it not appear to be the part of wisdom to live each day as if it were to be the last? Any preparation we will wish we had made, let us make it now. Anything we will wish we had done, let us do it today. Any gift we will wish we had made, let us make it while time is on our side.

Verse
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:17

Thought
Doing todaywhat ought to be done, that is wisdom. That is wise expenditure of todays so that the last day is welcomed not feared.

Prayer
Lord, may I spend well the today you have given me. Only You know how many more there will be.
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Post  Admin on Tue 19 Mar 2013, 6:47 pm

Devotions » Tozer Devotional
Mon, March 18, 2013
Life is Only a Little While

It was John Milton who said that hope springs eternal in the human breast. Indeed hope is such a vital thing that were it to die out of the heart of mankind, the burden of life could not long be sustained.

But precious as this hope may be, it is yet, when it is ill-founded, a dangerous thing. The hope, for instance, which almost all people feel, of long life here on earth, can be for many a deadly snare, a fatal delusion. The average man, when he thinks of his future, suspends reason, falls back on unreasoning hope and creates for himself an expectation of peaceful and unnumbered days yet to come. This blind optimism works all right till the last day, that inevitable last day which comes to all; then it betrays its victim into the pit from which there is no escape.

The perils of groundless hope threaten the Christian too. James sharply rebuked the believers of his day for presumptuously assuming an earthly future they had no real assurance would be theirs, . . .

Verse
Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Thought
Only if it is the Lord's will do we greet tomorrow. But if He gives the tomorrow, how will we spend it? So many tomorrows that in the past were wastefully spent. What aboutthis today?

Prayer
Lord, You have given me another today. Oh, may I spend it wisely for You!
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