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Post  Admin on Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:29 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Springtime of the Heart

It is possible for us to go through spiritual experiences that can rouse us, the spiritual equivalent of a springtime in the meadow. I have seen it happen, and I would like to see it happen today. . . . . . . We can have the spiritual equivalent of springtime in the meadow, but we have to enter in. The tree waits it out, and even the animals have to wait it out. But you and I, being made in the image of God and having wills of our own, can do something about it. We can appeal directly to our hearts. We do not need to lie like a field covered over with snow. We can stir ourselves up. We can run to meet the sun. We can create our own crisis, because the job is not for meadow and grass, but for our own hearts. These other things only illustrate spiritual springtime. We can stir ourselves up. We can bring out the sun, and we can bring on the springtime. How do we get this to happen? First it must come to the individual. I have no faith in anything that happens to a church that does not happen to the individual. If it does not affect the individual, numbers of individuals, if it is only a sort of social overtone that affects everybody momentarily, I have no faith in it at all.

Verse
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm. 51:10

Thought
Wrote William Quayle: "Christ is come and has changed my winter into laughing spring." He can change your winter, too!

Prayer
Father, like the lost son, I get up and come to You. I embrace the springtime.
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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Oct 2011, 3:25 pm

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Winter Experiences

There is such a thing as a renaissance, a personal revival. The best illustration is the coming of the springtime on the farm. The snow will lay all winter long, and in some places you don"t see the ground until springtime. How utterly dead everything looks, but you know that life is still there. The trees are stark, but there is life in them. The roots in the ground are all quiet, but there is life down there. Just below the frost line are the worms, the bugs, the mice, the moles and the chipmunks. They are all there, and there is life down there. They are all waiting for something, listening for Mother Nature to say, "Stir up the gift of God that is in thee." Then comes the spring; the snow goes, and the blotches and patches begin to appear. The bobwhites begin to whistle their happy but monotonous song on the sunny side of the hill. The cattle begin to kick up their heels and run about the fields. That is spring. Pretty soon all the snow is gone, calves are born and lambs are about, and we start all over. Thank God, it is all new. There is such a thing in the Christian life as going under for a winter. In other words, something happens to you, little by little, until you get snowed under and frozen over. There is life down there, covered up by the frost and ice. It may be hidden; it is there somewhere.

Verse
I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest-- Psalm. 55:6

Thought
"Lord, to my heart bring back the springtime. Take away the cold and dark of sin," wrote Kurt Kaiser. The sunshine of His presence melts the snow and the ice. We feel we are growing again.

Prayer
Lord, bring back the springtime into my life. Refresh, renew! For Jesus" sake.
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Post  Admin on Wed 26 Oct 2011, 3:58 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Enduring Hardship

It is possible to be beaten until you are numb. You can smile and praise the Lord and say, "Jesus, I my cross have taken," for a while. But then you are slowly beaten until you are numb, and you get into a sort of a rut where you cannot fight back. Timothy had been with Paul a long time, and Paul had been in so much trouble so much of the time. Timothy was tagging along behind in the same trouble, and Paul had noticed a little temptation to be ashamed of the cross. Essentially, Paul was saying, "Don"t be ashamed of the cross. Don"t shrink from the affliction of the gospel. God has not given us the spirit of fear." Then in Second Timothy 2:3 Paul said, "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus." It is as though he might have detected in the young man a little temptation to recoil a bit from the hard life he was called into. Paul knew that Timothy was basically a sound man. He knew Timothy had been reared in a Christian home. He mentioned Timothy"s grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. The grandmother and mother were both Christians, and good ones. Young Timothy had learned and become a Christian early in life. Paul knew that he was basically sound. But Paul was afraid that the pressure of things and the boredom of always being in the minority might put Timothy in danger of leveling off.

Verse
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:3

Thought
Hardship hurts, especially if it appears to us that by going incognito as a believer we can avoid it. Are we good soldiers, poor ones or have we gone AWOL?

Prayer
Lord, You know how I shrink from hardship. Yet, by enduring it, I can grow as in no other way.
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Post  Admin on Tue 25 Oct 2011, 6:14 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, October 24, 2011

Fanning the Flame

. . . The old soldier, Paul, was about to retire; that is, the Lord was about to take him home. Before he went he wrote a letter to his young coworker, much younger than he, but a noble young man. Timothy was full of faith, having been reared in a family where the faith of God was strong. He had proven himself a hundred ways in working with the great man Paul. But even Timothy, though very busy and even because he was so busy, was in danger of settling into a rut. Otherwise Paul would not have said, "Fan the flame." In the King James this is translated "stir up the gift of God." In Scripture God never uses superfluous words. He never says to a person who is wide awake, "Wake up!" He never says to a person who is lying down, "Lie down!" He never says to someone standing, "Get up!" And He never says to a person who is already stirred up, "Stir up!" God never wastes His words, and He never makes any little speeches like a person called upon at the laying of a cornerstone. Nor was Paul wasting words or giving a little talk that would be good just about anywhere. "Stir up the gift of God that is in thee" (KJV). Timothy needed this, or it would not have been written. The evidence is that Timothy, even though a hard-working and faithful man, was in danger of getting into rut. Paul said, in effect, "Don"t be ashamed of the cross."

Verse
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. . . . So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the p 2 Timothy 1:6,8-9a

Thought
God gives spiritual gifts to all believers. We need to be aware of the gifts He has given. Your gift and mine sometimes must be rekindled or fanned into flame, otherwise it may just burn out through unuse or misuse.

Prayer
Father, show me how to fan into flame that gift You have given me that by its use You may be glorified.
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Post  Admin on Mon 24 Oct 2011, 3:04 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, October 24, 2011

Fanning the Flame

. . . The old soldier, Paul, was about to retire; that is, the Lord was about to take him home. Before he went he wrote a letter to his young coworker, much younger than he, but a noble young man. Timothy was full of faith, having been reared in a family where the faith of God was strong. He had proven himself a hundred ways in working with the great man Paul. But even Timothy, though very busy and even because he was so busy, was in danger of settling into a rut. Otherwise Paul would not have said, "Fan the flame." In the King James this is translated "stir up the gift of God." In Scripture God never uses superfluous words. He never says to a person who is wide awake, "Wake up!" He never says to a person who is lying down, "Lie down!" He never says to someone standing, "Get up!" And He never says to a person who is already stirred up, "Stir up!" God never wastes His words, and He never makes any little speeches like a person called upon at the laying of a cornerstone. Nor was Paul wasting words or giving a little talk that would be good just about anywhere. "Stir up the gift of God that is in thee" (KJV). Timothy needed this, or it would not have been written. The evidence is that Timothy, even though a hard-working and faithful man, was in danger of getting into rut. Paul said, in effect, "Don"t be ashamed of the cross."

Verse
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. . . . So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the p 2 Timothy 1:6,8-9a

Thought
God gives spiritual gifts to all believers. We need to be aware of the gifts He has given. Your gift and mine sometimes must be rekindled or fanned into flame, otherwise it may just burn out through unuse or misuse.

Prayer
Father, show me how to fan into flame that gift You have given me that by its use You may be glorified.
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Oct 2011, 10:50 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saying Goodbye to the Rut

Jesus gives the story of the man who was covetous and lost his soul. So do not be covetous--be generous. Do not be stingy, but be free with your money. Do not be afraid--thank the Lord, trust Him and put fear away. These are examples of the constituted means of faith and obedience. We sing this and do not know we are singing it: "Trust and obey, for there"s no other way/ To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey." We sing that, but we have sung it so long that we might as well sing Mother Goose rhymes, because we do not know what we are singing. Some of us are down in a spiritual rut, the old routine. Nothing has any taste to it. Some churches try to handle that by pandering to the situation, bringing in every kind of weird claptrap in order to get some of the poor half-dead people to get a little taste again. We have God. We have Christ. We have truth. We have a world needing help. We have the saints, and we have the power of prayer. We have the joy of obedience and we have the sweet wonder of His presence. We have the joy of Christian song. We have all this and we do not need garbage. We have God. All we have to do is trust in His Son Jesus Christ and obey the truth, and the Lord will manifest Himself, show Himself through the lattice.

Verse
. . . I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (The Message). John 10:10

Thought
Spiritual reality eludes us when we merely play Christian and dip our toes in the water from the shore. Let"s jump into His fullness, holding nothing back. Then we will know Him and grow in Him.

Prayer
O God, forgive me for living like a spiritual pauper when You want me to have life to the full. I"m going to follow You, in Christ"s enablement.
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Post  Admin on Sat 22 Oct 2011, 7:38 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just Do It

The Lord said to become children. If we all became children, how beautiful that would be. You could walk up to a man and shake his hand without wondering, "Do I know enough judo to handle him?" He would not hurt you. Christians here are not going to hurt anybody, so just be perfectly candid. This is one passage you can practice no matter who you are or where you are. It touches you right now. "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God." (Luke 12:8). This passage tells us we are to testify and witness boldly about our Lord Jesus. If some of you would begin to quietly witness where you work, you would find a change coming over you. "Whoever has my commands and obeys them. . . [I will] show myself to him" (John 14:21). You will get out of the rut when the Lord begins to manifest Himself to you. But you would rather go off somewhere and get down on your knees and pray. Now praying is right--I have taught and preached and practiced it since I was converted. But do not try to pray down something that the Lord is telling you to do. Do what you are told, and the Lord will be right with you. . . .

Verse
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn"t do it, sins. James 4:17

Thought
We sometimes use "spiritual activity" to avoid doing what we know God wants us to do. Sometimes by prayer we try to change God"s mind. And all the time we are missing His best for us!

Prayer
Lord, I rise up to do what I have long known You want me to do. Trusting You, I am going to do it.
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Post  Admin on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 7:01 pm

Tozer Devotional
Friday, October 21, 2011

Learning to Lean as He Leads

Obedience to Christ proves we love Him, and in return He shows Himself to us. You say, "There are so many commandments, how can I obey? How can I remember them all, and can I be sure I am obeying?" In faith and love rest, wait and look. Then as His teaching touches your life, conform to it. There are some teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ that you would never get into because they would not touch you. They would not impinge on you in your present state. But as soon as they do touch you, then you automatically, sweetly and quietly obey. A man was giving testimony about being shipwrecked and praying, and about how the Lord delivered him. A dear old man of God went home, got on his knees and wept before the Lord. "God," he said, "You never saved me from shipwreck." And the Lord said, "Son, have you ever been at sea?" The man answered, "No." Of course you cannot save from shipwreck a man who has never been offshore. There are things that do not touch you, but the moment they do, obey instantly. For instance, the Bible says, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22). If you do not have any husband, why worry about that one? But if ever the words of our Lord Jesus Christ touch your life, instantly--because you are totally committed--gladly and quietly obey and do what you are told. He said that is your part, and His part is to manifest Himself to you and get you out of the rut.

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

Thought
There is a simplicity in just following the Lord day by day. He shows His will in increasing areas of life and, as we follow, radical change occurs.

Prayer
You lead, Great Shepherd. I can follow You in confidence. You lead. You feed. You enable. Thank You!
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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Oct 2011, 3:35 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Danger of Misplaced Commitment

Faith in Jesus is not commitment to your church or denomination. I believe in the local church; I am not a tabernacle man. I believe in the divine assembly. We ought to realize that we are, as a group of Christians, a divine assembly, a cell in the body of Christ, alive with His life. But not for one second would I try to create in you a faith that would lead you to commit yourself irrevocably to a local church or to your church leaders. You are not asked to follow your church leaders. You are not asked like a little robin on the nest to open your innocent little mouth and just take anything I put in. If what I put in is not biblical food, regurgitate and do not be afraid to do it. Call me or come see me or write me an anonymous letter. But do something about it. Do not, by any means, swallow what your leaders give you. Here is the book, the Bible; go to it. Faith is faith in Jesus Christ, God"s Son. It is total faith in Christ and not in a denomination or church, though you may love the church and respect and love your leaders and your denomination. But your commitment is to Christ.

Verse
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 1 Corinthians 3:5

Thought
God uses human leaders in leading us. But they can stumble and fall. Our faith commitment must be in Him. It is to Christ that we are ultimately responsible.

Prayer
It is You I want to follow, Lord, You. Help me to distinguish between You and Your leading from the human leaders You use but who sometimes fall.
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Oct 2011, 3:19 pm

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Constituted Means: Irrevocable Commitment

The Lord has constituted means. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me" (John 14:21a). Anybody can understand that, ever the teacher of group dynamics. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and show myself to him. If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me (14:21b, 23-24). What our Lord taught was this: when we obey the words of Jesus, in faith and in love proving that we love Him, He shows Himself to us. There are two subjects acting here--we and He. When we obey His Word we prove that we love Him, and He shows Himself to us. Who is this He that I am talking about? Jesus Christ our Lord. There are, then, two divinely constituted means: faith--the right kind of faith, in our Lord Jesus Christ--and obedience to His Word. Jesus said, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me" (John 14:1 KJV). Faith in Jesus Christ, the right kind of faith, the only kind of faith that matters, is irrevocable, total commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ Himself. You cannot go back on it, and if it is total, there is nothing that is not included. Faith in Jesus is not gulping twice and saying, "I accept Jesus." It is getting into a state where you have totally committed yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is irrevocable commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ.

Verse
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. 'My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.' John 14:23

Thought
Loving Christ and obeying Him are inseparably linked. Obeying is faith in action. Obeying is love in expression, because what He asks is often beyond our full understanding. Nevertheless we follow in simple trust and commitment.

Prayer
Lord, my shaky, "revoking" commitment robs me of Your revelation to me along the way. Here"s my heart, oh, take and seal it to unconditional commitment to You and Your Word.
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Post  Admin on Mon 17 Oct 2011, 7:45 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, October 17, 2011

Faith That Acts in Faith

People use the word fanatic whenever you get a little bit joyful about the Lord. They say you are a fanatic. Webster says that a fanatic is somebody who is too enthusiastic about religion, as if you could be too enthusiastic about religion. John Wesley said, "A fanatic is one who seeks desirable ends but ignores constituted means." Suppose a farmer boy with his blue jeans, torn shirt and tattered straw hat wants to get a fish. His mother says, "Why don"t you go down and catch a couple of trout, son." So he goes down by the creek. It is a beautiful day, the sun is shining and the cows are standing deep in the water under the shade trees. So the boy pulls off a stalk of grass and begins to nibble on it, and he starts wondering about those fish. He says to himself, "I remember the pastor said if we want anything to pray for it." In the meantime the fish are breaking the surface begging to be caught. But there he is praying, "Lord, send me some fish." He can pray until he dies and he will never have any fish. The Lord put intelligence in his head and gave him what we call constitited means. The farm boy takes a branch from a tree, ties on an ordinary piece of cord, puts a bent pin on the end and throws the hook with a worm on it into the streams. The fish will take it. Would it be proper for the farm boy to be pious and pray for fish or to throw in his hook and pull out fish? Everybody knows that if a farm boy addresses the Almighty God in a loud voice asking for fish when the fish are breaking the surface begging to be caught, something is wrong. He is a fanatic--he is trying to get a desirable end, but he is ignoring constituted means.

Verse
He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. Acts 14:9-10

Thought
Paul saw that the crippled man had faith to be healed. "Stand up on your feet!" At those words the man acted in faith. He jumped up and began to walk.

Prayer
Lord, I sometimes act without faith or by faith but not in You. But when I act believing You and Your Word, I can get up and walk. Thank You!

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, October 16, 2011

Working Out What God Works In You

The Holy Spirit in this passage is saying two things: God works in you to will, but you are to work with God in working it out. God works in you--that is, God is always previous. God is the aggressor. God saw you in the rut and wanted you to get out it. He thought of it first, not you. The impuse to know God came from Him and not from you. God works first, and because God works we are to work with Him. We are therefore to dismiss all doubts and all morbid humility. It is entirely possible to be so humble, in a sick kind of way, that you paralyze yourself and get nowhere. For instance, you say to yourself, "That man has been preaching about getting out of the religious rut. While I haven"t agreed with everything, I have been feeling that I am in a rut and that I ought to get out. This circular grave is getting deeper every year of my life, and I can hardly see out of it. Give me four or five more years and you"ll look right over me and not know I"m here. I need help. But I wonder if God will help me." That is morbid humility. . . . The very fact that you want out is proof that God has been working in you to will to get out. And if God worked in you to want to get out, then when you ask Him to get you out, do you suppose He would not help you out? Would God put an impulse in your heart and then refuse to accept your prayer when you came in answer to that impulse? . . .

Verse
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13

Thought
We are to continue to work out our salvation for it is God who energizes us to will and to act according to His good purpose. Those two roles are essential. The absence of either one keeps us in the rut.

Prayer
Amazing, Lord, You energize me to act according to Your purpose. Trusting You, I am going to do so.

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Cure

. . . suppose that I found an old fellow sitting on a bench and I went and sat down beside him. I noticed by looking at him that he had high blood pressure. I could tell it by the veins that stood out on his forehead. I began to try to tell him, "You have lived long enough on this bench. Get up; there's something better for you," and he began to resist me. Then I would have to preach a whole series of sermons to him to get him to know how sick he is, when just down the street a little way was the cure for what was wrong with him. That is precisely where we are in the church. You have to work on people for weeks to get them to see that they are in a rut. It would be cruel to do if there was not a remedy. But the justice of God is on the side of the confessing sinner. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Because Jesus Christ died, because He was God and because He was man, His atonement was absolutely and fully efficacious. All of the attributes of God are on the side of the person who confesses his or her sin and turns and runs to the feet of Jesus. "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" (2:1-2). There is the elixir. There is the cure. That is only one little passage, and of course similar ones are all over the New Testament. The blood is shed for us. God pardons and forgives for ChristÕs sake. The Holy Spirit is here to take the things of Christ and make them real to us. There is nothing, not even the devil himself, that can hinder the confessing sinner.

Verse
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for th 1 John 2:1-2

Thought
We are familiar with the cure. Are we using it? Why do we crawl in dirt when me may grasp His hand, get up and walk in forgiveness and new life?

Prayer
You, Christ, are my Advocate, my Intercessor, my Lord. By faith I receive Your life.
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Post  Admin on Sat 15 Oct 2011, 6:23 pm

Tozer Devotional
Friday, October 14, 2011

Self-Examination

The philosopher Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." If a common philosopher could think that, how much more we Christians ought to listen to the Holy Spirit when He says, "Examine yourself." An unexamined Christian lies like an unattended garden. Let your garden go unattended for a few months, and you will not have roses and tomatoes but weeds. An unexamined Christian life is like an unkempt house. Lock your house up as tight as you will and leave it long enough, and when you come back you will not believe the dirt that got in from somewhere. An unexamined Christian life is like an untaught child. A child that is not taught will be a little savage. It takes examination, teaching, instruction, discipline, caring, tending, weeding and cultivating to keep the life right. I do not want to leave you on a low note. I am trying to wake you, not discourage you. There is not a reason in the world for you to be discouraged. . . .

Verse
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

Thought
It is good and necessary to examine our lives by the light of God's Word. It exposes our need but also illuminates the Great Provider.

Prayer
Lord, examination sends me running to You for cleansing, forgiveness and Your life. I want to walk in step with You.
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Post  Admin on Fri 14 Oct 2011, 2:04 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cultivating Spiritual Disciplines

Perhaps they have committed sins of the mind. . . . To think God's thoughts requires much prayer. If you do not pray much, you are not thinking God's thoughts. If you do not read your Bible much and often and reverently, you are not thinking God's thoughts. Those thoughts you are having--and your head buzzes with them all day long and into the night--are earthly thoughts--thoughts of a fallen race. They are the thoughts of a lost society. They should not be our thoughts. Paul said, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus " (Philippians 2:5 KJV). There also has to be a lot of meditation. We ought to learn to live in our Bible. Get one with print big enough to read so it does not punish your eyes. Look around until you find a good one, and then learn to love it. Begin with the Gospel of John, then read the Psalms. Isaiah is another great book to help you and lift you. When you feel you want to do it, go on to Romans and Hebrews and some of the deeper theological books. But get into the Bible. Do not just read the little passages you like, but in the course a a year or two see that you read it through. Your thoughts will one day come up before God's judgment. We are responsible for our premeditative thoughts. They make our mind a temple where God can dwell with pleasure, or they make our mind a stable where Christ is angry, ties a rope and drives out the cattle. It is up to us. What should you then do? Examine yourself. Have you found yourself in that awful circular grave, not making any spiritual progress? Have you found that the passing of time upon which you have leaned so heavily has become a broken reed and is not helping you at all?

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
To be Christian we must think Christian. Transformation is by mind renewal. There are patterns of thought, attitudes, habits that the Spirit wants to replace with those compatible with the faith walk. What we think is crucial.

Prayer
Cleanse my mind, O God. Help me to discipline my thinking so that I think on those things that are true, spiritually real, Christ-focused
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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Oct 2011, 2:16 pm

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Living that Grieves the Spirit

It is almost certain that sin is the cause of the rut, the circular grave in which so many people find themselves. Since only sin offends God, and sin is extremely deceitful, it can be present doing its deadly work while the people may not be aware of it at all until it is called to their attention. There are several kinds of sin that cause the rut. First is the sin of omission, an act left undone that should have been done. Next is the sin of commission, which is an act displeasing to God, to the Holy Spirit. There is also sin of the flesh. The world may approve of sin of the flesh, and even churches and pastors may permit it. It is astonishing what preachers will joke about with their congregations, laugh off and put up with. Maybe pastors permit it or laugh it off at least, and say, "Oh well, you can't be too holy, too angelic in this world." But the Holy Spirit is grieved by it. So the people move around their circular grave not hearing the voice much any more. They used to hear it, "Get up, get up. You've been in this place long enough. Get up! Move! There's the land before you--I've given it to you. It's all in the covenant; it is all in the purchase of the blood. It is all yours. Get up and move toward me. Move toward the holy place and the holy land and your possessions. Victory and deliverance and power in prayer--it is all yours. Rise up and take it." They once heard that signal coming strongly to them, but it is not coming so strongly any more. The Holy Spirit is grieved and does not talk so much. And the people move around in their circular grave.

Verse
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption . Ephesians 4:30

Thought
It is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit; to put out the Spirit's fire (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Does my daily life grieve Him? Quench His fire? Am I hurting Him and reducing His fire in me to barely smoldering ashes?

Prayer
O Holy Spirit, forgive me for grieving You and quenching Your fire within. Let me hear Your voice again and rise up to live under Your control. In Jesus' name.
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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Oct 2011, 4:30 pm

Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seeker, Pretender, or In-the-Rut Disciple

. . . People in the rut never know when the last leaves are falling for them. Why are people in the rut? There are several possibilities. They may never have been truly converted at all, and this is one of our great problems now. We have a dozen ways of getting people into the kingdom of God, when the Lord said there was only one. They leak in, ooze in, come in by osmosis and get in by marriage--just get in by any kind of way. But there is only one true way. When people find that after being in the church for years they are not making much progress, they ought to examine themselves and wonder whether they have been truly converted. True conversion means radical repentance, a changed life, conscious forgiveness of sin and a spiritual rebirth. Genuinely converted people, as the old Methodists said, had a radical repentance, which eventuated in a changed life. Then there came a consciousness of forgiveness of sins and a spiritual rebirth. People in the rut may never have had that at all. . . . People in the circular grave, who are getting older without getting holier, may have been abandoned to the devil because of two things--some fleshly sins (1 Corinthians 5) or grave irreverence at the communion table (1 Corinthians 11). Protestants are altogether too much inclined to take things for granted. We laugh at those on the other side of the ecclesiastical fence because they bow and scrape and kowtow in the presence of the church. But we lack reverence--not because we are free in the gospel, but because God is absent, and we have no sense of His presence. We sometimes come to the communion table in a moral and spiritual state totally unfit for receiving communion, and yet we take it. Paul said, "We are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world."

Verse
Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

Thought
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the sincere seeker, the "church member" pretender and the in-the-rut disciple. But God surely knows and the Spirit will reveal to us our own personal state. Or do we already know?

Prayer
Lord, I want to do Your will. I want to get out of the rut and follow You. In Your name and power I rise up!
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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Oct 2011, 6:19 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, October 10, 2011

The Falling of Life-Leaves

People who are in the rut, the circular grave, find that it is getting harder for them to change. They used to have spells when they were emotionally moved. Their wills got over on the side of God, and they really meant to make themselves into good Christians by the grace of God. But those times are getting fewer. They cannot afford to wait and say, "Oh, well, I will do it next Thanksgiving. I'll do it when I come home from vacation." No, they will either do it now or they will not do it at all. There comes a time when they must make a change. If they do not make it, they never will. Time is stealing away their days of opportunity to make it. They began with a given number of days, and they have already used up so many days. But the tragedy is that they do not know how many remain. They do not know how many they have left because they do not know how many they had to start with. While they could count the number of days they have been on the earth, they do not know how that stacks up to the number accorded them, so they do not know where they are. They only know that the days are doing what the poet said about the leaves. "The leaves of life keep falling one by one."

Verse
O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalm 144:3,4

Thought
Our life-leaves are falling. Time ticks away. Let's change today, now! God cares. Let us care.

Prayer
Lord, I want to change. I want to grow in You. I want to be wholly Yours in all areas of life.
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Post  Admin on Mon 10 Oct 2011, 1:13 pm

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Feasibility of Change

. . . people in ruts . . . discover that the passing of time tends to dull their religious feelings, and the signal that used to be quite clear is fading out. Then they worry a little and say, "The signal is gone. I'll have to do something." Suddenly it comes on again and they hear it a little and say, "Oh, it's not so bad after all." They are just in a favorable pocket--perhaps some new preacher has come to town. They think they are hearing the voice again, and they are, a little bit. But it is not long until they are out of range and cannot hear it any more. Time has increased their indifference to spiritual things and dulled their religious feelings, continually making them harder to change. Change is one of the ingredients of Christianity. If people could not change, the gospel would be absolutely meaningless. If the Lord would say, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; repent and believe," and a person could not repent or believe, the gospel would be meaningless. The fact that people can change is the only hope they have. If they could not change, there would be no reason to preach to them that they must change. And yet we are sent to preach that people should change, meaning they should repent. They should turn from darkness to light. They should turn from idols to God. They should change. This is absolutely necessary, a vital ingredient in the spiritual life.

Verse
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesians 4:1

Thought
Thank God a man or woman can change! We don't have to be what we once were or even now am. We can change. It is God's provision in Christ that makes change not just possible but feasible.

Prayer
O God, thank You that I can change. Your provision and the presence of You Spirit within me invite change.
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Post  Admin on Sun 09 Oct 2011, 12:51 pm

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, October 08, 2011

Betrayed by Time

Churches get in ruts only because individuals get in ruts. It is impossible that the church should do anything that individuals do not do. It is impossible that we should make any progress except as made by individuals. It is impossible there should be any regress unless individual Christians go backward. Think about people who find themselves in religious ruts. They discover a number ot things about themselves. They will find that they are getting older but not getting any holier. Time is their enemy, not their friend. The time they trusted and looked to is betraying them, for they often said to themselves, "The passing of time will help me. I know some good old saints, so as I get older I'll get holier and better. Time will help me, purify me and revive me." They said that the year before last, but they were not helped any last year. Time betrayed them. They were not any better last year than they had been the year before. . . . I say to you that the people in the religious rut are getting older, but they are not getting any holier. Time, which they have trusted to be their friend, is betraying them and proving to be their enemy. Time is doing something else to them: it is increasing their indifference to spiritual things. The signal that God used to be able to get through to them easily is now getting fainter and fading away. Once in a while on good days they can still hear it.

Verse
'Why are you sleeping?' he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.' Luke 22:46

Thought
The passing of time does not assure holiness. Rather, it contributes to spiritual lethargy. If we are going to grow we need to rise NOW, today, and walk with God.

Prayer
Lord, You lend me time that I may spend it well. Forgive me for squandering it. I want to use it for You.


Tozer Devotional
Friday, October 07, 2011

Wakeful Walking

Of course, people resent any word reflecting on them, but every once in a while there appears an awakened soul. Some way or another this person got awake. Somehow God Almighty wakened him or her, whether by the crowing of the rooster or by the braying of Balaam's donkey. This person ceases to be mediocre and somnolent and becomes a blazing, shining light. And then the sleeping saints pay to have him or her come and do their work for them. They send people like this out to South Africa or the Far East to do their work for them. Meanwhile they stay home and sleep spiritually, and earn the money, because they are intellectually and physically awake to send them. When one of these people dies, they write the story of his or her life and may even go so far as to take up a collection to put up a little library in the person's memory. They could call it the "Awakened Saint Memorial." But they are very careful not to be awakened themselves. They are careful and perfectly happy to talk about how wonderful Robert Jaffray was, but they will not pay Jaffray's price. They can talk endlessly about wonderful Dr. A. B. Simpson, but they will not go Simpson's way. They are careful not to follow the person whose life they write about and whose memorial they erect. But this is what Christianity is all about: the wakened soul, the morally and spiritually wakened. God, who seems so far away, suddenly becomes close. God who had been all out of focus, a blur, now is seen to be the Son of Righteousness in clear sight, with healing in His wings.

Verse
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Malachi 4:2

Thought
Though benumbed by drowsiness, we can recognize those who are wide awake to the fullness of God. Rather than admiring them from afar we need to rise up and join them in full awaareness of spiritual reality. God wants each of us to glory in Him and reflec

Prayer
Thank You, Lord, for those so reflective of You that others are drawn to You. I, too, want to so know You.
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Post  Admin on Fri 07 Oct 2011, 12:30 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, October 06, 2011

Causes of a Dozing Church

What is the present condition of the evangelical church? The bulk of Christians are asleep. I do not mean that the bulk of Christians who come to evangelical churches are not converted, because if I meant that I would say they were dead and never had been born again. But I say they are asleep. It is possible to be morally asleep yet mentally, intellectually, physically and theologically alert. The present condition is that we are asleep. These sleeping Christians do two things that God must grieve over. One is that they control church affairs. We are democratic, and if we do not like a pastor we give him the bounce or pray that he will get another call. Then when the time comes we vote in whom we want and vote out whom we do not want. Church people control church affairs because they are intellectually, mentally and physically awake, but they may be morally and spiritually asleep. That is, they are so far down in the rut that they do not see up. Many people who are asleep control church affairs. It gets into whole conferences. Representatives will meet at the expense of the local church people. They will read minutes and pass resolutions, but they are asleep. You know they are asleep by the way they talk as soon as the benediction is pronounced and they have adjourned. You know they are asleep by their conduct, the things they are interested in or lack interest in, yet they control church affairs. The second thing sleeping Christians do is set the standards for new Christians. When you bring in a newly converted Christian, he or she automatically takes on the coloration, general mood and temperature of the solemn seats around him or her. Pretty soon he or she is where they are, and once again there are no good examples of the Christian life.

Verse
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Romans 13:11

Thought
Churches are not awakened unless people are. God's alarm has been going off for years. Are we listening? Let's wake up--you and me!

Prayer
Surely, Your coming is nearer than ever before. Lord, I want to be fully awake and to encourage others to be so as well. Wakened believers assure a wakened Church.
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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Oct 2011, 9:25 am

Tozer Devotional
Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Responding to the Wake-Up Call

There is also spiritual sleep. Notice Ephesians 5:14: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead." This verse is often spoken to sinners, but it was not written to sinners. Ephesians was never written to sinners. It is not a message to sinners at all, but a message to one of the best churches in the New Testament. Yet the writer says, "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Some of the Ephesians were in a somnolent condition; that is, they were morally good but unenlightened. They were religious but unanointed. It is perfectly possible for a good, faithful, loyal church member to be spiritually asleep--being in a spiritual state that parallels natural sleep. When your husband, your wife, your child, your relative, your friend or you go to sleep tonight, the fact that you are unconscious and out of the running for a while is not bothering you. You know that normally you will wake up again. You are not dead, but you are cut off from your environment, all but that which is reflex--breathing and a few other things. Likewise it is possible to be a Christian, to be in the church and yet be asleep spiritually. Then you have to be wakened suddenly. You will probably be ashamed of yourself, angry with yourself, frustrated and disconcerted and say, "What's the matter with me? All this time I was almost awake, but not quite."

Verse
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1

Thought
It's time to wake up. If we don't wake up now, it will soon be too late.

Prayer
O God, Your light has come. Your glory shines. Father, I want to get up today and live in that light.



Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Spiritual Sleepwalkers

When the Bible says "Awake to righteousness and sin not," it indicates the possiblity of a sudden awakening, like when an alarm clock going off rouses you out of sleep. There is such a thing as being asleep and suddenly being wakened, and this is surprising to people. People often say, "You know, I was living a life displeasing to God. I was a church member, but though I didn't know it, I was displeasing to God. My life wasn't right. Then suddenly I was wakened by God. It was a surprise." . . . People who are awakened from moral sleep say, "Well, what's the matter with me? I've been living a life that's been displeasing to God, and I simply did not know it. "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it. . . . This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven'" (Genesis 28:16-17). Jacob must have been rather disconcerted when he awoke and found that he had been in the presence of God all the time, but he had been asleep. He was not morally dead; he was not cut off from the covenant--he was merely asleep.

Verse
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.' He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! . . . Genesis 28:16,17

Thought
We go through life thinking we are awake only to find we are not. We are sleepwalking- -oblivious to the presence of God who is most assuredly there!

Prayer
Lord, how can I be Your child and yet be so deaf to Your voice and so blind to Your presence? Wake me up for Christ's sake.
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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Oct 2011, 3:40 pm

Tozer Devotional
Monday, October 03, 2011

Moral Sleep

My aim is to awaken some from the rut. I know it is impossible to awaken everybody, but I hope to awaken some. I use the word awaken here advisedly and carefully because the Bible contains significant teaching gathered around the word sleep. There is first of all natural sleep. "He grants sleep to those he loves" (Psalm 127:2). "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8). . . . I am thinking of moral sleep and spiritual sleep. Moral sleep is suggested in First Corinthians 15:34, "Awake to righteousness and sin not" (KJV). There is such a thing as moral sleep. It is entirely possible to be displeasing God and grieving the Holy Spirit by being asleep morally; that is, by permitting what should not be allowed. Most people do not want to hear this. They want something added to what they have. They do not want to be told that they are permitting something that should not be allowed. In other words, they are doing what they should not be doing. But you ask, "Is it true of Christians? Do you believe that many Christians are doing this?" I have no hesitation in saying that all the symptoms in the church today point to Christians doing things they should not be doing and failing to do what they should be doing. That is the positive and the negative--sins of commission, sins of omission. To be unaware of these sins is to be morally asleep.

Verse
Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:34

Thought
Are we lulled to sleep by our own culture, our church culture? Insensitive to the Spirit's conviction and direction. Accommodating to church culture but closeting off areas of heart from the Spirit's control. We are His temple and He wants all of us.

Prayer
Lord, awaken me to the promptings of Your Spirit. Closets of heart I have blocked from Your control. Break them open and fully cleanse me. May I live in Your clear light.
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Post  Admin on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 10:42 am

Tozer Devotional
Sunday, October 02, 2011

Renewal Prayer

The children of the world are sometimes wiser than the children of light. . . . We have been offered the face of God and the glory of Christ. We have been offered holiness and righteousness and indwelling by the Spirit. We can have our prayers answered and have hell fear us because we have a hold on God who invites us to draw on His omnipotence. We are offered all this, and yet we sit and play second violin without ambition. Israel was once in that condition, and an old prophet with shining eyes came to them and said, "Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, . . You put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror. You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away onyour harps like David and improvise onmusical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile." (Amos 6:1-7). Israel was in a rut, and they did not want anybody disturbing their calm. They liked music and food and beds of ivory, and they anointed themselves with ointment. They had everything that we call sumptuous living. But they were not grieved at the affliction of Israel. They didn't care. Let us not rest upon beds of ivory. By the grace of God let us begin to grieve a bit for the affliction of Joseph and be anxious and bothered in the Holy Spirit for the state the church is in.

Verse
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Psalm 85:6

Thought
We can only be used in the awakening of the Church as we walk daily by the Spirit so that Christ lives through us. We can be a spark of light that ignites others.

Prayer
O Breath of Life, come sweeping through us, revive Thy church with life and power.' And blow upon me, O God.
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 11:31 am

Tozer Devotional
Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Blindness of Self-Righteousness

. . . If we compare what we ought to be and could be with what we are, and we don't see that we are in a rut and we are not concerned, then one of three things may be wrong. First, we may not be converted at all. . . . Second, people may not be concerned about the rut because of sin they have committed. . . . Third, some people are so self-righteous that they are impervious to any work of the Holy Spirit. They cannot be cured of their blindness because they think they see. The Pharisees never got under conviction. They crucified Christ, they hated the Son of God, but they never got under conviction. They had ordered their religious life so as to be impervious to the arrows of the Holy Spirit. The adulterous woman could fall at the feet of Jesus, the tax collector who knew he had been crooked could run to the feet of Jesus to ask for help, and the poor came from everywhere to say, "What must I do?" They could come, but the Pharisees never did. They never got under conviction, and in hell I suppose they are still fighting and saying they are right. If people judge what they could be and ought to be with what they are and can still go home and have a good night's rest, shrugging it off, perhaps they have never been converted. Maybe they have sinned against light until they are temporarily under a terrible cloud of God's judgment. Or maybe they are so self-righteous that they cannot get under conviction.

Verse
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!' Luke 5:8

Thought
It is only as we draw near to Jesus that we realize how filthy sinful we are. His glorious light reveals the dark closets of our heart. We can only fall before Him. Amazing love! He does not turn us away!

Prayer
O God, burn away my self-righteousness as You let me look upon You. Vile and full of sin I am. You are light and truth and righteousness. I worship You!
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Post  Admin on Sat 01 Oct 2011, 11:52 am

Tozer Devotional
Friday, September 30, 2011

Trying to Run While Entangled

. . . If we compare what we ought to be and could be with what we are, and we don't see that we are in a rut and we are not concerned, then one of three things may be wrong. First, we may not be converted at all. . . . Second, people may not be concerned about the rut because of sin they have committed. Perhaps they have been regenerated but have sinned against light too often, so the light has become darkness. That often happens. I don't say these people are lost, but I do say that they are in a terrible state. Only the power and grace of God working within them can help. I think there are lots of people like that. They have been regenerated, but they have become busy with their real estate office or their store. Many have said, "Well, I'd like to come to your church, Reverend, but I have to keep my store open seven days a week." They cannot serve God because they do not have time to serve Him. They will have time to die, but they do not have time to serve God.

Verse
Therefore, . . . , let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . . Hebrews 12:1,2

Thought
Ever seen a marathon runner at the starting line with a 300 pound refrigerator strapped to his back? We can't run the race unless we throw off weights and the sin that so easily entangles.

Prayer
Those things that hinder my running, that sin to which I am so vulnerable-- I would throw them off, Lord, and run with my eyes on You!
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Tozer Devotional - Page 30 Empty Re: Tozer Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 30 Sep 2011, 6:15 pm

Tozer Devotional
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Counterfeit Christians

. . . If we compare what we ought to be and could be with what we are, and we don't see that we are in a rut and we are not concerned, then one of three things may be wrong. First, we may not be converted at all. I am convinced that many evangelicals are not truly and soundly converted. Among the evangelicals it is entirely possible to come into membership, to ooze in by osmosis, to leak through the cells of the church and never know what it means to be born of the Spirit and washed in the blood. A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity. There is nothing deeper about it, and it is where we should have been from the start. We should have been happy, joyous, victorious Christians walking in the Holy Spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Instead we have been chasing each other around the perpetual mountain. What we need is what the old Methodists called a sound conversion. There is a difference between conversion and a sound conversion. People who have never been soundly converted do not have the Spirit to enlighten them. When they read the Sermon on the Mount or the teaching passages of the epistles that tell them how to live or the doctrinal passages that tell how they can live, they are unaffected. The Spirit who wrote them is not witnessing in their hearts because they have not been born of the Spirit. That often happens.

Verse
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him. John 3:36

Thought
Trying to live without life. Staggering corpses. What a tragedy! Have we experienced spiritual birth? Have we by faith trusted in Christ as Savior and Lord? That is the life and death issue!

Prayer
The gift of life in You, O Christ, I have received by faith. You died for me and rose again for me that I might live. Thanks be to God!
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