For those who come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Christianity 201 started on April 1st, 2010. So we had a birthday a few days ago that we didn’t mention. The early days were rather rough and haphazard. To give you an idea, one post the first month contained the above verse, but not the reference. (For the record, it’s a shortened version of Hebrews 11:6.) It took a year or so for us to find our rhythm.
Over the years we’ve done a quotations series from various authors, but today, in a sense, we’re quoting ourselves. Here, in no particular order, are some very random things that were posted in those early day from our very first month:
Nothing is so hurtful to the life of a Christian as acting; nothing so blessed as when our outward efforts cease and our attitudes become natural — when our words, our prayers, our very life become a spontaneous and unforced expression of the life within.
The thing about grace is that it makes religion totally redundant
E. Stanley Jones:
When we say we begin with God, we begin with our idea of God, and our idea of God is not God. Instead, we ought to begin with God’s idea of God, and God’s idea of God is Christ.
Oswald J. Smith:
Why should anyone hear the gospel twice before everyone has heard it once?
At Catalyst ’09 Chuck Swindoll shared some wisdom that he’d compiled over the course of his fifty years in ministry. One of his many points was that “God’s way is better than my way.”
He says that “our problem is that we are too capable.” We are too talented, too skilled, too knowledgeable, and too busy doing it all. No room for God. No need.
Swindoll says that “God can’t pour His riches into hands that are already full… Empty your hands… [We must] empty our hands” of our own clippings, ideas, dreams, philosophies.
Jesus came on a rescue mission for creation. He had to pay for our sins so that someday he can end evil and suffering without ending us.
Both Blaise Pascal and Jonathan Edwards were known to arrive home with a couple dozen hand written notes pinned to their jackets. Yes, they looked like dorks, but we remember them hundreds of years after their deaths and don’t even know the names of the cool people anymore.
Collapse in the Christian life is rarely caused by a blowout. It is usually the result of a slow leak.
A. W. Tozer:
There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always possess. It covets “things” with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns “my” and “mine” look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant…
They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one root lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.
“You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces, turn the world upside down, and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of good literature.“
Steven & Brooksyne Weber (on the scribe in Matthew 8: 19-20)
Our Lord tests the sincerity of the scribe’s loyalty by warning him that He was so poor that beasts of the fields and birds of the air have nicer accommodations than He Himself had. “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” If the popular leader fared so badly, what was the follower to expect?
Ottawa area pastor Paul Kern provided us with our first ever graphic element, borrowed from his church website:
Finally, here, in its entirety is the first of what would turn out to be many posts from Kevin Rogers. If you click the link and then look around, you’ll find that Kevin is faithfully writing and that the title of this devotional is still the tag line for his website.
God’s eyes are watching loners. He is the shepherd who leaves a flock of ninety-nine in the care of another and travels to find the one-hundredth sheep that wandered away and was lost.
He is the Father who watches and waits for broken rebels to humble themselves and return home to His endearing love and unmerited acceptance.
God is a father to orphans and a new husband to widows. The societal separation, abandonment and sudden loss create a lack of belonging. The loneliness of orphans becomes their new identity. Where will the widow and orphan belong? Who will provide for them? Who will be their protector?
God not only finds loners but calls them to belong to His family. He adopts and marries the ones misunderstood, rejected and divorced from their own family of origin.
His presence in a life can sometimes cause difficulty and separation from your roots. The sins of the fathers affect the family down to the great-grandchildren. But God’s blessing goes further in unlimited potential.