People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.
The aim is never to become a master of the Word, but to be mastered by it.
All of us would be wiser if we would resolve never to put people down, except on our prayer lists.
The way to be anxious about nothing is to be prayerful about everything.
If you want to see what judgment looks like, go to the cross. If you want to see what love looks like, go to the cross.
What binds us together is not common education, common race, common income levels, common politics, common nationality, common accents, common jobs, or anything else of that sort. Christians come together because they have all been loved by Jesus himself. They are a band of natural enemies who love one another for Jesus’ sake.
Effective prayer is the fruit of a relationship with God, not a technique for acquiring blessings.
Some Christians want enough of Christ to be identified with him but not enough to be seriously inconvenienced; they genuinely cling to basic Christian orthodoxy but do not want to engage in serious Bible study; they value moral probity, especially of the public sort, but do not engage in war against inner corruptions; they fret over the quality of the preacher’s sermon but do not worry much over the quality of their own prayer life. Such Christians are content with mediocrity.
We are lost when human opinion means more to us than God’s.
Some Christians want enough of Christ to be identified with him but not enough to be seriously inconvenienced.
The cliché, God hates the sin but love the sinner, is false on the face of it and should be abandoned. Fourteen times in the first fifty Psalms alone, we are told that God hates the sinner, His wrath is on the liar, and so forth. In the Bible, the wrath of God rests both on the sin (Romans 1:18ff) and on the sinner (John 3:36).
Jesus is hungry but feeds others; He grows weary but offers others rest; He is the King Messiah but pays tribute; He is called the devil but casts out demons; He dies the death of a sinner but comes to save His people from their sins; He is sold for thirty pieces of silver but gives His life a ransom for many; He will not turn stones to bread for Himself but gives His own body as bread for people.
To worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’ is first and foremost a way of saying that we must worship God by means of Christ. In him the reality has dawned and the shadows are being swept away (Hebrews 8:13). Christian worship is new covenant worship; it is gospel-inspired worship; it is Christ-centered worship; it is cross-focused worship.
…sometimes God chooses to bless us and make us people of integrity in the midst of abominable circumstances, rather than change our circumstances.
Draw nigh to God, so that you may dread the grave as little as your bed. Draw nigh to God, that you may live a happy and useful life. Drawing nigh to God is the most concentrated energy of the soul. Effective prayer is the fruit of a relationship with God, not a technique for acquiring blessings.
Many of us in our praying are like nasty little boys who ring front door bells and run away before anyone answers.
The Bible is endlessly interesting because it is God’s story, and God by nature is himself endlessly interesting. The Bible is an ever-flowing fountain. The more you read it, the more you find its truth and beauty to be inexhaustible.
Do you wish to see God’s love? Look at the cross. Do you wish to see God’s wrath? Look at the cross.
When you are converted, you want to do what you didn’t want to do before, and you don’t want to do what you wanted to do before. There’s a change in the heart; there’s a cleaning up, a change in orientation, and holiness becomes attractive, instead of something you have to put up with to figure out what you can get away with. As long as young people are asking, ‘Can I get away with this?’ or ‘Can I get away with that?’ I wonder if they’re regenerate. If they’re asking, instead, ‘How can I grow in holiness?’ then I suspect they’ve begun to understand.
Hell is not filled with people who are deeply sorry for their sins. It is filled with people who for all eternity still shake their puny fist in the face of God Almighty.
A billion years or so into eternity, how many toys we accumulated during this life will not seem too terribly important.Either worrying drives out prayer, or prayer drives out worrying.
True freedom is not the liberty to do anything we please, but the liberty to do what we ought; and it is genuine liberty because doing what we ought now pleases us
We do not drift into spiritual life or disciplined prayer. We will not grow in prayer unless we plan to pray.