Wednesday, June 22, 2011
that I haven't blogged in awhile. I had such high hopes to have posts already to go, but I have been a little distracted. Last week I was at a CFO camp in South Dakota. The next two weeks will be filled with wedding stuff. So hopefully I will be able to post again in July. So expect continued silence from Paul's Ponderings until then.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
"There is none of our impulses which the Moral Law won't sometimes tell us to suppress, and not which it won't sometimes tell us to encourage. It is a mistake to think that some impulses--say, mother love or patriotism--are good, and others, like sex or the fightint instinct, are bad. All we mean is that the occasions on which the fighting instinct or the sexual desire need to be restrained are rather more frequent than those for restraining mother love or patriotism. But there are situations in which it is the duty of a married man to encourage his sexual impulse and of a soldier to encourage the fighting instinct. There are also occasions on which a mother's love for her own children or a man's love for his own country have to be suppressed or they'll lead to unfairness towards other people's children or countries. Strictly speaking, there aren't such things as good and bad impulses." ~ C.S. Lewis; The Case for Christianity (pg. 9)
Saturday, June 11, 2011
"In a world full of hate and suspicion, what a distinctive role the Christian can play. This is the only way in which the spread of alienation is arrested and the nearness of Christ's love is brought even nearer to so many who are lonely. All the hatred that is demonstrated in our world has resulted from a world that knows no Appreciative love toward the very author of life." ~ Ravi Zacharias, Cries of the Heart, p. 179
Friday, June 10, 2011
"How often there are found among Christians who are banded together in work, sharp criticism, sharp judgment, hasty opinion, unloving words, secret contempt of each other, secret condemnation of each other! Oh, just as a mother's love covers her children and delights in them and has the tenderest compassion with their foibles or failures, so there ought to be in the heart of every believer a motherly love toward every brother and sister in Christ." ~ Andrew Murray, Humility and Absolute Surrender, p. 83
Thursday, June 09, 2011
"God sees not only who we are, but who we can become. When we neglect our God-given capacity, when we refuse to maximize our God-given potential, it is wickedness in the sight of God. How would it change the work of the church if our measure of effectiveness was not how little sin was being done, but how much good was being accomplished?" ~ Erwin McManus, Uprising, p. 185
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
"A man's need for validation is one of his most desperate longings. Until we have that validation, we live with an uncertainty down deep inside. As men, we need to know who we truly are, and what we are destined to become. And the only really reliable source for that is the God who made us. So we need to hear from God what he thinks of us." ~ John Eldredge, The Way of the Wild Heart, p. 128
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
"This is always God's pattern: He chooses, He calls, and He shapes a person in an intimate and loving relationship. God reveals Himself and His ways to the one He can trust. God's revelation is not for observation but to enable obedience! It takes time with God, but it also takes a daily, consistent walk of faith and obedience." ~ Henry Blackaby, Created to Be God's Friend, p. 119
Monday, June 06, 2011
"The incidental reference to the death of sinners shows us something of God's hostility to evil as well as something of the way he procured forgiveness of sin. If men are to be forgiven, something must be done about this hostility. There can be no fellowship between God and man as long as God is persisting in a demand to which men are indifferent. That is simply to perpetuate the enmity." ~ Leon Morris, The Atonement, p. 138
Sunday, June 05, 2011
"The destructiveness of addiction lies in our slavery to these things, turning desire into compulsion, with ugly and loveless consequences for ourselves and our world." ~ Gerald May, Addiction and Grace, p. 41
Saturday, June 04, 2011
"Thus no one chooses in the abstract to go to hell or even to be the kind of person who belongs there. But their orientation toward self leads them to become the kind of person for whom away-from-God is the only place for which they are suited. It is a place they would in the end, choose for themselves, rather than come to humble themselves before God and accept who he is. Whether or not God's will is infinitely flexible, the human will is not. There are limits beyond which it cannot bend back, cannot turn or repent." ~ Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, p. 57
Friday, June 03, 2011
"A man cannot live one hour a godly life unless by the power of the Holy Ghost. He may live a proper, consistent life, as people call it, an irreproachable life, a life of diligent service; but to live a life acceptable to God in the enjoyment of God's salvation and God's love, to live and walk in the power of the new life—he cannot do it unless he be guided by the Holy Spirit every day and every hour." ~ Andrew Murray, Humility and Absolute Surrender, p. 128
Thursday, June 02, 2011
"Prayer is communication between two persons. Prayer does not involve reciting a wish list to a cosmic ombudsman. It is not a means of tapping into a supernatural power source. It is not a ritual formula we recite with the hope of stumbling upon the right words that will mysteriously open the vaults of heaven....For many, prayer is simply an avenue to inform God of their concerns and desires. Yet God desires far more as he communes with his children." ~ Henry and Richard Blackaby, Hearing God's Voice, p. 119
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
"It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him. We would far rather work for God than believe in Him" (My Utmost for His Highest, p. 153)
There are opposite extremes that Christians make in their relationship with God. The first extreme is that we sit and do nothing and call it waiting on God. I know that this is the extreme I am most guilty of doing. I will fill my life with reading, meditating, and praying to avoid what I know God has called me to do. Why do I do this? This is my response to the fear I experience in the face of obedience. I justify my lack of obedience and trust in God on my dedication to hearing His voice.
The other extreme is what Oswald Chambers talks about. It is being so fearful about what is happening around us that we decide that doing something is better than doing nothing. Rather than waiting on God's timing we try to create our own perfect opportunity. The classic example of this is Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. Abraham and Sarah's fear of being childless overtook their trust in God's timing and so they decided to give God a hand rather than to wait on His plan.
So how can we find the balance in the midst of these two extremes? I am not really sure I have an answer for that question, but I think it would begin with daily surrendering our lives to God. One of the passages I that I have kept coming back to is Romans 12:1-2. In this passage the apostle Paul writes:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (ESV).I think part of our daily prayer needs to be a time when we surrender our lives, our bodies, as living sacrifices to God, to be used as He sees fit. In this act of surrendering we open ourselves up to discovering God's will. Once we understand what God's will is it will still require us to act in faith to do it according to His plan, but it does help us understand the type of response God desires us to have.
"In short, the problem of evil is not solved by doing away with the existence of God in the face of evil; the problem of evil and suffering must be resolved while keeping God in the picture." ~ Ravi Zacharias, Cries of the Heart, p. 68