Sunday, September 23, 2018

Week in Review: September 16-22

NIV Rainbow Study Bible (2011)

  • 1 Chronicles
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel
  • Obadiah

NASB 1971 (First edition)

  • Numbers
  • Psalm 73-106
  • Joel
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Luke
  • Acts
  • Hebrews

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, September 22, 2018

My Victorian Year #35

This week I'll be sharing quotes from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and J.C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew.

From Morning and Evening:

  • Between the creature and the Creator—there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High God—and are partakers of the divine nature.
  • Every drop in the ocean, every beaded bubble, and every yeasty foam-flake, every shell and pebble, feel the power of God’s law, and yield or move at once. O that our nature were but one thousandth part as much conformed to the will of God!
  • O for more agonizing prayer on their behalf, while they are yet babes! Sin is there, let our prayers begin to attack it. Our cries for our offspring should precede those cries which betoken their actual advent into a world of sin.
  • Whatever this day’s need may be, let it like a strong current—bear us to the ocean of divine love! Jesus can soon remove our sorrow. He delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to Him—while He waits to meet us!
  • Labor to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart—kneel down and blow it into a flame!
  • You will never find true faith, unattended by true godliness. On the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life, which has not for its root a living faith upon the righteousness of Christ.
  • We are not our own, we are bought with a price—let us recognize the rights of the redeeming blood. The soldier follows his captain, the servant obeys his master—much more must we follow our Redeemer, to whom we are a purchased possession.
  • We are not true to our profession of being Christians—if we question the bidding of our Leader and Commander. Submission is our duty—but caviling is our folly.
  • Wherever Jesus may lead us—He goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go. With such a companion, who will dread the perils of the road? The journey may be long—but His everlasting arms will carry us to the end.
  • The presence of Jesus is the assurance of eternal salvation, because He lives—we shall live also. We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which He leads us—all end in glory and immortality.
  • Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without price or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld.
  • It matters not what your need is, for there is fullness of supply in Christ—and it is there for you! O what a “freedom” is yours! Freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!
  • It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way—by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations.
  • Sinners are perishing for lack of knowledge; he who loiters may find his skirts crimson with the blood of souls.
  • Jesus gave both His hands to the nails—how can I keep back one of mine from His blessed work? Night and day He toiled and prayed for me, how can I give a single hour to the pampering of my flesh with luxurious ease?
  • Life is so brief—that no man can afford to lose a day.
  • Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are His forever, and where He is, there must His people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold you! Heaven claims you! Trust in your Surety and fear not!
  • Be glad of heart, O believer—but take care that your gladness has its spring in the Lord. You have much cause for gladness in your God, for you can sing with David, “God, my exceeding joy!”
  • Be glad that the Lord reigns—that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits upon the throne—and rules all things! Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. That He is wise—should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty—should cause us to rejoice who tremble at our weakness.
  • That he is everlasting—should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass. That He is unchanging—should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour.
  • That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory—all this should tend to make us glad in Him.
  • This gladness in God is as a deep river—we have only as yet touched its brink, we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams—but onward the depth is greater, and the current more impetuous in its joy. The Christian feels that he may delight himself, not only in what God is—but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were accustomed to think much of God’s past mercies—and to have a song concerning each of them.
  • Nor let them ever cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so should their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts in providence and in grace—show itself in continued thanksgiving. 
  • “WHEN MY HEART IS OVERWHELMED—LEAD me to the Rock that is higher than I!” Psalm 61:2 Most of us know what it is to be overwhelmed in heart—emptied as when a man wipes a dish and turns it upside down; submerged and sinking like a vessel mastered by the storm.
  • Blessed be God, at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient solace—our God is the harbor of weather-beaten sails, the hospice of forlorn pilgrims. Higher than we are—He is! His mercy higher than our sins! His love is higher than we could imagine!
  • A Rock He is—since He changes not; and a high Rock, because the tempests which overwhelm us—roll far beneath at His feet! He is not disturbed by them—but rules them at His will.
  • The wind blows us out to sea—our puny hand cannot steer the helm! You, You alone can steer us over the wide ocean between yon sunken rocks—and safe into the fair haven.
  • How dependent we are upon You! We need You to bring us to You! To be wisely directed and steered into safety and peace is Your gift, and Yours alone.

From Expository Thoughts on Matthew 14 and 15
Matthew 14:1-12

  • There is a conscience in all men by nature. Let this never be forgotten. Fallen, lost, desperately wicked as we are all born into the world, God has taken care to leave Himself a witness in our bosoms. It is a poor blind guide, without the Holy Spirit. It can save no one. It leads no one to Christ. It may be seared and trampled under foot. But there is such a thing as conscience in every man, accusing or excusing him; and Scripture and experience alike declare it. (Rom. 2:15.)
  • Let all true Christians remember, that their best things are yet to come. Let us count it no strange thing, if we have sufferings in this present time.

Matthew 14:13-21

  • All were relieved. All partook of the food miraculously provided. All were "filled," and none went away hungry. Let us see in this the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ towards sinners.
  • He does not deal with men according to their sins, or reward them according to their iniquities. He loads even His enemies with benefits. None will be so excuseless as those who are found impenitent at last.
  • In the last place, this miracle is a lively emblem of the sufficiency of the Gospel to meet the soul-needs of all mankind.
  • The story of the cross has amply met the spiritual needs of mankind wherever it has been preached. Thousands of every rank, age, and nation, are witnesses that it is "the wisdom of God, and the power of God." They have eaten of it and been "filled." They have found it "food indeed and drink indeed."

Matthew 14:22-36

  • Let them know that there is nothing created, which is not under Christ's control. "All things serve Him." He may allow His people to be tried for a season, and tossed to and fro by storms of trouble.

Matthew 15:1-9

  • The principles of the Pharisees are principles that never die. There are truths laid down here, which are of deep importance. We learn, for one thing, that hypocrites generally attach great importance to mere outward things in religion.
  • We learn, for another thing, from these verses, the great danger of attempting to add anything to the word of God. Whenever a man takes upon him to make additions to the Scriptures, he is likely to end with valuing his own additions above Scripture itself.
  • We learn, in the last place, from these verses, that the religious worship which God desires, is the worship of the heart.

Matthew 15:10-20

  • Respecting FALSE DOCTRINE, our Lord declares, that it is a duty to oppose it, that its final destruction is sure, and that its teachers ought to be forsaken. He says, "Every plant which my heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone."
  • No fear of giving offence, no dread of ecclesiastical censure, should make us hold our peace, when God's truth is in peril. If we are true followers of our Lord, we ought to be outspoken, unflinching witnesses against error.
  • No false delicacy, no mock humility should make us shrink from leaving the ministrations of any minister who contradicts God's word. It is at our peril if we submit to unscriptural teaching.
  • God Himself will defend the cause of His own truth. Sooner or later every heresy "shall be rooted up." We are not to fight with carnal weapons, but wait, and preach, and protest, and pray. Sooner or later, as Wycliffe said, "the truth shall prevail."
  • Respecting the HEART OF MAN, our Lord declares in these verses, that it is the true source of all sin and defilement.
  • Let it be a settled resolution with us, that in all our religion the state of our hearts shall be the main thing. Let it not content us to go to church, and observe the forms of religion.
  • Finally, let it be a settled resolution with us to "keep our hearts with all diligence," all the days of our lives. (Prov. 4:23.)

Matthew 15:21-28

  • We see, in the first place, that true faith may sometimes be found, where it might have been least expected. 
  • We see, in the second place, that affliction sometimes proves a blessing to a person's soul.
  • Let us mark this well. There is nothing which shows our ignorance so much as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every cross is a message from God, and intended to do us good in the end.
  • Health is a good thing; but sickness is far better, if it leads us to God. Prosperity is a great mercy, but adversity is a greater one, if it brings us to Christ. Anything, anything is better than living in carelessness, and dying in sin. Better a thousand times be afflicted, like the Canaanitish mother, and like her flee to Christ, than live at ease, like the rich "fool," and die at last without Christ and without hope. (Luke 12:20.)
  • We see, in the third place, that Christ's people are often less gracious and compassionate than Christ Himself.
  • We see, in the last place, what encouragement there is to persevere in prayer, both for ourselves and others.
Matthew 15:29-39

  • In the first place, let us remark, how much more pain people take about the relief of their bodily diseases, than about their souls.
  • Let us however not forget that our souls are far more diseased than our bodies, and learn a lesson from the conduct of these people.
  • They are in fact plague-stricken by sin. They must be healed, and healed effectually, or perish everlastingly. Do we really know this? Do we feel it? Are we alive to our spiritual disease?
  • In the second place, let us remark the marvelous ease and power with which our Lord healed all who were brought to Him.
  • In the third place, let us remark the abundant compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. We read that Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Friday, September 21, 2018

True or False with Tozer

One important point many fail to understand is that the Bible was never meant to replace God; rather, it was meant to lead us into the heart of God. Too many Christians stop with the text and never go on to experience the presence of God. The Crucified Life
Probably there is no greater offense in all of Christendom than speed-reading the Bible. The Bible must be read slowly and meditatively, allowing the Spirit of God to open up our understanding. The Crucified Life
One problem some have is to believe that if they read it in the Bible, they have already experienced it. It is one thing to read about the new birth in the Bible and quite another thing to be born from above by the Spirit of the living God. The Crucified Life
The difficulty we modern Christians face is not misunderstanding the Bible, but persuading our untamed hearts to accept its plain instructions. The Pursuit of Man
It takes all of the Bible to make all of the Bible. When we splinter the Bible, pulling out a single brushstroke, we lose what it is all about. Alive in the Spirit
It is impossible to separate the Old Testament from the New Testament. It takes the whole Bible to make the Word of God. Delighting in God
Some Christians read the Bible only to find some proof text to use in their witnessing, which is more arguing than witnessing. Experiencing the Presence of God
The Bible is the bestselling book of all time, and yet it is the most misunderstood and undervalued book in all the world. The mission of the Word of God is to find us, identify us and the times in which we live, and show us what is wrong with us as well as what is right with us. God’s Power for Your Life
A heretic is someone who selects the passages that he wants to believe. If you go through your Bible, selecting passages that please you and disregarding those that don’t, you could be in the class of a heretic. It’s not that you believe false doctrine, but you are not giving attention to the whole Word of God. It is a bit like living all the time on cake. Cake is not necessarily bad, but you have to have some other things to balance out your diet. The same thing goes with the Bible. God’s Power for Your Life
When a truth has been revealed in the Bible, our business is to find out what that truth is and then in all of our teaching conform to that truth. Not edit it or change it, but let it stand just as it is. Living as a Christian
God is not the way we say He is, God is the way the Bible says He is. My Daily Pursuit
Where the Bible is clear, we need to be clear and dogmatic. Where the Bible is not as clear, we need to be careful that we are not adding or taking away from the Scriptures. The Bible is not to divide us, but enable us to focus on Jesus Christ, the man of prophecy. Preparing for Jesus’ Return
It is essential that we learn how to read the Scriptures, to meditate upon the Scriptures, and to discipline ourselves in memorizing Scripture. It is absolutely essential that the Bible have top priority in our thought life. Nothing else should surpass the Scriptures. Everything we do should have roots in the Scripture. Our morning sessions with God over the Scriptures should set forth the pattern and temperament of our daily walk that day. We truly have not read the Bible until we have seen Jesus Christ. Preparing for Jesus’ Return
 We need to cultivate a healthy skepticism toward everything that cannot be supported by the plain teaching of the Bible. Belief is faith only when it has God’s revealed truth for its object; beyond that, it may be fully as injurious as unbelief itself. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1950
Money invested in Bibles is money well spent. Time spent in reading the Bible is not likely to be time wasted. The Bible is the supreme gift for friends and loved ones. Words spoken in favor of the Bible are good words, and if they should fall upon the right ears, might prove to be “apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1950
Of all the books in the world, the one most quoted, most misunderstood, and most misapplied is the Bible. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1952
For the child of God, the Bible is the book of all books, to be reverenced, loved, pored over endlessly, and feasted upon as living bread and manna for the soul. It is the first best book, the only indispensable book. To ignore it or neglect it is to doom our minds to error and our hearts to starvation. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1953
Whatever keeps me from the Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1961
The Bible was written in tears, and to tears it will yield its best treasures. God has nothing to say to the frivolous man. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1961
It is not how many Bibles are sold that counts, or even how many people read them; what matters is how many actually believe what they read and surrender themselves in faith to live by the truth. Short of this, the Bible can have no real value for any of us. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1962
All God wanted to say He has said in the Scriptures. Beyond that we show the greatest wisdom simply to remain still before Him and whisper, “Even so, Father.” The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1951
Let the cares of life crowd out the Scriptures from my mind and I have suffered loss where I can least afford it. Let me accept anything else instead of the Scriptures and I have been cheated and robbed to my eternal confusion. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1961
Some imagine that Christianity is a playground. They are wrong. It is not a playground; it is a battleground. A Disruptive Faith
In every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross, he remains on the throne. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1951
It appears that too many Christians want to enjoy the thrill of feeling right but are not willing to endure the inconvenience of living right. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1955
What is desperately needed in the church today are men and women who are so obsessed with God that only God matters. Voice of a Prophet
Words are like little pitchers, and each one is labeled. It is the business of the devil to pour out the true meaning of each little pitcher and pour in some other meaning. Experiencing the Presence of God
All worship should begin with the Bible. This divine road map will lead us to God. It has been a neat trick of the devil to confuse us with a variety of translations. The Christian community is divided by which translation is the right one. The Purpose of Man
Satan has no fear of the light as long as he can keep his victims sightless. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1958
A doctrine has practical value only as far as it is prominent in our thoughts and makes a difference in our lives. The Pursuit of Man
If you take only one verse and make that to be supreme, and crowd out everything else, you can teach any crazy kind of doctrine in the world. Living as a Christian
Any doctrine that makes the world your friend is not your friend. And any doctrine that makes it easy for you to hobnob with the world and the world’s ways and accept the world’s values, and do the way the world does, is not of God. Reclaiming Christianity
If we are to gaze into the face of God, we must look beyond our present circumstances. We must rest in the faithfulness of God and that all these things before us will work together for good. This is the faith that rises above all else and never stops short of a full gaze into the face of God. This is the place of our destined fellowship with God. Authentic faith rests fully in that gaze of the soul. A Disruptive Faith
Faith does not rest upon promises. Faith rests upon character. Faith rests upon the One who made the promise. Fellowship of the Burning Heart
Faith is the vitamin that makes all we take from the Bible digestible and makes us able to receive it and assimilate it. If we do not have faith, we cannot get anything. If we allow the gloomy voice of unbelief to whisper to us that God will bless some other time but not now, some other place but not here, some other people but not us, we might as well turn off the lights, because nobody will get anywhere. Rut, Rot or Revival
True faith requires that we believe everything God has said about himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1958
Faith in faith has displaced faith in God in too many places. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1960
The importance of reading the Bible is not reading, but fellowship with the Author. The proper reading of the Bible must be in the same Spirit that authored it. The Purpose of Man
The problem is that we define grace from our standpoint. We believe the grace of God is that He tolerates sin because He loves us so much. That is the price of His love for us. This, however, is far from what the Bible teaches. God’s grace is not something that we can use to manipulate God into some corner and get Him to do something we want Him to do against His will. God cannot be manipulated. Delighting in God
No one ever yet knew the true grace of God who had not first known the fear of God. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1954
We will never get anywhere unless the Holy Spirit has the authority to convict us so that He might bring us into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Alive in the Spirit
If I am going to know that the Bible is the Word of God, it will only come from the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. The Holy Spirit opens up the Word, reveals to me and illuminates to me the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the living Word. Alive in the Spirit
No joys are valid, no delights legitimate, where sin is allowed to live in life or conduct. The Pursuit of Man
Nothing bothers the devil more than a Christian delighting in God’s presence. Fellowship of the Burning Heart
It is the business of the Word of God not only to tell me when I am right but also to point out what I am doing wrong. Growth cannot take place unless there is judgment on those things in my life that are wrong. God’s Power for Your Life
The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God, and the church is famishing for want of His Presence. The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and that God is in us. The Pursuit of God
God’s love for mankind is a hurt—a wound of the heart. Man’s treachery has deeply wounded Him, but He is caught in the sweet and painful meshes of His own love. He is impaled, so to speak, on the point of His own great love for mankind. A Disruptive Faith
“God so loved the world,” not because the world was lovable but because God is love. Christ did not die for us that God might love us; He died for us because God already loved us from everlasting. Love is not the result of redemption, it is the cause of it. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1952
The cross did not make the mercy of God any more merciful, or the quality of that mercy any more perfect, or the amount of that mercy any greater. Neither does the intercession of Christ make Him more merciful. Delighting in God
You will never know some truths until you have suffered either in your heart or in your body or both. And some mysteries you will never understand until you have carried the cross and fallen under it. So we might as well brace ourselves for suffering. A Disruptive Faith
Our perception of God is what really establishes the parameters, if you please, of our prayer life. We need to understand that prayer is not a meritorious act. We do not earn anything because of it. We pray because God hears, and God hears us because of Jesus. Because of Him, God the Father has a good heart toward His people. Delighting in God
God’s promises reveal everything we need to know about God—and more important, everything God wants us to be. God’s Power for Your Life
Redemption is wrought by God and not by man. There is not any place in the head of a man or in the fingers of a man, however skilled or brilliant, for redemptive plans or purposes. Experiencing the Presence of God
The fall was a work wrought by man alone, but redemption was a work wrought by God alone. Experiencing the Presence of God
God makes salvation conditional upon our response to a message, and that message is the message of the cross—the message of redemption of a dying and risen Lord, and our faith in God’s declaration of intention, something God declares He plans to do, and will do, if we believe. We must have faith in that and make a response to it. Fellowship of the Burning Heart
Any religion that ignores the truth that man is fallen and separated from God is a sham religion. Experiencing the Presence of God
Nobody can repent until he knows the depths of his own sin, and nobody can know the depths of his own sin unless the Holy Spirit shows him. Nobody can repent properly until the Holy Spirit shows him, and the person outside of Christ cannot understand this divine communion. Alive in the Spirit
The reason we do not have more repentance is that we repent for what we do instead of for what we are. The repentance for what you do may go deep, but the repentance for what you are goes deeper. Voice of a Prophet
The pain associated with the sacrifice of the old self is nothing compared to the joy of experiencing that afflatus from on high coming down and penetrating every aspect of our life. The Crucified Life
Our salvation is no better than our perception of Christ. If that perception is flawed, our salvation is also flawed. Delighting in God
God makes salvation conditional upon our response to a message. That message is the message of the cross—the message of redemption of a dying and risen Lord, and our faith in God’s declaration of intention, a thing that God declares He plans to do, and will do, if we believe. Fellowship of the Burning Heart
The glory of God always comes at the sacrifice of self. The Crucified Life
It is a wonderful moment in the life of any man when he gets sick and weary of self. The Wisdom of God
What eating is to the body, believing is to the soul. And He Dwelt Among Us
Jesus is the cure, and only the Holy Spirit can apply this remedy to restore a person’s life and chase away the darkness of the soul forever. God’s Power for Your Life
All theology begins with God and ends with God, or it is not true biblical theology. Delighting in God
Any wrong idea of God is bound to give us a wrong idea of ourselves. We can know ourselves only as we know God. If our theology is false, our anthropology must be false. The Dangers of a Shallow Faith
When it comes to the worship of God, we must be quite careful that we are not basing it on partial truth, but on the entire revealed truth such as can be found in the Bible. The Purpose of Man
No worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in us that is displeasing to God. The Purpose of Man

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Review: Quotable Tozer

The Quotable Tozer. A.W. Tozer. Compiled by James L. Snyder. 2018. Bethany House. 369 pages. [Source: Review copy]

The Quotable Tozer is a topical collection of quotes by A.W. Tozer compiled by James L. Snyder. In his introduction, Snyder writes, "I have gone through all of his books and pulled quotes from them that I believe will help readers get to know him better and understand who he was. My purpose in putting it together was first for those who may not be acquainted with Tozer’s writings, to introduce the reader to them in small slices that they can absorb."

Is The Quotable Tozer a good introduction to Tozer? If I answer "no," it would only be so I could say "YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES."

Am I prone to gushing when it comes to Tozer? YES. You might pick up on that in every review I've ever written of his books.

What do I love about Tozer? I love his passion, his zeal for the Lord. I love his no-nonsense boldness. He was not one for compromise. He stood for the TRUTH no matter the cost. He loved the Word and believed it should be the sole authority in the life of the individual and the church.

No doubt I love Tozer. But that doesn't mean I agree with him 100% of the time. I don't. We both love God. We both love Scripture. We both hold the truth to be of the utmost importance. But we have slight differences of opinion about the sovereignty of God in election, aka the doctrines of grace. Reading Tozer, one gets the sense that he believed the "T", he just never quite got around to the "ULIP" before he died.

So much of what Tozer says is right. But not every single thing. I have learned to keep what is good, what is true, what is right, and to throw out what misses the mark.

So what are the topics explored in The Quotable Tozer:

  • Ambitions
  • Angels
  • Anger
  • Authority
  • Believer
  • Bible
  • Christianity
  • Church
  • Commandments of Christ
  • Devil
  • Doctrine
  • Enemy
  • Entertainment
  • Eternity
  • Evil
  • Faith
  • Fellowship
  • Glory
  • Grace
  • Holiness
  • Holy Spirit
  • Hymns
  • Illumination
  • Joy
  • Judgment
  • Knowledge
  • Love
  • Majesty
  • Mercy
  • Ministry
  • Miracle
  • Missions
  • Money
  • Mystery
  • Obedience
  • Pleasure
  • Praise
  • Prayer
  • Promises
  • Prophets
  • Purity
  • Redemption
  • Rejoice
  • Religion
  • Remnant
  • Repent/Repentance
  • Resurrection
  • Revival
  • Sacrifice
  • Salvation
  • Self
  • Soul
  • Spiritual Gifts
  • Spirituality
  • Surrender
  • Temptations
  • Theology
  • Traditions
  • Unbelief
  • Wickedness
  • Worship

Reading The Quotable Tozer would give new readers a great exposure to who Tozer was and what he believed and taught. I can't imagine not wanting to read more of Tozer after finishing this one!


No man has the authority to divide the truth and preach only a part of it. To do so is to weaken it and render it without effect. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1950
We believe in the whole Bible, not bits and pieces. The whole Bible supports the idea of progressing toward spiritual perfection in our Christian lives. Spiritual perfection is what the apostle Paul longed for and spoke about. The Crucified Life
I would recommend that you go to some secondhand bookstore and buy a used King James Bible. You might have to put down a few dollars, but it will be the best investment you have ever made. I know the thees and thous are rather cumbersome, but one of the most beautiful things about these words is that they slow you down when you read. Probably there is no greater offense in all of Christendom than speed-reading the Bible. The Bible must be read slowly and meditatively, allowing the Spirit of God to open up our understanding. The Crucified Life
The five unanswered questions are: Where did we come from? How did we get here? What are we? Why are we here? and Where are we going? These questions cannot be answered except by going to the Bible for the answers. Man, in his ignorance, does not know and can never discover the answers by himself. A Disruptive Faith 
I am so over arguing about which is the right translation. I think that has been manufactured by the enemy to draw our attention away from the priority we should be giving to the Word of God. Alive in the Spirit
I would suggest we discipline ourselves to read the Bible until it comes alive—until we can almost feel the breath of God breathing upon us. David felt this way, particularly when he wrote, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1). He knew what it was to pant after God. Experiencing the Presence of God
I solemnly vow before God Almighty that, every day of my life, I will take the Bible as the most serious thing and adjust my life to its teachings. God’s Power for Your Life 
I like to keep in mind that everything in the Bible is for me, but not everything in the Bible is about me. I need to have a degree of spiritual discernment to find out what God is really saying to me today. I accept the entire Bible—every chapter, every verse, every word—as the Word of God. Still, some things in the Bible do not apply to me personally. As the Holy Spirit guides me through this host of promises, I come to those that are meant for me. Apart from the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit, this could be a maze of confusion. God’s Power for Your Life
If you do not have more than one verse to support what you read, do not teach it. Because if it is not found in more than one verse in the Bible, chances are it is not found there either, and what you think is a passage teaching a certain thing does not teach it at all. Living as a Christian
God is not the way we say He is, God is the way the Bible says He is. My Daily Pursuit
Let me give you a little motto: Before I can understand a Bible text, it takes an act of the Holy Spirit equal to the act that inspired the text in the first place. Mystery of the Holy Spirit
A real Christian uses his whole Bible. This will make some of you mad, but if you are living on your morning daily devotions taken out of a book somebody compiled, I warn you that is pabulum. Read the entire Bible. Read it all. I do not say these other things are harmful, I just say that if you have that and nothing else, then you are not matured in your Christian life. Read all of the Bible. Reclaiming Christianity
The threefold purpose of the Bible is to inform, to inspire faith, and to secure obedience. Whenever it is used for any other purpose it is used wrongly and may do actual injury. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1952
It would be impossible to overemphasize the importance of sound doctrine in the life of a Christian. Right thinking about all spiritual matters is imperative if we would have right living. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1960
When will Christians learn that to love righteousness it is necessary to hate sin, that to accept Christ it is necessary to reject self, that to follow the good way we must flee from evil? The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1963
Any doctrine not rooted in the character and nature of God is not a biblical doctrine; or we have not understood the doctrine correctly. Every doctrine begins in the heart of God and then flows into the heart of man, creating a godly atmosphere in that man. My Daily Pursuit
Any doctrine, any view of sin that allows it to be excused in any way is not biblical. The Wisdom of God 
True faith requires that we believe everything God has said about himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1958
Every day I need to make room for the Holy Spirit to speak to me in such a way that my life is a testimony of His grace. Alive in the Spirit
Until we come to that point of understanding what wretches we are, we will never understand the amazing grace of God. It takes a wretch like me to experience the amazing grace of God. Delighting in God
Grace does not mean that salvation is not a costly thing. It simply means that out of God’s goodness He gives grace to us who are unworthy of it. Voice of a Prophet
Holy Spirit
I do not want the world to define God for me. I do not even want religion to define God for me. I want the Holy Spirit to reveal God to me through the exceedingly great and precious promises He has given to me. God’s Power for Your Life
We must get on our knees before our open Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to break our hearts and create a passion for Christ as we’ve never had before. Preparing for Jesus’ Return
To know Him is to love Him, and to know Him better is to love Him more. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1954
There is nothing you can do to increase God’s mercy. The mercy of God is as big as God, and God fills all space and overflows into a vacuity, so that you cannot add anything to His grace and mercy. Delighting in God 
I would never have anything to do with any book or any movement or any religion or any emphasis that does not begin with Christ, go out from Christ, and return to Christ again—the Christ of God, the Christ of the Bible, the Christ of Christian theology, the historic Christ of the Scriptures. Delighting in God
Another lie is going around: There will be time after death to repent. You can live your life any which way you please. God understands that nobody is perfect, and after we die, we will have an opportunity in some purgatory somewhere to repent. The Scriptures, however, teach something altogether different. Let me repeat here that every lie of the enemy is designed to point us away from God’s truth and to damn our souls. God’s Power for Your Life
The Word of God is before us. We have only to read and do what is written there and revival is assured. It will come as naturally as the harvest comes after the plowing and the planting. The Alliance Weekly/Witness, 1955
I would not give a nickel for the Christian that has no proof of his salvation except he quotes a text. The text will lead you to the fountain, but if you plunge into the fountain and come up wet, I will know you are a Christian. And He Dwelt Among Us
Who can make you anything less than God intended you to be except your own self and sin? Living as a Christian
What costs you little or nothing is worth exactly that much. The challenge before us is simply this: What are we willing to pay, sacrifice, or surrender in order to advance in living the crucified life? The Crucified Life

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Berean Playlist #5 We Need Jesus

See my blog post: On Being Berean, Part 2 for context on this series.
See video Petra

"We Need Jesus" is a worship song from 1997 performed by Petra. Worship albums were just beginning to appear at that time. They had not taken over the Christian market...yet. I'm not sure if there are any worship bands--church bands--still performing "We Need Jesus." And that might be a good thing. Let's take a closer look at the lyrics and see if they are indeed biblical?


When will the world
See that we need Jesus?
If we open our eyes
We will all realize
That He loves us
When will the world
See that we need Jesus?
When our hearts are as one
And believe that He's the Son of our God
The Lord is our God
And we shall never want
The Lord is our God
And we shall live forever
When we share the love of Jesus
See each other as He sees us
Then His love will see us through
His love will see us through
When will the world
See that we need Jesus?
When sister and brother
Love one another as one
When will the world
See that we need Jesus?
Will we ever understand
Jesus is the Son of man?
We must live in the shadow of His love
If the question was simply, "Do we need Jesus?" it would be a lot simpler to answer. It would be a YES. But that is not the question the song poses.

When will the world see that we need Jesus? This is a valid theological question, but I'd change it up a bit. Can "the world" see that they need Jesus? OR if you prefer Can "the world" see the need for Jesus? see the need for a Savior?

The Bible points out time and time and time and time and time again that the world CANNOT see Jesus. That in fact the natural man if left on his own will never--can never--see the need for Jesus. Old Testament, New Testament same story. Genesis to Revelation, His Word is consistent the natural man--the fallen man is blind, deaf, lost, rebellious, wicked, unwilling, unable; it is not being overly dramatic to say he is DEAD.

So. The answer to the first question is NEVER. Never will the world see that they need Jesus. That's not how the songwriters answer the question.

Their answer is, "IF WE OPEN OUR EYES WE WILL ALL REALIZE." This is unbiblical--out and out unbiblical. Can a blind person open his/her own eyes? NO. NEVER. We cannot open our own eyes. Never once does the Bible say we can. Never once does the Bible say that we can do anything of the sort. The Bible always, always, always stresses that regeneration, rebirth, new life, eternal life, faith, salvation, etc. is THE EXCLUSIVE WORK OF THE Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit alone can open eyes. Without the Holy Spirit, the natural man could never--would never--respond to the gospel whether proclaimed from the pulpit, shared one on one, or read. It is arrogant to think that you had anything whatsoever to do with the opening of your eyes, the opening of your ears, the opening of your heart, the opening of your mind. All spiritual truth--all spiritual light--is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Why is one man saved and another man not? Why does one man see and the other not see? The Holy Spirit.

The songwriters would have you believe it is YOU. You are so smart! Pat yourself on the back!!! You opened your own eyes. You saw your need for Christ!!! You repented of your sins!!! You accepted Jesus into your heart!!! Way to go! You're so swell. If your neighbor would stop being so foolish he'd open his own eyes too!!!

Spiritual truths cannot be discerned apart from the Holy Spirit. It doesn't matter how clear, how fundamentally obvious the Bible is--it takes the Spirit to understand and interpret it for each believer.

Not content with that one answer--I'm not content with it either--it goes on to list another. THE WORLD WILL SEE ITS NEED FOR CHRIST JESUS *when* Christians start living out their faith, their doctrine. If those who profess Christ were to actually-actually be obedient to the Word of God and LOVE ONE ANOTHER, and FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER, and stand united with one another in the truth and for the truth--proclaiming the truth of the gospel--then the world would have to see the need for Jesus?! Right?!

Well. It's certainly Biblical to be obedient!!!!! To take Jesus' teachings serious. To realize that God meant it when he said that we should love one another--that we MUST love one another. Love and forgiveness are KEY TRUTHS. Just read 1 John. All five chapters. Also Ephesians 4:1-32. You could easily study--meditate--on these passages for weeks, months, years.

I like the second answer better than the first. But I don't think--as good as it is to be sanctified--that that alone will be enough to convert the natural man without the aid of the Holy Spirit.

From my standpoint, the song seems to be doing two things: congratulating yourself on being clever enough to see your need for Jesus, admonishing the world for not seeing their need for Jesus, and encouraging you to love others. But the encouragement to love others doesn't seem to be coming from a place of obedience, of duty, of genuineness. Emphasis on seem. It seems to be just as much about calling attention to one's awesomeness. LOOK AT ME, I'M BEING OBEDIENT. LOOK AT ME, I'M LOVING OTHERS. DON'T YOU WANT TO BE AS AWESOME AS ME AND JOIN IN THIS ANTHEM.

This song does have some truths hidden within it. We shall never want; we shall live forever. But overall, it doesn't seem to be giving God the glory. If we want people to be saved, we need to do better!

Romans 3:10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:8-11;

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 2:13,14;

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; ti is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:4-10

John 1:11,12; John 3:3-21;  John 3:35,36; John 6:36, 37, 38, 39, 40; John 6:44, 45; John 6:65; John 8:43, 47, 52; John 9:39,40,41;

"Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.  John 6:44

1 Corinthians 2:14: "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."

2 Corinthians 4:3, 4, 5, 6;

1 Corinthians 1:18

Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

Ezekiel 37:1-14; Jeremiah 31:31-34;

Psalm 14:3; Ps. 53:3, Jeremiah 9:5,

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, September 17, 2018

The "NOT A PLAN" Bible Reading Plan

I don't use a Bible reading plan. I plan on reading my Bible daily. I welcome structure and discipline. (Some might say I thrive on structure.) But when it comes to reading the Bible I am all for projects.

Choose a Bible. This first step seems the easiest but is actually the most difficult. It seems easy because there is no wrong answer. It is difficult because there are always a dozen factors I'm trying to keep in mind. Translation. Font Size. Red letter or Black letter? Does it lay flat? How heavy is it?

Create a routine. The good news is that once a routine is established, it is almost impossible to break. Once in the habit and routine of reading your Bible at a specific time of day in a specific place, it becomes second nature. At the same time, don't be afraid to adapt and be flexible. It's okay to have a routine in place for weekdays and a routine in place for weekends.

Have an approach for reading the Bible. I always begin with Genesis and end with Revelation. That never, ever, ever, ever varies. How I approach the other sixty-four books does. Often.

The whole Christian needs the whole Bible. Don't be timid or intimidated. Read all sixty-six books. Even if you're scared of meeting Ezekiel. Even if you think you'll get nothing out of Leviticus.

Know yourself. Are you a reader? Do you read a lot of books each year? Do you rarely read? Is it a miracle if you read one book in a year? Do you think of reading as a pleasure or a burden? Do you read fast? slow?

I am a reader. I am a book glutton. I know that I'm going to read through the Bible several times a year. That I can finish the Bible every two to four months--depending on if it's text only or a study Bible.

Only you know you. You don't have to be like any other person.

Bible reading plans often assume several things: a) you are a slow reader, a reluctant reader b) that you are only capable of reading as little as one chapter a day or as much as three chapters a day. c) that you will struggle to find time to do even this. d) that you will never get swept up, up and away in the text and want to read even more. e) that your spiritual appetite will stay the same year after year after year. If these statements are true for you, then there is nothing wrong with that. Use the plan and be blessed. But it's like assuming that every single person wears a size small T-shirt. Some people do indeed wear a small or even an extra small. But most people couldn't squeeze into a small.

If I use a Bible reading plan, I always, always, always change it and make it personal. Fifty-two week plans become fifty-two day plans. Ninety day reading plans become forty-five day plans.

Always challenge yourself. Don't be content having a breath mint's worth of Scripture a day when you're at a FEAST. You will never have a healthy spiritual appetite if you don't partake freely and frequently at the FEAST. Bible reading plans assume that your appetite is small and will stay small.

Don't be afraid to try something new now and then with your project(s). For example, making your own Bible promise book. Write out verses--by hand--as you read Scripture. OR journaling. OR meditation. OR Scripture memorization. OR Bible study. My current project has me answering a set of study questions after each day's reading. Writing out my observations is taking me out of my comfort zone in a good way. Your something new might be approaching Scripture chronologically. OR it might be reading whole books at a time.

Read to fall in love with the author. Seriously. Never forget why you're reading--to get to know God himself. It is God speaking. You can't love a God you don't know. And you can't know God without reading His Revelation. You can love a God of your own making. But you can't love the God of the Bible unless you actually read the Bible.

I am a BIG, BIG, BIG believer that every Christian should read the Bible in 90 days at least once. This approach is amazing in rewiring your mind and giving you a hearty appetite for the Word of God. It not only gives you an appetite but it helps build routine as well.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Week in Review: September 9-15

NIV 2011 Rainbow Study Bible

  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah 1-6
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Zephaniah
  • Habakkuk

NASB 1971

  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Psalms 42-72
  • Hosea
  • Matthew 13-28
  • Mark
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible