Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quotes from the Clouds #4

This year, I hope share weekly posts of quotes. These quotes are from authors I'm reading and enjoying from the Clouds of Witnesses Reading Challenge.

For fellow participants, what I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see is for people to share quotes from what they're reading. I'd love for you to share quotes occasionally with your readers and let me know about it. If you don't have a blog, you could always leave quotes in the comments here.

This week I'm sharing quotes from Oswald Chambers, Martin Luther, and Andrew Murray.
A person who has forgotten what God treasures will not be filled with joy. ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, January 21
God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, January 31
Our prayers must not be vague appeals to His mercy or indefinite cries for blessing, but the distinct expression of a specific need. It is not that Jesus’ loving heart does not understand our cry or is not ready to hear, but He desires that we be specific for our own good. Prayer that is specific teaches us to better know our own needs. To find out what our greatest need is demands time, thought, and self-scrutiny. To find out whether our desires are honest and real, and whether we are ready to persevere in them, we are put to the test. It leads us also to discern whether our desires conform to God’s Word and whether we really believe that we will receive the things we ask. It helps us to wait for a definite answer and to be aware of it when it comes. And yet how much of our prayer is vague and pointless. Some cry for mercy without saying why they need mercy. Others ask to be delivered from sin but do not begin by naming any sin from which deliverance may be claimed. Still others pray for God’s blessing on those around them, for the outpouring of God’s Spirit on their land or the world, and yet do not pinpoint a particular spot where they will wait and expect to see God answer. To all of us, the Lord asks, “What is it you really want and expect me to do?” ~ Andrew Murray, Teach Me To Pray
I understand what Jesus is saying here [John 14:6] in the simplest manner, so that it all applies to this one person, Christ. Jesus is called “the way” because he is the beginning, “the truth” because he is the one who helps us continue, and also “the life” because he is the end. For he must be everything—the beginning, the middle, and the end of our salvation. That is why we place him as the foundation stone on which the other stones are set and on which the entire roof is built. He is the first, middle, and last rung on the ladder to heaven (Genesis 28:12). For through him we must begin, continue, and finally reach the life beyond. So there is only one Christ, but he assumes different roles in our salvation experience. In the beginning it’s hard to find the way. Then life becomes more difficult as we continue to walk along the way. It becomes extremely tough when we have traveled on the way for a long time and are about to reach our final shelter—heaven. So if you hold on to Christ in faith, then you have started in the right place. If you remain with him, then you will be walking on the right path. If you persevere until the end, then you will be saved. Christ wants to pry our hearts away from trusting anything else. There is no other way, highway, bridge, or path for us than Christ alone. ~ Martin Luther, January 19
You must pray when you are in the heat of temptation—when your mind is preoccupied with thoughts of lust or revenge. If someone urges you to pray under these circumstances, your mind often insists that it’s too impure—as if your dirty thoughts leave no room for prayer. But you must not wait for temptation to end or the thoughts of lust and other sins to totally disappear from your mind before you pray. At precisely the moment when you feel the strongest temptation and are least prepared to pray, go to a place where you can be alone. Pray the Lord’s Prayer or any other prayer you can think of to defend against the devil and his temptations. Then you will feel the temptation decrease, and Satan will run away. Those who think you should wait until your mind is free from impure thoughts to pray only help Satan, who is already far too strong. Waiting to pray is an unchristian approach to prayer. It’s a teaching that comes from the devil. In order to keep yourself from believing these kinds of wrong ideas, you must follow David’s example in this psalm. Even after David admitted his terrible sin with Bathsheba, he didn’t run away from God. He didn’t say what Peter foolishly said while in the boat: “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8).Instead, David trusted in God’s mercy and began to pray, “Lord, even though I am a sinner, have pity on me.” The time when you feel your sins the most is exactly the time when you most need to pray to God. ~ Martin Luther, January 20

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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