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.
Harry A. Ironside, that great Bible teacher, told a story about an older Christian who was asked to give his testimony. The man told how God had sought him out and found him, how God had loved him, called him, saved him, delivered him, cleansed him, and healed him—a great witness to the grace, power, and glory of God. But after the meeting a rather legalistic brother took him aside and criticized his testimony, as certain of us like to do. He said, “I appreciated all you said about what God did for you. But you didn’t mention anything about your part in it. Salvation is really part us and part God. You should have mentioned something about your part.” “Oh, yes,” the older Christian said. “I apologize for that. I’m sorry. I really should have said something about my part. My part was running away, and his part was running after me until he caught me.”
People today are afraid to be alone. This fear is a dominant mark of our society. Many now ceaselessly sit in the cinema or read novels about other people’s lives or watch dramas. Why? Simply to avoid facing their own existence. Many of us can sit in front of the television and, except on rare occasions, not face our own private life. Entertainment so fills every cranny of our culture we can easily escape thinking. No one seems to want (and no one can find) a place for quiet—because when you are quiet, you have to face reality. But many in the present generation dare not do this because on their own basis reality leads them to meaninglessness; so they fill their lives with entertainment, even if it is only noise. There is a place for proper entertainment, but we are not to be caught up in ceaseless motion which prevents us from ever being quiet. Rather, we are to put everything second so we can be alive to the voice of God and allow Him to speak to us and confront us. We are not to be people of escape. The Christian is to be the realist. To face reality as born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit is the Christian’s calling. Some entertainment and activity is appropriate, but as we look at the church, even much of the evangelical church, what we see is tragic, for often the church is using entertainment or just plain busyness to attract non-Christians. This is a poverty. But it is an even greater poverty if we need these to hold people after they are Christians. May God have mercy on us if this is so. ~ Francis Schaeffer, "Walking Through Mud"
Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. ~ Charles Spurgeon, Morning, March 7
In order to become new, you must crawl into the gospel with your whole self. You must shed off the old skin, as a snake does. When its skin becomes old, a snake looks for a narrow hole in the rock. It crawls through it and sheds its skin, leaving it outside in front of the hole. Similarly, you also must go into the gospel and God’s Word. You must confidently believe its promise that God does not lie. So you shed off your old skin, leaving behind your old light, arrogance, will, love, desires, and what you say and do. You become a new and different person who views everything differently than before. Of all the sacrifices we can make, the one most acceptable to God is this: getting rid of sin, living a holy life, obeying God, and killing our sinful nature. This is very painful and unpleasant for us to do. Still, we must get used to God’s “good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). We merely talk about these matters, but Abraham and Isaac actually lived them out. They did what God wanted. In comparison, we haven’t even begun to do this. Careful obedience pleases God, but it’s unpleasant and distasteful to us. Nothing is more agonizing than getting rid of sin and killing our sinful nature. ~ Martin Luther, March 19© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible