Friday, December 9, 2016

Book Review: From Heaven

From Heaven: A 28 Day Advent Devotional. A.W. Tozer. 2016. Moody. 128 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence (from Day 1): Adam had lost the presence of the Creator God and in the Bible record of the ages that followed, God never dwelt with men again in quite the same way. To the Israelites, God dwelt in the Shekinah, hidden in the fire and the cloud. Occasionally He would appear in what theologians call a theophany, an appearance of the Deity. God might speak briefly with a man as He did with Abraham in the tent door or with Gideon on the threshing floor. God did not linger; His appearance always cautious and veiled. Even when God showed Himself to Moses it was in the fire of the burning bush or while Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock. The eyes of fallen, sinful men were no longer able to endure the radiant majesty and glory of Deity. Then, in the fullness of time, He came again to men, for “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” They called His name Immanuel, which means “God with us.” In that first coming of Jesus the Christ, God again came to dwell with men in person.

From Heaven is a compilation of Jesus-themed devotionals. The material is taken from Tozer's previously published books. The book addresses the first and second advent of Christ. It also focuses a bit on the whole gospel. It would be a great book for a new believer, or, a seeker. It would also be a great choice for those hoping to awaken their passion for the LORD.

Whether you're new to the faith or not, this one makes a great read. And if you've never really ventured into "theology" or "christian living" this would be a great one to whet your appetite for more!

Tozer was a wonderful writer--speaker. Unless you're a devoted (slightly obsessed) Tozer follower, chances are there is plenty of new-to-you material to delight you this Christmas season!

I was familiar with most of the chapters. But you can't have too much Tozer!

When we have used up our words and synonyms, we still have not said all that God revealed when He said: Nobody has ever seen God, but when Jesus Christ came He showed us what God is like (paraphrase of John 1:18).
Let us remember this: everything God does is by grace, for no man, no creature, no being deserves anything.
Salvation is by grace, the creation is by grace—all that God does is by grace and every human being has received of His fullness.
It is little wonder that they went in haste to see Him who had come from above. To them God was no longer a hope, a desire that He might be. He was real.
We are made for two worlds and as surely as we now inhabit the one we shall also inhabit the other.
It does seem strange that so many persons become excited about Christmas and so few stop to inquire into its meaning; but I suppose this odd phenomenon is quite in harmony with our unfortunate human habit of magnifying trivialities and ignoring matters of greatest import.
The Christmas message, when stripped of its pagan overtones, is relatively simple: God is come to earth in the form of man. Around this one dogma the whole question of meaning revolves. God did come or He did not; He is come or He is not, and the vast accumulation of sentimental notions and romantic practices that go to make up our modern Christmas cannot give evidence on one side or the other.
Mere acquaintance with correct doctrine is a poor substitute for Christ and familiarity with New Testament eschatology will never take the place of a love-inflamed desire to look on His face.
Again, in these times religion has become jolly good fun right here in this present world, and what’s the hurry about heaven anyway? Christianity, contrary to what some had thought is another and higher form of entertainment. Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears and carried all the crosses; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak in the form of religious pleasures modeled after the world but carried on in the name of Jesus. So say the same people who claim to believe in Christ’s second coming.

What is your concept of Jesus Christ, my brother? If the “ten-cent-store Jesus” that is being preached by a lot of men, the plastic, painted Christ who has no spine and no justice and is pictured as a soft and pliable friend to everybody—if He is the only Christ there is, then we might as well close our books and bar our doors, and make a bakery or garage out of this church! But that Christ that is being preached and pictured is not the Christ of God, nor the Christ of the Bible, nor the Christ we must deal with. The Christ we must deal with has eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished brass, and out of His mouth comes a sharp, two-edged sword. He will be the judge of mankind. And, thank God, you can leave your loved ones who have died in His hands, knowing that He Himself suffered, knowing that He knows all, that no mistakes can be made, that there can be no miscarriage of justice, because He knows all that can be known!

The destruction of our God-awareness was the master blow struck by Satan in the dark day of our transgression. To give God back to us was the chief work of Christ in redemption. To impart Himself to us in personal experience is the first purpose of God in salvation. To bring acute God-awareness is the best help the Spirit brings in sanctification.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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