Archive for April, 2011

The Big Picture – Part 20

Spiritual Fathers, The Pattern for Producing Mature Sons

Last week we looked closely at the character of a son of God. Let us now look at the profile of a spiritual father and his business – the advancment of the Kingdom of God.

Abraham was set aside as a pattern and type for earthly spiritual fathers.

Romans 4:12: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Do you remember God’s original command to Adam the son of God, the federal head and Representative of mankind? He does. Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

This has always been His desire for those who are sons of God. God wants more sons. Disciples are sons-in-training. A disciple is one who follows closely at hand, has an ear to hear, develops understanding and is finally transformed into the character and ways of his master. Making disciples is the way God develops sons, the way of being fruitful, multiplying and replenishing the earth.

Do you know what a spiritual father is? He or she is a spiritual reproduction or offspring of their spiritual father. They are a fully mature, perfect, complete son of God taking on the business for which they have been discipled and trained – fatherhood. Hey, guess what? God is building a family. All the sons of God are being transformed by the renewing of their minds by the process of dying to self through a daily act of self-sacrifice.

Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God’s good, acceptable and perfect will is that you become a son, then mature to become a father of many sons, like Him. That you be fruitful and multiply.

Exact Representation

A mature son is an exact representation of their father. They are not their father, just an exact representation of him. “John 14:9: Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

What God is looking for is character that reflects Him. God’s character is Love, Light, Truth, and Spirit and much more. Recall that last week I showed that your character is developed and finally brought to perfection on the Cross? It is through death to Self that we live to God, that we take on His character. Listen to the words of Heberews:

Hebrews 1:1-3: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

When the author of Hebrews calls Jesus Christ the “express image” or in some bibles, the “exact representation” of His person, he is telling us that Jesus shows us the character of God perfectly. The word in the original Greek that we translate to exact representation is karacter (character). Do you see it?

The disposition or character or Christ and hence the Father is that He takes no thought for Himself, but humbles Himself (a.k.a. His Self) even to death on a Cross. To become like your heavenly Father you must have this character. To become an earthly spiritual father you must have this character.

Look at how the son becomes a father:

John 5:19: Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 8:28-29: Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

John 12:49: For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 6:38: For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

If you know Him, the Son of God, you know the Father. If you see Him, you see the Father. If you hear Him speaking, you hear the Father speaking. If He is doing something, the Father is doing something. If He expresses will, He is expressing the Fathers will.

Jesus represented exactly the character of the Father.

Jesus became the express image of His Father in the earth. This is how you too become a spiritual father. Watch your heavenly Father in Christ and watch your spiritual father. A true disciple follows, learns from, and imitates or does exactly what he sees his father doing. He becomes the express image of his father and it is manifested in his or her character.

Quote Title Quotation Source
Your Scars and Pains are Your Trophies Those Christians of the first magnitude, of whom the world was not worthy, “Had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, they were sawn asunder, they were slain with the sword” (Hebrews 11:36-37). What! were all these during the time of their sufferings blessed? A carnal man would think, if this be to be blessed, God deliver him from it. But, however sense would give their vote, our Savior Christ pronounceth the godly man blessed; though a mourner, though a martyr, yet blessed. Job on the dunghill was a blessed Job. The Saints are blessed when they are cursed. The Saints though they are bruised, they are blessed. Quote by Thomas Watson from The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon, abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
A New You Equals New Desires, New Agenda All who are truly Christ’s are separated from the world by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). God gives him new desires. Once he desired what other men do: praise of men, a name, power, money, pleasures. These were the chief objects set before him. Now these have lost their power over him. To him, the world has become crucified. Now he desires more nearness to God, more complete change of heart. He desires to spread the knowledge of Jesus over the world. Robert Murray McCheyne – The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne circa 1840, © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries
The Perfecting Work of Suffering To suffer without making excuses is a habit of great perfection. Teresa of Avila – The Way Of Perfection, circa 1575
It Depends on What you Put in the Clay Pot Human affairs are hardly worth considering in earnest, and yet we must be in earnest about them a sad necessity constrains us, says Plato in a mood of melancholy. He apologizes later for his low opinion of mankind which, he explains, emerged from comparing men with the gods. Let us grant, if you wish, that the human race is not to be despised, but is worthy of some consideration. Abraham Joshua Heschel – The Prophets © 1962 by Abraham Joshua Heschel, published by Hendrickson Publishers
Every Cost is Worthy Of Gaining Him When you love God, it will not matter to you what you must suffer on His behalf. The cross will make you over in the image of your beloved. Here is real consolation a true bond of love. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Know Your Audience True prayer must ever realize the nearness and greatness of God. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
He is Seated At Center Stage A radiator is a body that emits rays of light and heat. We have used a purely mechanical term in order to picture what the heart is, viz., the centre that emits rays of light and heat in the physical frame, in the soul, and in the spirit. The heart physically is the centre of the body; the heart sentimentally is the centre of the soul; and the heart spiritually is the centre of the spirit. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Different Values in Different Economies Indeed, unless we look at the unseen powers behind the material things we may readily be deceived. In 1 Peter 3 … the apostle sets “the outward adorning (Cosmos) of plating the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, and of putting on apparel” in deliberate contrast with “the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” By inference therefore, the former are corrupt and worthless to God…. Here is what he is implying. In the background behind these matters of wearing apparel and jewelry and makeup, there is a power at work for its own ends. Do not let that power grip you. Watchman Nee – Love Not The World, © 1968 CLC Publications
In or Out? No Other Options Remember, this repentance, this willingness to submission, to humiliation and a kind of death, is not something God demands of you before He will take you back in which He could let you off if He chose: it is simply a description of what going back to Him is like. If you ask God to take you back without it, you are really asking Him to let you go back without going back. It cannot happen. C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity, copyright 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Why Do You Want to Know? There are only two men in the whole wide world who can ask questions effectively. There is the man who does not know, and wants to learn; and there is the man who does know, and wants to teach. F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
I AM … This apparently unfinished name, therefore, is the most comforting name the heart of man could devise, because it allows us to add to it, without any limitation, whatever we feel the need of, and even “exceeding abundantly” beyond all that we can ask or think. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
The Distance Between God and Sin You can never overestimate the depravity of man’s heart for you can never overestimate the love and mercy of God and therefore you can never overestimate the glory of God and love due Him. His Glory is the distance between His loving kindness and our depravity. Give praise to our God, his love endures forever. Tom Van Hoogen


These Are the Sons of God

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom. 8:14.

 The Father has a Plan

God is bringing about the perfection, the maturity of many sons. This is His great desire —to bring many sons to glory. Bringing immediately implies a process through which we must pass, a walk. We, the sons of God, are in process. But what is the end of that process? The process produces something or should I say someOne. A child who need not be ashamed who has been matured and conformed to the image of His Son and shows forth the character of Christ and thus the Father.

Romans 8:29: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

The Father has a People

John 1:12 – 13: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Galatians 4:6: And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 1 John 5: 11-12 The test.

The Father has a Prototype

Hebrews 12:2: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Father has a Process

How does He do it? He uses the same methods He used to bring Christ to perfection.

Hebrews 2:10: For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Hebrews 5:8: Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Would anyone naturally choose to suffer? Of course not.

You would have to be out of your mind to sign up for this kind of suffering… but we have the mind of Christ.

Philippians 2:5 – 8: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross….

Philippians 2:12 – 15: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

So Jesus demonstrated His love for His Father by going to the cross. You might say, But we don’t have a cross. Oh, but you do. And the cross is where your character is made perfect, where you are in process, where you too lay down your life, that it might be taken up again.

You have a Part

Romans 8:13 – 14: For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Why would anyone do this? I John 4:19: We love him, because he first loved us. He died that we might live. We die that He might live.

You have a Promise

I John 2:28 – 3:2: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

You are the Program

The thing that so easily escapes us is that we are the program. It is not even remotely about what we know (although it plays a big part in helping to transform us). It is about the transformation, what you become, who you are – a son of God.

It is really so simple it escapes us:

Paul said: II Corinthians 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

You Have the Pieces

I John 5:3: For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Luke 10:27: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 16:24: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

This is the simplicity of the gospel. Love God and others, stop serving self. Stop living your life for you and your own pleasures. Stop asking Self what you think, what you want, what you should do, rather ask God what He thinks, what He wants, What He would have you do, then do you Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.

And if by some strange event you realize that your will is not God’s will. Say as your Lord did, “Nevertheless, Thy will be done.”

You have the Power

John 10:18: No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.

Will you lay your life down for Him that He may take it up again?

When you do, He will love all those people that you can’t in yourself. And He said, “If I be lifted up (in you) I will draw all men to me.

Mark 10:27: And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Galatians 2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom. 8:14.

Listen v4.37 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
One Lord, One Faith, One Sacrifice Christ Jesus, Himself man, is the true Mediator, for, inasmuch as He took the “form of a slave,” He became the “Mediator between God and men.” In His character as God, He receives sacrifices in union with the Father, with whom He is one God; yet He chose, in His character as a slave, to be Himself the Sacrifice rather than to receive it, lest any one might take occasion to think that sacrifice could be rendered to a creature. Thus it is that He is both the Priest who offers and the Oblation that is offered. And it was His will that as a sacrament of this reality there should be daily sacrifice of the Church, which, being the Body of Him, her Head, learns to offer itself through Him. This is the true sacrifice of which the ancient sacrifices of the saints were many and manifold symbols. This one sacrifice was prefigured, in a variety of ways, as though one idea were being expressed in many words to drive in the truth without boring the reader. It is the supreme and true sacrifice to which all false sacrifices have given place. St. Augustine – The City of God, circa 400, copyright 1950 by Fathers of the Church
Feeling No Pain Nurture a love to do good things in secret, concealed from the eyes of others, and therefore not highly esteemed because of them. Be content to go without praise, never being troubled when someone has slighted or undervalued you. Remember, no one can undervalue you if you know you are unworthy. Once you know that, no amount of contempt from another person will be able to hurt you. Jeremy Taylor – The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living, circa 1650; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
He Set the Example When we received forgiveness instead of judgment, we, too, were made ready to forgive our brethren. What God did to us, we then owed to others. The more we received, the more we were able to give; and the more meager our brotherly love, the less were we living by God s mercy and love. Thus God himself taught us to meet one another as God has met us in Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God (Rom. 15:7) Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Life Together, circa 1940; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Be Not Hearers Only, But Doers What I am going to say is not directly unto edification, but indirectly it is so most certainly. Directly it is rather for that instruction which is a need in our Christian life as essential as edification. We cannot do without either. On the one hand instructions with no idea of edification at all becomes mere academical discourse. It may begin anywhere and it may end anywhere. On the other hand, edification without instruction very soon becomes a feeble and ineffective thing. I think a great many of us would be agreed that part of the poverty and weakness of the Church at present moment is due to the fact that edification has been pursued to the neglect of instruction. We have been a little too prone to dwell upon the simple side of the gospel. P. T. Forsyth – The Work of Christ, Wipf & Stock, 1910
Grazing on the Gaze of God Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
The Paradox of Truthfulness Over and over again a man is said to be a disbeliever when he is simply outgrowing his creed. It is a most painful thing for a man to find that his stated views of God are not adequate. Never tell a lie for the honour of God; it is an easy thing to do. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Whose Side Are You On? How watchful we need to be lest that at any time we be found helping Satan and the construction of that ill-fated kingdom. When we are faced with alternatives and a choice of ways confront us, the question is not: Is this good or evil? Is this helpful or hurtful? No, the question we must ask ourselves is: Is it of this world, or of God? For since there is only this one conflict in the universe, then whenever two conflicting courses lie open to us, the choice at issue is never a lesser one than: God… or Satan? Watchman Nee – Love Not The World, © 1968 CLC Publications
Unbecoming Motives The origin of our trouble is that we love ourselves with a blind passion that amounts to idolatry. If we love anything beyond ourselves, it is only for our own sakes. We must be undeceived concerning all those generous friendships in which it appears as though we so far forgot ourselves as to think only of the interests of our friend. If the motive of our friendship is not low and gross, it is nevertheless still selfish. Fenelon – Christian Counsel, circa 1690, copyright 2002 Bridge-Logos Publishers
What the World Esteems Highly The quintessence of wisdom among those who are not among God s people is to know and earnestly follow the law and active righteousness. Martin Luther – Commentary on Galatians – circa 1520; Crossway Publishing © 1998 by Watermark
Let Them Go To Free Yourself He only is free whose love for another person is so strong that he can pardon the individuals sin. He alone can pray the prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses,” out of a full and genuine heart. Forgiveness is the only cure for wrong. And hand-in-hand with “sense-of-injury” always walks the weak sister-demon “self-pity,” so dear, so sweet to many. In short, forgiveness is freedom, forgiveness is liberation of the heart, mind, and soul. George MacDonald – The Best of George MacDonald © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries.
Isolated From Self, Not To Self The contemplative is not isolated in himself, but liberated from his external and egotistic self by humility and purity of heart therefore there is no longer any serious obstacle to simple and humble love of other men. The more we are alone with God the more we are with one another. Thomas Merton – New Seeds of Contemplation, ©1961 by the Abbey of Gethsemani, Inc.
Some Things are Better Left Alone When we begin to debate God instead of obey Him we force open a doorway to troubles that need never be opened. Tom Van Hoogen

Listen v4.36 The Big Picture – Part 18

Fathers and Sons

And you thought we were done. God does not stop at building a son of God but is busy placing us into His family as living stones. Just as God has given us families on the earth, connected genetically through physical birth and legal adoption so in the spiritual He gives us families in which we are interconnected spiritually to Him.

Every house in God’s family has a father and one or more sons (remember these are spiritual and therefore genderless). Who has God placed to watch over your soul? Who is there that God has placed as both an authority to correct and hold you accountable and to love and protect and provide for you spiritually? If you don’t know (and many don’t) you need to begin seeking out who that would be. God does not leave us as orphans, He sends us spiritual fathers to watch over us.

Let me give you some clues. A spiritual father will have a demonstrative love for you, not just a said love. He will not necessarily be your best friend that you spend a lot of time with but he will be there when you need him. And not only will he be there, he will be in front of God for you, asking the Father for wisdom to help to guide you. Of necessity a spiritual father is mature and full of character and integrity. A father who is appointed to watch over you will not seek his own (will, benefit, agenda, or praise) but your best as revealed by God Himself.

A spiritual father will make personal sacrifices for his sons and will demonstrate longsuffering as you go through the stages of growth. A spiritual father will show you what the Father looks like. He is specially appointed for this relationship. You will find that in time you will begin to have the spiritual personality of your father as you follow closer and closer. You become more like him (and that is good since he is of necessity like his father and so on up the line to God Himself) as time passes.

Just think of how society has functioned. It is made of family units, neighborhoods, communities, cities, regions and nations. God too is building a nation — a holy nation and the sons of God are the basic building unit. These He is forming into family units. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your Pastor is your spiritual father. Today church organizations have become so large that it may be that the pastor is not the one that God has set over you for your personal development (and it might). One thing is for certain, a father is involved in your life as much as you need him to be — does not leave you as orphans.

I know that these concepts may be foreign to you but just think about how often your Bible refers to a house and the family unit, the genealogies for each house showing how a person is connected into the family. It is not God’s design that you are brought into His family and have no one but Him to turn to. We are all connected in Christ. The house of God is built upon relationship, each member to the others.

Christianity does not function in a vacuum but in a Body of interconnected parts — sons of God.

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.” Malachi 4:6.

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Fear of God is the Beginning of Wisdom Are we being true to the Cross in our preaching, putting first the holiness of God that makes men know that they are sinners? When we preach the love of God there is a danger in overlooking that the Bible reveals not first the love of God but the intense, blazing holiness of God, with His love as the center of that holiness. When the holiness of God is preached, men are convicted of sin, it is not the love of God that first appeals but His holiness. The awful nature of the conviction of sin that the Holy Spirit brings makes us realize that God cannot, dare not, must not forgive sin unpunished; if God forgave sin without satisfying His justice our sense of justice would be greater than His. Tom Van Hoogen
Spiritual Prayer, Not Superficial Prayer Now it sometimes happens that a lot of serious external prayer for some cause or other is imposed on a community. How should an interior person react to this, for whom prayer spoken aloud hinders his interior prayer because of his exteriority? He should perform and omit both. But how? He should recollect himself and turn to his interior ground with upraised heart and mind and with his faculties ready, with an interior gaze focused on God present, and with an interior desire, especially for the dearest will of God, in a sinking away of one s own self from people and all creatures and a sinking deeper and deeper into the transfigured will of God. And then a person should with devotion draw in all things that were entrusted to him and should desire that God bring about his own honor and praise for the advantage and consolation of those people that are entrusted to him. Child, then you have prayed much better than if you had prayed with a thousand mouths. This prayer, which takes place in the spirit, surpasses immeasurably all external prayer. For the Father desires that one pray to him in this way, and all other kinds of prayer serve this kind; and if they don t, simply let them go. Everything should serve this kind of prayer. John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
The Need of Nakedness Paul tells you that you desire to be clothed, but it is necessary that you be stripped before you can put on Christ. Allow Him to strip your self-love of every covering so that you might receive the white robe washed in the blood of the Lamb. You need only His purity. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Show Me, Don t Tell Me The perfection of the soul consists not in speaking or in thinking a great deal about God but in loving him sufficiently. This love is attained to by means of perfect resignation and internal silence; it all consists in works: a love of God has but few words. Thus St. John the Evangelist confirms and inculcates it: “My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Vengeance, Deep Pride-roots The deepest-rooted passion in the human soul is vengeance. Drunkenness, sensuality, and covetousness go deep, but not so deep as vengeance. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Duplicity – Saying One Thing While Doing Another A little girl was kneeling on her father’s lap and was telling him how much she loved him, but she was looking over her father’s shoulder and making faces at her little brother. The mother saw it and said: “You little hypocrite, you telling your father you love him and then making faces and sticking out your tongue at your little brother.” Christians who hold race prejudices do just that. They tell God the Father they love him and then look over his shoulder and tell his other children they despise them. How can we love God whom we have not seen unless we love his children whom we do see? E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Guided But Not Carried The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin what He calls His “free” lovers and servants “sons” is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to “do it on their own”. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt. C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters, copyright 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Love Has No Loopholes If we would really hearken to God, which means not only hearing Him, but believing what we hear, we could not fail to know that, just because He is God, He cannot do other than care for us as He cares for the apple of His eye; and that all that tender love and divine wisdom can do for our welfare, must be and will be unfailingly done. Not a single loophole for worry or fear is left to the soul that knows God. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
The Visible Blocks the View of the Invisible The world of sense intrudes upon our attention day and night for the whole of our lifetime. It is clamorous, insistent and self-demonstrating. It does not appeal to our faith; it is here, assaulting our five senses, demanding to be accepted as real and final. But sin has so clouded the lenses of our hearts that we cannot see that other reality, the City of God, shining around us. The world of sense triumphs. The visible becomes the enemy of the invisible; the temporal, of the eternal. That is the curse inherited by every member of Adam’s tragic race. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
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