These Challenging Compassionate Words May Drive You to More Fervent Prayer and Deeper Devotion

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We can learn so much when we take time to read and meditate upon the writings of others.
God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His gospel out in the world.
God is looking for broken men who have judged themselves in the light of the cross of Christ.
When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to the end of themselves, whose confidence is not in themselves, but in God.
Being broken is both God's work and ours.
He brings His pressure to bear, but we have to make the choice.
All day long the choice will be before us in a thousand ways.
And having been there may I say that it is not nice going through a time of brokenness but occasionally it is needed! Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.
These profound and challenging words come from a book on prayer indicating the true nature of a deeply spiritual life.
I am not there yet! When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves, and we can find that in certain placed today.
We easily lose the sense of the Holiness of God.
A friend keeps reminding me that God is Almighty and not all-matey! When filled with holy truth the mind rests.
If you want to be the first among your brothers and sisters, then you have to be a bond-slave, not only to Christ, but to your brothers and sisters.
I am convinced that many evangelicals are not truly and soundly converted.
Among the evangelicals it is entirely possible to come into membership, to ooze in by osmosis, to leak through the cells of the church and never know what it means to be born of the Spirit and washed in the blood.
A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity.
There is nothing deeper about it, and it is where we should have been from the start.
What we need is what the old Methodists called a sound conversion.
There is a difference between conversion and a sound conversion.
People who have never been soundly converted do not have the Spirit to enlighten them.
When they read the Sermon on the Mount or the teaching passages of the epistles that tell them how to live or the doctrinal passages that tell how they can live, they are unaffected.
The Spirit who wrote them is not witnessing in their hearts because they have not been born of the Spirit.
That often happens.
What a warning to my heart.
"No Task will be so sordid and base, provided you obey your calling in it, that it will not shine and be reckoned very precious in God's sight.
" So wrote John Calvin.
I recall being taught that you can carry out the rubbish bin with dignity! "When the Lord reveals His will to us and we obey, our mission will be a success regardless of the results.
"This was a saying of the Chinese house church leaders, and the Back to Jerusalem movement.
It is simple but profound in a day when 'numbers' and 'money' tend to spell 'success'! "Worship renews the spirit as sleep renews the body.
"These are words that I have found to be so true.
As soon as we praise and worship we can drive away a spirit of depression and despair.
It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe in Jesus Christ, if you do not do anything He tells you.
Having preached and taught away back in the 1960's, where Andrew Bonar used to preach and teach, these words are so meaningful to me.
The saintly Andrew Bonar used to soak his pillow with tears every Saturday night in Scotland as people below trampled the streets returning from the taverns and shows.
He would cry from the depths of his agonizing heart, "Oh! They perish, they perish!"The streets of our towns and cities continue to witness this serious sordid behaviour.
Oh, for more tears, more prayer, more compassion.
Sandy Shaw
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