Monthly Archives: November 2015

Affirmation Changes Lives — A Quote by Brennan Manning in “Furious Longing of God”

“Lodged in your heart is the power to walk into somebody’s life and give him or her what the bright Paul Tillich called ‘the courage to be.’ Can you fathom that? You have the power to give someone the courage to be, simply by the touch of your affirmation.”

— Brennan Manning, “Furious Longing of God”, Kindle location 1044

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God Especially Calls the Least among Us to Know Him Deeply — A Quote by Brennan Manning in “Furious Longing of God”

“‘The invitation to union is extended not only for Christians of iron will, austere seekers of God, those who preach the gospel and get doctorates in theology. It is not reserved for those who are well-known mystics or for those who do wonderful things for the poor.… [It is for] those poor enough to welcome Jesus. It is for people living ordinary lives and who feel lonely. It is for all those who are old, hospitalized or out of work, who open their hearts in trust to Jesus and cry out for his healing love.'”

— Jean Vanier, as quoted by Brennan Manning, “Furious Longing of God”, Kindle location 668

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People were Designed to Sacrifice out of Love — A Quote by Mike Bickle in “Loving God”

“God designed the human soul to be passionate and committed. This is the only way that we can function to our fullest. Without abandonment to God, our hearts sink into restlessness, boredom, and frustration. We must have something in our lives that is worth giving everything up for. God intended our souls to be fascinated with Jesus. Our highest development and greatest fulfillment lie in worshiping and serving Jesus with all our heart… IF WE HAVE NOTHING TO DIE FOR, THEN WE HAVE NOTHING TO LIVE FOR.”

— Mike Bickle, “Loving God”, Kindle location 333

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The World is Watching

Guest post by Ron Lease

“Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people; before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children; before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give.” Cory Booker
We as Christians are regularly scrutinized, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Scrutiny forces accountability, and we need to be accountable. Accountability keeps us grounded, keeps us humble, keeps us focused. The world is watching us, and it’s up to us to be good role models, integrious in all of our actions. While this does put pressure on us, we signed up for this pressure when we chose to follow Christ. In Luke 9:23, Jesus told all those in audience that they have to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Him.

To understand, look at an example from John The Baptist. Starting in John 3:22 we read that John and Jesus were both baptizing believers. Some of John The Baptist’s followers started to question whether Jesus, who was baptized by John, could baptize others. In verse 27 John responded, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven” (John 3:27 ESV). John The Baptist says a few more things reinforcing his statement before closing with, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30 NIV).

Several years later, in his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul wrote, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…” (Philippians 1:27 ESV). Now for Paul to hear how the early Christians in Philippi were doing, Paul would have to hear of the church’s activities. And the only way for Paul to hear would be for other people to talk. And the only way for people to talk would be to observe.

Now I don’t write to say that the world is watching so that we live in a state of fear. Never! Instead, we should accept this HUGE responsibility. Americans do not lack in access to the Bible. They do not lack in access to a church. They lack in access to healthy Christians who carry out Christ’s will. In a world where we regularly hear people bloviate superfluous platitudes, a good moral word every now and again is ignored. Instead, our society responds to action. Christians in action send a very clear message that the love of Christ is real. Christians willing to roll up their sleeves and serve those in need demonstrate that the love of Christ is real. Christians offering a sympathetic, caring response instead of a vapid, snarky remark condemning the suffering show that the love of Christ is real.

We Christians should never be afraid or ashamed of our identity in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV). Now this doesn’t mean that we have to respond to every (or any) manipulative Facebook posting begging for shares or likes to profess our love for Christ. No! Instead, we need to share our new identity lovingly with the rest of the world. In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus told the parable of a tree and its fruit. Essentially, we can recognize people by the fruit of their labor. Anybody can say they’re good, but only those who demonstrate they’re good should be trusted.

Hearing a message of Christ is one thing, but seeing Christian action is something entirely different! We’re surrounded by talkers and lacking in doers. Be a doer! Love your neighbor; help your friends; be nice to people. Because remember, the world is watching.

Experience the Light of God Within — A Quote by J. Brent Bill in “Minding the Light”

“Before Friends called themselves Friends they referred to themselves as the ‘Children of Light.’ They warmed to the spiritual idea of the immediacy of Christ’s presence preached by a young man named George Fox. He spoke of ‘Christ within’ each person, a presence he called the ‘Inner Light.’ That’s based on John’s saying that ‘the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world’ — referring to Jesus as the true Light. From Fox’s preaching and their reading of the Bible, the early Quakers understood Jesus to be the Light of the world. They referred to Christ as the Inner Light alive inside everybody. They also chose the name ‘Children of Light’ because they wanted people to know that they were walking in the Light of God. Their name came from John’s Gospel that says, ‘While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become [children] of light.’ They wanted to be known as women and men whose faith grew from a direct spiritual encounter with the living Light of Christ. They believed this Light was present in every spiritual seeker as an inward guide and teacher. So they invited others to experience the Light.”

— J.Brent Bill, “Mind the Light”, Kindle location 292

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You are Foolish if You Do Ministry and Neglect Intimacy — A Quote by Antonio Baldovinos in “Relentless Pursuit”

“In the busyness of our lives, many things distract, deter, and pull for our attention and affections. In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (see Matt. 25:1-13), we see the emphasis on the need to have a continual, recurrent cultivation of our relationship with Jesus. In this parable we must heed the warning not to become one of the ‘foolish’ virgins by neglecting to cultivate intimacy with God… The foolish took their lamps, which represent ministry; yet they took ‘no oil.’ They pursued ministry to people instead of acquiring and maintaining the oil of intimacy with God… The wise virgins ‘took oil’ in their lamps, as well as the vessels themselves. The ‘oil’ speaks of the presence of God that touches our hearts. So, we see that the wise virgins also did ministry, yet they maintained the oil of intimacy…”

“We are exhorted to go and buy oil for ourselves. This is a costly process that no one else can do for us. We cannot have someone else’s intimacy with God. We cannot earn this; yet there is a price to pay. The question is: How do you buy oil? The answer is you invest your time. It takes time to minister to Him to obtain your own oil. The reward far outweighs anything we could ask, think, or imagine. What we are searching for to satisfy all our inner longings is found in one thing: true intimacy.”

— Antonio Baldovinos, “Relentless Pursuit”, Kindle locations 219-234

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