Words of Encouragement for The Fellowship of the Burning Heart
from A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God
Chapter 1: Following Hard After God
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. (Psalm 63:8)
“Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which, briefly stated, means that before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man.” [Prevenient Grace is a wonderful John Wesleyism]
“We pursue God because, and only because, he has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.”
“The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after him.”
“We have almost forgotten that God is a person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. …but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored.”
“The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.”
“You and I are in little (our sins excepted) what God is in large. Being made in his image we have within us the capacity to know him.” … The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the kingdom of God, It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead.”
“To have found God and still to pursue him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too easily satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”
Posted in FellowshipBurningHeart, Tozer | Tagged A.W. Tozer, Direction, Fellowship of the Burning Heart, Growth, Sanctification, Spiritual, The Pursuit of God | Leave a Comment »
O God, who at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending them the light of thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
from The Methodist Book of Worship for Church and Home, 1965
Posted in Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Prayer for Today | Tagged Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Prayer, Sunday, Today | Leave a Comment »
Referring to myself as an introvert is relatively recent. The reason, I think, is because for many years I had no real idea how to distinguish the differences between an extrovert and an introvert. One person is outgoing, likes people and can talk in front of a large group while the other one doesn’t like being with people and can’t speak in front of any size group… right? Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but I was in the neighborhood of that sort of thinking.
Since then I’ve learned a better way of understanding a significant difference between the two: What gives you energy versus what depletes your energy. That’s not a scholarly definition, but it sure helps me understand myself a little better. Reading and studying stimulates me. Two hours socializing at a party makes me want to crawl in my bed and sleep for eight hours. I can do both; I can enjoy both… but one pumps me up and the other wears me out. Knowing this about myself can help me strategize how I approach life, ministry, etc.
Now, it is true that, left to myself, I will probably choose to stay in my comfort zone and gravitate toward being alone or with a very small group of people. That’s why I’m so thankful I married a forceful extrovert who occasionally has to blast me out of that gravitational pull and get me out and about more. What a blessing she is to me in this respect!
Over the years I’ve been collecting articles on this subject that have been helpful to me in understanding how being an introvert can influence me as a husband, pastor, etc. I thought you might be interested in reading them as well.
Grace and Truth,
Posted in Dale Tedder, Introvert, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Theology | Tagged Dale Tedder, Extrovert, Introvert, Leadership, Ministry, Pastoral | 1 Comment »
“Blessed God of all grace, God of salvation,
God of comfort and the essence of a thousand other descriptions -
we cannot adequately nor fully describe you.
From hearts softened and awakened to the gospel,
liberated from the penalty of sin,
cleaned from the stain of sin,
indwelt by the Holy Guest,
prepared for an eternal dwelling in a city
whose builder and maker is God -
We praise you that mere man when born again can then love you and enjoy you forever.
This is all your doing,
your completion -
To God be the glory,
Great things he has done.
It was not my interest before, but now
help me to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness.
You know what I need even before I ask.
May I never think I prosper unless my soul prospers -
or that I am rich unless rich toward you,
or that I am wise unless wise unto salvation.
May I value all things in relation to eternity.
Many of us in this place today praise you for the blessed memory
of a Christian home.
Our prayers of thanksgiving join those of Timothy,
for the incredible blessing of learning the Holy Scriptures at a mother’s
and a grandmother’s knee.
We thank you, Father God, for our mothers who have loved us -
taught us -
prayed with us and for us -
and lived before us as women of faith.
May that heritage continue on in this generation.
Prepare our hearts to receive the seed of your Word.
Grant that it may take deep root and bring forth fruit to your glory.
Visit us with your salvation and instill faith in every heart. Amen.”
from Wendell C. Hawley’s book of prayer, A Pastor Prays for His People
Posted in Motherhood, Prayer for Today | Tagged Mother, Mother's Day, Prayer, Today | Leave a Comment »
A number of years ago, I read the most delightful biography about Oswald Chambers. It’s called Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God, by David McCasland. It was quite good as well as inspiring. I believe I’ve mentioned before, about two thousand times, that I love reading Christian biography.
Of course, as with most people, I first met Chambers through the devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. That devotional, like all of his books, was put together after his death from the notes his wife took (shorthand) from his many lectures, studies, sermons, etc. (She was quite a woman).
I own pretty close to all of Chambers’ books (due to the very kind and generous offerings of a widow who was giving away her departed husband’s library). I have treasured them.
Chambers only lived into his early 40s. As someone who will be 48 this year, I have been “forced” to compare my productivity with his. I’m not fairing well. But we moderns never seem to compare well with anyone who’s been dead for a hundred years or more (usually). At any rate, if you would like to learn more about Chambers’ extraordinary short life, you can check out the following links.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Posted in Biography, Chambers Devotion, Dale Tedder, FellowshipBurningHeart, Heroes | Tagged Biography, Dale Tedder, David McCasland, Fellowship of the Burning Heart, Heroes, Oswald Chambers, Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God | Leave a Comment »
One of the most encouraging messages I ever heard was from John Piper on the topic of the life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon, from Piper’s 1995 pastors conference. Click here to listen to or read the transcript from it. For that matter, Piper’s biographical messages that he gives annually at that conference are some of the most inspiring, convicting, and rewarding sermons I’ve ever heard. Whether you’re a pastor or a lay-person, you owe it to yourself to check these messages out. You can listen online or download them for later. Whichever you do, please listen to them. You’ll be glad you did. Click here to see the selection of messages.
Piper recently preached the following message on Spurgeon at Reformed Theological Seminary.
Posted in Biography, Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching Teaching | Tagged Biography, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, Ministry, Pastor, Pastoral, Reformed Theological Seminary | Leave a Comment »