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What Every Church So Desperately Needs

August 6, 2013
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Stephen Altrogge writes of the greatest need in our churches today.

In his book The Necessity of Prayer E.M. Bounds writes:

‘Many men, of this day, obtain a good report because of their money-giving, their great mental gifts and talents, but few there be who obtain a “good report” because of their great faith in God, or because of the wonderful things which are being wrought through their great praying. Today, as much as at any time, we need men of great faith and men who are great in prayer. These are the two cardinal virtues which make men great in the eyes of God, the two things which create conditions of real spiritual success in the life and work of the Church.’

What my church and every other church needs more than anything else is men and women who are committed to great praying. Men and women of great faith who ask great things of God. Men and women who are regularly down on their faces before God asking him to send his Spirit in power. Without God moving nothing of truly lasting value will take place. Prayer is what transforms the Sunday music from a concert to worship. Prayer is what transforms the children’s ministry from fun to profound.

So yes, let’s pursue excellence in everything we do as a church. Let’s continue to serve and give and live with all our might. But let’s also be men and women of great prayer. Let’s ask God to do mighty things in worship, mighty things in children’s ministry, mighty things in our budgets. Prayer is what gives life to our service and talents and money. A church can’t survive on talent alone. Prayer is what accomplishes great things for God.

– Stephen Altrogge, The Blazing Center blog, August 6, 2013. To read the entire article, go here.

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How Sweet and Aweful is the Place

July 31, 2013
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A hymn written by Isaac Watts (1707), sung by Bob Kauflin and thousands of pastors at T4G.

Our Spiritual Thirst Satisfied

July 16, 2013

water splash with bubbles isolated on white “It is because Jesus Christ experienced cosmic thirst on the cross that you and I can have our spiritual thirst satisfied. It is because he died that we can be born again. And he did it gladly. Seeing what he did and why he did it will turn away our hearts from the things that enslave us and toward him in worship. That is the gospel, and it is the same for skeptics, believers, insiders, outcasts, and everyone in between.”

– Tim Keller, The Insider and the Outcast

Living with Constant Risk of Heart Failure

July 16, 2013
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This is a powerful testimony of trust.

All in One

August 31, 2012

The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One.  Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness.  Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things, he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight.  Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately, forever.

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (London, 1967), page 20.

HT: Christ is Deeper Still blog

What Matters Supremely

August 14, 2012

What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands [Isa. 49:16]. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort—the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates—in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.

 J. I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 41-42, emphasis added. (HT: Between Two Worlds blog)

Fighting Sin with Worship

July 16, 2012

If you are a Christian and you are dealing with enslaving habits, it’s not enough to say, “Bad Christian, stop it.” And it is not enough to beat yourself up or merely try harder and harder and harder.

The real reason that you’re having a problem with an enslaving habit is because you are not tasting God. I’m not talking about believing God or even obeying God, I’m saying tasting— tasting God.

The secret to freedom from enslaving patterns of sin is worship. You need worship. You need great worship. You need weeping worship. You need glorious worship. You need to sense God’s greatness and to be moved by it — moved to tears and moved to laughter — moved by who God is and what he has done for you. And this needs to be happening all the time.

Click here to read the rest of the article and to find the link to Dr. Keller’s sermon: Desiring God