Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Most Important Question

Cita Cielo

This section from the Hudson Taylor two volume set records his thoughts and feelings as he landed in China for the first time.

Muffled in his heaviest wraps Hudson Taylor paced the deck, doing his best to keep warm and be patient. It was a strange Sunday, this last at sea. For days he had been packed and ready to leave the ship, and hindered by storm and cold from other occupations had given the more time to thought and prayer.

“What peculiar feelings,” he wrote, “arise at the prospect of soon landing in an unknown country, in the midst of strangers—a country now to be my home and sphere of labour. ‘Lo, I am with you alway.’ ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ Sweet promises! I have nothing to fear, with Jesus on my side.
“Great changes probably have taken place since last we heard from China. And what news shall I receive from England? Where shall I go, and how shall I live at first? These and a thousand other questions engage the mind.… But the most important question of all is, ‘Am I now living as near to God as possible?’ Alas! I am not. My wayward heart, so easily occupied with the things of time and sense, needs continually leading back to the fold from whence it strays. Oh! that my ‘rejoicing’ may be ‘more abundant in Christ Jesus,’ and my ‘conversation’ ever ‘as becometh the Gospel of Christ.’ ”

As afternoon wore on, what were those boats in the distance—looming toward them through the mist? One beat its way up before long, eagerly watched from the Dumfries. Yes, there was no mistaking that picturesque sail and curiously painted hull, nor the faces of the men as they came into sight. There they were, twelve or fourteen of them, blue-garbed, dark-eyed, vociferating in an unknown tongue—the first Chinese Hudson Taylor had ever seen. And how his heart went out to them! Behind the strange, uncouth exterior he saw the treasure he had come so far to seek—the souls for which Christ died.

Frederick Howard Taylor and Geraldine Taylor, Hudson Taylor in Early Years: The Growth of a Soul (Littleton, CO; Mississauga, ON; Kent, TN: OMF Book, 1995), 201–202.

Friday, January 30, 2015

What’s The Reward Of Your Efforts?

Generic Chalkboard Reference

Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.

A. W. Tozer, Born After Midnight (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1959), 107.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The purpose of my influential position is to…

Blue Circles Quote

The purpose of my influential position is to make God’s name great, to advance His kingdom on Earth, and to serve others.

Anonymous, Embracing Obscurity (Nashville: B&H, 2012).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spotlight Danger

PInk Circles Quote

Because we are never in more danger of glossing over our pride than during our time in the spotlight. The danger of self-deception is acute. I have good motivations, we reason, to expand my platform. I’m only looking for more influence so I can point more people to Christ

Anonymous, Embracing Obscurity (Nashville: B&H, 2012).

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Decisions Of Faith That Impact Others

Book Texture Quote

If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people’s plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it—“You call this Christianity?” We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Westwood, NJ: Barbour and Company, 1963), 11.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Earthly Praise Or Divine Approval

Wax Seal Quote

As difficult as is the prospect of living without earthly praise, the thought of living without divine approval is terrifying.

Anonymous, Embracing Obscurity (Nashville: B&H, 2012).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Gospel Lifestyle

Generic Green Trees Quote

If our lifestyle doesn’t even raise the eyebrows of the world, what does that say about our devotion to the gospel?

Anonymous, Embracing Obscurity (Nashville: B&H, 2012).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Are You Seen As A Fool? You Should

Hanging Paper Quote
The question is not whether we will be seen as fools—that part is certain—but when and by whom we will be seen as fools. Better to be seen as fools now in the eyes of other people—including other Christians—than to be seen as fools forever in the eyes of the Audience of One, whose judgment ultimately matters.

Anonymous, Embracing Obscurity (Nashville: B&H, 2012).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Are you ready to be less than a drop in the bucket?

India Mountains Quote

It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a doormat under other peoples’ feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased” (like Paul). Are you ready to be less than a drop in the bucket? To be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served? Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are all used up and exhausted—not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Responsibility in Marriage

First, you must get to the place where you can say, “My response to my spouse is my responsibility.” In my own marriage, Sarah doesn’t cause me to be the way I am; she reveals the way I am. When my reactions to her are unloving, it reveals that I’ve still got issues. There is still lack of love in my character and soul, and I have to own up to this. Maybe it is 70 percent her fault and only 30 percent my fault (and, then again, maybe it isn’t), but the point is, what about my 30 percent?

Mark 7:21–23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Emerson Eggerichs, Love & Respect (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010).