• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • March 2023
    M T W T F S S
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Spirituality in Action

sailing-shipFor this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV)

Charles Spurgeon wrote, “There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labor in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. Continue reading

The Faith That Moves Mountains

Shall we continue to remain negligent of the spiritual powers found in the grace of Christ? John Henry Jowett (1863-1923) answers “No” to this question and goes on to explain why:

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:19-20 ESV)

“Faith as a grain uprooting a mountain! Such is its mighty energy! I do not shrink from the startling conjunction. Our scientists are telling us that there is energy stored in one grain of radium sufficient to raise five hundred tons a mile high. And I am not daunted when our Master, speaking of a finer power than radium, a subtler energy, a spiritual force, tells us of the enormous energy, the miracle- working energy that is housed in faith of a supreme quality, even though it be only “as a grain of mustard seed.” “Ye shall say to this mountain, Remove hence!” . . .

We are dimly gleaming that spiritual energies may have more currency than we have ever dreamed. We are discovering more and more clearly that spiritual faith and temper have much to do with physical health, and that our doctors are comparatively impotent when the soul has a malady, or when there is present “a grief that saps the mind.” I believe that many an ailment would vanish if the unbelief went out of the soul, and if in its place there came a sweet, sound, strong confidence in the Lord. “Ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hence! . . . and it shall remove!

And I am equally convinced that the exercise of a vigorous faith in God has more dominion than we have yet realized in securing the entire expulsion of impure bodily habits and lusts. Here is a man or woman possessed by the unclean devil of drunkenness. How can the devil be expelled? Well, we commonly say that it is a disease, and it must be treated as a disease. Yes, but how shall we treat it? A physical mountain can only be removed by physical means. Are you absolutely sure of that? The doctor shall prescribe medicine. Very well. The food shall be prudently selected, and all stimulating diet shall be tabooed. Very good. His environment shall be changed. Ah, are you sure that you are now altogether on the material plane? Are you not coming to another domain? Are you not bringing mystic forces into the ministry? He must have a new hobby! What now is your drift? His society must be refined, and his reading must be of a more restful and sedative type. Has not the treatment of the physical mountain now left the purely physical means? I do not disparage these minor ministries, for I regard them all as the beneficent gifts of God.

But, above and beyond all these, sometimes entirely apart and independent of them, I would exalt the marvelous power of the grace of God, acting through the means of alert and confident faith. I say that in these regions, even the regions of fleshly habit and passion, faith has removed mountains. I have known the craving for drink annihilated in an hour by the tremendous spiritual resources commanded by faith, and even if the instance stood alone, which is by no means the case; it affords a glimpse of a world of spiritual dynamics which we have not yet used or even realized.

The Spiritual Experience

From the pen of John MacArthur:

In an authentic spiritual experience, emotion, feelings, and the senses often become intense, transcending the normal. These may include strong feelings of remorse over sin, a mighty sense of trust that surpasses the pain of a traumatic situation, an overpowering peace in the midst of trouble, the overwhelming sense of joy related to confidence and hope in God, intense sorrow over the lost, the exhilarating praise in understanding the glory of God, or a heightened zeal for ministry. Spiritual experience by definition is an internal awareness that involves strong emotion in response to the truth of God’s Word, amplified by the Holy Spirit and applied by Him to us personally.

Edward T. Welch On Spirituality And Addictions

From the desk of Edward T. Welch:

If we allow the Bible to reveal the unseen spiritual realities behind addictions, we suddenly realize that addictions are more than self-destructive behaviors. They are violations of God’s laws: His laws that call us to avoid drunkenness and immoderate self-indulgence (Rom. 13:13), His law that calls us to love others (1 John 4:7), and His law that calls us to live for Him rather than ourselves (1 Cor. 10:31). This means that addiction is more about someone’s relationship with God than it is about biology. It reveals our allegiances: what we want, what we love, whom and what we serve. It brings us to that all-important question, “Will you live for the fulfillment of your desires or for God? (Blame it on the Brain? P&R Publishing, 1998, p. 193)

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