Paul Madson

THOUGHTS, QUOTES & REFLECTIONS

Month: June 2014

The Latest Edition of Quotable Quotes

Lynx Lake (Prescott, AZ)

“Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” (Joni Eareckson Tada)

“Jesus Christ was treated as we deserved so that when we believe in Jesus, God treats us as Jesus deserves.” (Tim Keller)

“There are times when God asks nothing of his children except silence, patience and tears.”  (Charles Seymour Robinson)

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” (Elisabeth Elliot)

“If God has made you a Gatherer,

Then He has called you to be a Giver.

Because He hasn’t called anyone to be a Hoarder.”

(Larry Burkett)

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself, nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.” (Tim Keller – from The Reason for God)

“Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.” (Hudson Taylor)

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” (Corrie ten Boom)

“The Jesus of the Bible is worthy of our absolute surrender, our highest thoughts, our noblest efforts, our purest adoration, our greatest enjoyments, and our costliest sacrifices.” (John Gillespie)

The world may be as evangelized as it will ever get if we attempt to complete the remaining task with a motivation built around the fleeting feelings of compassion. Mercy can strike a match, but we need emissaries from many lands who are ablaze with the inexhaustible fuel of jealousy for God’s glory.” (Steven C. Hawthorne, PhD)

“Teaching people to become like Jesus, outside of the power of Jesus, dishonors Jesus.” (Ed Stetzer)

“I am far worse than I imagine and more loved and accepted by God than I ever dared to hope.” (Tim Keller)

“Fear-based repentance makes us hate ourselves. Joy-based repentance makes us hate the sin.” (Tim Keller)

“The product of a true, growing, gospel-centered nature is often gentleness.” (Tim Keller)

“Knowing God is your single greatest privilege as a Christian.” (Sinclair Ferguson)

“Be obedient even when you do not know where obedience may lead you.” (Sinclair Ferguson)

“The late Francis Schaeffer once noted that bitter divisions among Christians give the world the justification they’re looking for to disbelieve the gospel. But when reconciliation, peacemaking, and unity are on display inside the church, that becomes a powerful witness to this fractured world.” (Ray Ortlund)

“Don’t be a drive-by-shooter in somebody else’s conflict. Use your opinions as fuel for prayer, not as bullets to shoot.” (Scotty Smith)

“No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“Taking the long-term high road is both safer and more difficult than taking the short-term low road.”

“God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.” (Hudson Taylor)

“Speak when you’re angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever want to forget!”

“The gospel is only good news if it gets there on time.” (Carl F. H. Henry) 

“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell, I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell.” (C.T. Studd) 

“More often than not, it is what you are rather than what you say that will bring an unbeliever to Christ. This, then, is the ultimate apologetic. For the ultimate apologetic is: your life.” (William Lane Craig)

“It is folly to think the Lord provides grace for every trouble but the one you are in today.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

“Some things in our past can’t be ‘fixed.’ You can repent, you can ask for forgiveness, but you can’t always go back—nor should you try.” (Gary Thomas)

“The greatest and the hottest fires that ever were on earth are but ice in comparison to the fire of hell.” (Thomas Brooks)

“Christianity is the only religion whose God bears the scars of evil.” (Os Guinness)

“It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy!”

“God promises the Christian heaven after death, not before it.” (John Blanchard)

“He that serves God for money will serve the devil for better wages.” (Roger L’Estrange)

“You never have to drag mercy out of Christ, as money from a miser.”  (C.H. Spurgeon)

“Yet another paradox of life – we only find blessings for ourselves when we seek to be a blessing to others.”

“The general rule is that those who listen most and speak least will be the most useful to sufferers.” (David Murray)

“As soon as you pray ‘Lord, forgive me,’ you can say ‘Lord, thank you.’ Hours of self-deprecating shame will not make you more forgiven.” (Burk Parsons)

When we criticize others for their faults (real or perceived) let us broadcast the news just as widely when they repent of their faults and correct them. The same is even more true when it turns out we were wrong in our information or accusations. Of all people, Christians should not put the bad news in bold face and the good news in a footnote.” (Kevin DeYoung)

“Read the Bible praying, ‘Father, hold my mind’s attention. Wake my heart’s affection. Speak for Your glory and my holy joy.'”  (John Piper)

“Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God.” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

“To forsake Christ for the world, is to leave a treasure for a trifle, eternity for a moment, reality for a shadow.” (William Jenkyn)

The longer you know Him, the larger He seems

Concept art for Narnia movie by Justin Sweet

This week, I wanted to share a particularly insightful excerpt from GTN staff member John Gillespie’s latest book, entitled: Beholding Jesus: Letters to My Children. Enjoy!

“In C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia, Lucy encounters Aslan, the lion king, her hero and champion, once again.

“Aslan, Aslan. Dear Aslan,” sobbed Lucy. “At last.” 
The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath came all round her. She gazed up into the large wise face. 
“Welcome, child,” he said. 
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.” 
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he. 
“Not because you are?” 
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.” 

Remembering that Aslan is a picture of Jesus Christ, Lucy’s observation of him is glorious. (C.S. Lewis was a genius!)

Remember when you were a kid, and everything was “big”? Your bedroom looms huge in your memory, as does your tree house, school, until you return to those old haunts and marvel at how small they have all become! In reality, they have not changed, you have. You have grown, and the things which once appeared so large to your eye have gained their proper perspective…

The importance of “stuff” shrinks with time. This is what makes Aslan unique. Lucy encounters him, but not as he was. Unlike the bedroom he is not in reality smaller than remembered.

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”

In fact, Aslan has not grown, but as Lucy has, she now sees Aslan more truly as he is… and he is BIGGER than she first thought.

But every year you grow, you will find me bigger. 

So it is with our King, Jesus. Because He is who He is (the Eternal Son of God), He is not in the process of becoming something greater or bigger. He is eternally perfect. However, as we grow in our Christian walk and mature in our faith, far from Him shrinking in our eyes, we esteem Him more fully. He is magnified before us, ever more wonderful, ever more powerful, ever more worthy of praise, ever more glorious, ever more able… BIGGER. 

Dear ones, you and I are just beginning this journey of discovery with Jesus Christ. Thus far, whatever we have truly experienced of Him is certain to grow in our estimation as we continue with Him… even into eternity. With Jesus, each day grows better than the one before, the “new” never wears off. There is always another adventure with Him, a new truth to delve into, explore, and glory in— a yet undiscovered facet of His character in which to rejoice. 

The Jesus of the Bible is worthy of our absolute surrender, our highest thoughts, our noblest efforts, our purest adoration, our greatest enjoyments, and our costliest sacrifices.”

Worship: For the Fame of His Name

The above picture is a list of the current “Worship Favorites” on my iPhone. Although God has not gifted me with a beautiful singing voice (far from it!), I do love to worship – whether that’s with a crowd or alone in my car.
When it comes to listening to and participating in worship, everyone has their own particular tastes and preferences. If you want to stir up a hornet’s nest in a local church, just bring up the subject of “music” and “worship.” Opinions will start flying from all directions – and will be shared with passion and gusto!

Never in the history of the church have there been more worship songs to enjoy, and to express a believer’s love for the Lord, than there are now. We should thank the Lord often for providing such gifted musicians for the Body of Christ!

As a follow-up to the blog post I shared recently about worship, I wanted to add a few more brief thoughts before we leave this important subject.

First, what is worship? Here is how I would define it: Worship is our response of all that we are – mind, will and emotions – to all that God is, says and does! In a nutshell: Worship is our response to God and His Word.

Second, worship is something that all believers are commanded to participate in. In other words, worship is not intended to be a “spectator sport.”

Third, when it comes to corporate worship, lay aside your personal preferences and prejudices about worship style. Be mature enough to not demand that worship happen “your” way before you will participate.

As I said, all of us have personal preferences in worship. Some of us even have prejudices. Remember: right at the heart of worship is humility. Humility acknowledges that God is God and we are not…which means that we need to leave room for other styles of worship that may not be “our cup of tea.”

The late Francis Schaffer once said…

“Let me say firmly that there is no such thing as a godly style or an ungodly style. The more one tries to make such a distinction, the more confusing it becomes.”

We are too prone to judge a worship experience by our feelings, rather than by the fact that we obeyed God and tried to please and glorify Him.

Fourth, when you are involved in worship, make an effort to consciously think about the words that you are singing. Worship is not meant to be some magical mantra that we chant to try and elicit some emotional feeling (much like other religions do). We are to use our intellect to ponder and unpack the meaning of the lyrics. When we truly understand what we are singing, our hearts can be moved emotionally. Someone once said, “God becomes remote when worship becomes rote.” Rote worship is “mindless worship.”

When Dr. John Mitchell (founding president of Multnomah School of the Bible) was pastoring a church in Michigan during the 1930’s, he received a message from a young member of his flock. This individual was about to leave the U.S. for missionary service in China. Prior to the young man’s departure by ship, he telegraphed Dr. Mitchell from San Francisco, requesting his pastor to give him one final word of counsel before he sailed for the mission field. Dr. Mitchell wired back immediately:

“Sit down and worship at the feet of Jesus, and then tell the Chinese what you see.”

Genuine worship is the first step in effective evangelism and missionary service.

While I was serving in the pastorate prior to leading GTN, we chose a particular worship song as our “theme song” as a church family:

Jesus, Lover of my Soul

It’s all about You, Jesus
and all this is for You
for Your glory and Your fame
it’s not about me
as if You should do things my way
You alone are God 
and I surrender to your ways

Just a few weeks ago, Lisa and I had the privilege of worshiping with a large group of pastors and their wives in Southern California. We were led by a young man who was a student at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. It was one of the most refreshing and powerful “God-focused, God-glorifying” times of worship that we have ever experienced. On our way home, we reflected on the gratitude we feel for young worship leaders like him who are following hard after God and leading people to spread the “fame of God’s Name to all peoples.”

Lisa and I have had the privilege of worshiping with fellow believers in Christ on almost every continent on earth – from many different cultures and ethnicities. It is always a reminder of the great and glorious day that is coming, described so vividly in Revelation 5:9-12

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nationtribepeople and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.” 

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: 

“Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

Finally, I want to leave you with a few articles on the subject of worship that I have found encouraging, as well as challenging.  Enjoy!
P.S. And please remember: as with any article or book that I recommend or pass along, “chew the meat and spit out the bones.” I don’t agree with everything that is written below – ask God for wisdom to glean that which is good, profitable and God-glorifying.

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