• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,377,098 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,283 other followers

  • Recommended Reading

Faith is the Gift of God

The Pursuit of HolinessJerry Bridges:

Faith is not only necessary to salvation, it is also necessary to live a life pleasing to God. Faith enables us to claim the promises of God – but it also enables us to obey the commands of God. Faith enables us to obey when obedience is costly or seems unreasonable to the natural mind. (The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 139-140)

Faith is the gift of God – not the result of the persuasion of the evangelist. (The Gospel for Real Life, p. 135)

 

Advertisements

The Bible in our Culture

Reading The BibleHere is a very timely message from the Barna Group:

“[T]he current and future role of the Bible in U.S. society is an often-debated topic. A new release from the Barna Group shows how this debate plays out regionally and takes a look at how 96 of the largest cities in the nation view the Bible. … Individuals who report reading the Bible in a typical week and who strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches are considered to be Bible-minded. … Regionally, the South still qualifies as the most Bible-minded. … This includes the media markets for Knoxville, TN (52% of the population are Bible-minded), Shreveport, LA (52%), Chattanooga, TN (52%), Birmingham, AL (50%), and Jackson, MS (50%). … Easily the lowest Bible-minded scores came from Providence, RI (9%) and Albany, NY (10%). … The New England area is home to most of the markets in the bottom 10 Bible-minded cities, including Burlington, VT (16%), Portland, ME (16%), Hartford, CT (16%), Boston, MA (16%), Buffalo, NY (18%) and New York, NY (18%). The remaining markets in the bottom 10 are primarily in the West and include San Francisco, CA (16%), Phoenix, AZ (17%), and Las Vegas, NV (18%). … Whether you live in a city ranked in the top half of Bible-minded cities or in the bottom half of Bible-minded cities, there are still tens of thousands of people to reach regarding both the message of the Scriptures and their importance. … The key is to not merely ‘preach to those insiders’ but instead to equip and empower those who do believe with a strong and relevant message to take out into their communities, vocations and spheres of influence. They are the tipping point and can have great influence on the greater city.”

Read more here. . . .

Preaching and Prayer

Charles SpurgeonQuite often, preaching is not effective because of the failure of the minister in the personal application of secret prayer. In his Lectures to My Students, Charles H. Spurgeon says:

It may scarcely be needful to commend to you the sweet uses of private devotion, and yet I cannot forbear. To you as the ambassadors of God, the mercy seat has a virtue beyond all estimate. The more familiar you are with the court of heaven, the better shall you discharge your heavenly trust. Among all the formative influences that go to make up a man honored of God in the ministry, I know of none more mighty than his own familiarity with the mercy-seat. All that a college course can do for a student is coarse and external compared with the spiritual and delicate refinement obtained by communion with God. While the unformed minister is revolving upon the wheel of preparation, prayer is the tool of the great Potter by which He molds the vessel. All our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared with out closets. We grow, we wax mighty, and we prevail in private prayer.

Prayer will singularly assist you in the delivery of your sermon; in fact, nothing can so gloriously fit you to preach as descending fresh from the mount of communion with God to speak with men. None are so able to plead with men as those who have been wrestling with God on their behalf. It is said of Joseph Alleine “He poured out his very heart in prayer and preaching. His supplications and his exhortations were so affectionate, so full of holy zeal, life and vigor that they quite overcame his hearers. He melted over them so that he thawed and mollified and sometimes dissolved the hardest hearts.” Prayer may not make you eloquent after the human mode, but it will make you truly so, for you will speak out of the heart. And is not that the meaning of the word “eloquence”? It will bring fire from heaven upon your sacrifice, and thus prove it to be accepted of the Lord. (Lectures To My Students)

%d bloggers like this: