If we do not at least try to manifest something of Creative Charity in our dealings with life, whether by action, thought, or prayer, and do it at our own cost – if we roll up the talent of love in the nice white napkin of piety and put it safely out of the way, sorry that the world is so hungry and thirsty, so sick and so fettered, and leave it at that: even that little talent may be taken from us. We may discover at the crucial moment that we are spiritually bankrupt.
No one is so empty as the man who has stopped walking with God and doesn’t know it.
Rouse thee, O believer, from thy low condition! Cast away thy sloth, thy lethargy, thy coldness, or whatever interferes with thy chaste and pure love to Christ. Make Him the source, the center, and the circumference of all thy soul’s range of delight. Rest no longer satisfied with thy dwarfish attainments. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life. Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!
Some Christians are not only like salt that has lost its savour, but like pepper that has lost its pep.
Believers aren’t satisfied being on the fence for Jesus Christ because He has put in their hearts a desire to be totally involved for Him. A Christian life of mediocrity, selfishness and fruitlessness only produces frustration and dissipation.
Too many churches have become mausoleums for the dead rather than coliseums of praise for a living God. They have lost the spirit of Pentecost! They have lost their enthusiasm. They have lost their joy for Jesus and find themselves suffering from what William Willimon calls “Institutional and spiritual Dry Rot.” If the Church is to survive the next millennium it must recapture some of the praise and enthusiasm it had two millennia ago.
People often ask me why it seems like God isn’t moving in the West like He is elsewhere. Jesus said He is the Bread of Life, but in order to eat the Bread, you first have to be hungry. I think too many of us leave the Bread on the table because we’re full on everything else the world has to offer. It’s not that we don’t have the Bread, it’s just that we don’t eat it because we’re not hungry!
Our young men are going into the professional fields because they don’t ‘feel called’ to the mission field. We don’t need a call; we need a kick in the pants. We must begin thinking in terms of ‘going out’, and stop our weeping because ‘they won’t come in’. Who wants to step into an igloo? The tombs themselves are not colder than the churches. May God send us forth.
The nature of water is soft, that of stone is hard; but if a bottle is hung above the stone, allowing the water to fall drop by drop, it wears away the stone. So it is with the Word of God; it is soft and our heart is hard, but the man who hears the Word of God often, opens his heart to the fear of God.
While sitting on the bank of a river one day, I picked up a solid round stone from the water and broke it open. It was perfectly dry in spite of the fact that it had been immersed in water for centuries. The same is true of many people in the Western world. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity; they live immersed in the waters of its benefits. And yet it has not penetrated their hearts; they do not love it. The fault is not in Christianity, but in men’s hearts, which have been hardened by materialism and intellectualism.