By A. W. Tozer from The TOZER PULPIT, Volume One
Everybody is writing and everybody is talking, but for dying men there is not one word of authority anywhere, except as you hear the sure, true, terrifying words of Jesus Christ.
Literally millions of words are printed every day, but the only authoritative word ever published is that which comes from the, the Holy Scriptures.
There is not one word published on the North American continent today that I would want to die by.
If I knew tomorrow evening that it was to be my last, and that I would never seen another sun rise, there isn’t a newspaper published anywhere in the world that I would want to see.
There hasn’t been a book published this year that I would want to read.
There hasn’t been a word uttered in the United Nations that I would want to hear. There is no authority anywhere.
Men, with their own ideas of authority, still call for other religions. H. G. Wells, before he died, called for another religion. He said we ought to have another bible, and it ought to come from a synthesis of religions.
I have seen that kind of bible displayed–supposed to be a synthesis of all good things. I have held it and been tempted to buy–and didn’t.
Holy books that have been compounded out of all the high, fine, lofty thoughts of mankind since the beginning don’t change the basic facts and the basic problems.
Men can compile their little bibles, and die, and the worms can crawl into their brain chambers and feed on the grey matter that one time compiled a bible which had no God in it, but the Light still shines.
And the Light that shone on Palestine shines on Chicago tonight without diminution. “I am the Light of the world,” He says, “and he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.”
You are responsible to the Light–and to the authority of the Word of God. You can’t hide behind differences of opinion, and you can’t hide behind church politics, you can’t hide behind philosophies.
And further, you can’t hide behind this crazy relativity of morals they are teaching in the schools now.
The Light shineth in darkness. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.” But if you quench the light, and dim it down, how great will be the darkness!
You don’t have to know a world of theology–for there is a Light shining. The Light that shines is the light from heaven, from God, the light in the face of Jesus Christ.
This is a word of caution: watch what you do with personal light. The light God has given you is for your own guidance. He says: “Come along.” But you’ve got to have your nest disturbed, the pattern of your sin destroyed, and come into the light!
The Tozer Pulpit
1994 by Christian Publications
Do you remember the old cartoon about Wylie Coyote and how he would zip across your TV screen in a flash? Beep! Beep! Gone in a flash! I used to love that cartoon. Well, to be honest, I still love it whenever I see it. It reminds me so much about how things can happen in a flash.
As I was studying my Sunday School lesson from the 4th chapter of the book of Daniel about King Nebuchadnezzar and how he had this vision about tall trees and how they reached into the sky and the foliage was so beautiful and filled with abundant fruit which provided food for so many of the beasts of the field and the branches provided shelter for the birds of the air. It was such a beautiful dream but he didn’t know what it meant, so he sent for Daniel to interpret it for him.
After Nebuchadnezzar had told Daniel his dream, Daniel, whose Babylonian name was Belteshazzar, tried to break the news to the king gently. He said, “You know, if only this dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries. That tree you saw in your dream! Well, it is you, O king.” He went on to describe the king as having become great and grown strong, and his majesty has become great and reached to the sky. My advice to you king is to chop it down and destroy it and leave the stump in the ground. He went on to say this is the decree of the Most-High.
All this was to advise the king to repent of his sins and recognize that it is Heaven that rules. He was then given a year to repent of his sins. Now, we are not given a year to think or even contemplate our sins, are we? King Nebuchadnezzar was advised to repent and God allowed him twelve months to make up his mind.
At the end of the twelve months, or one year, he was so filled with pride. He found himself walking along the top of the walls of his palace overlooking all that his pride had built. We don’t know for sure who he was talking to but he said, “Isn’t this the greatest thing I have ever built with my hands by my power? Look how beautiful it is!” And he didn’t even get all the words out of his mouth when the Lord spoke to him and declared, “sovereignty has been removed from you and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most-High is ruler… Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled, and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle…” (Dan. 4:31-32 NASB).
The whole point of the lesson to me is how quick God can take something away from us. King Nebuchadnezzar was talking and before he could finish saying the words, he was down on the ground eating grass like cattle. The Bible also says in a flash that the king lost his mind too. He was completely insane! Listen, God can take so much away from us in just a flash. Everything we own can be gone in a flash!
We are not given a year to repent of our sins or to contemplate our misgivings. We have to make that decision now! If you are one of those who have been thinking about giving your life to Christ but you haven’t done it yet, my friend, the time is NOW! Don’t wait! This opportunity can be Gone In A Flash!
I know we have all had opportunities to lead others to Christ and find them rejecting the offer. At least, I know I have. When that happens, I’m often reminded of King Agrippa’s response to the Apostle Paul in Acts 26:28 when he said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian (KJV).“ In fact, Festus called Paul a mad man and that he was out of his mind to be making such an offer to the king.
Some people are almost good too, but almost to hit the mark of being good is really to miss it altogether. In the Christian world, the word “sin” means to miss the mark. In other words, we have all fallen short of the glory of God. By that I mean, God created us to have fellowship with Him but being a descendant of the first man and woman on earth, we inherited the sin nature from them and therefore broke the fellowship God had created.
No matter how hard we try to restore that fellowship, in our own nature, we miss that mark. God only provided one way to reconnect that fellowship, and that is by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives through faith.
An almost Christian is one of the most harmful creatures in the world. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is one of those false prophets our Lord tells us to beware of, who would persuade men the way to heaven is broader than it really is.
Do you want to go through life knowing that you almost became a Christian? I didn’t think so. You don’t have to either. Today is the day of salvation. Just pray this prayer right now:
“Father, I am a sinner and I believe you sent Your Son Jesus to die for my sins. I ask you to come into my heart and save me right now. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen!”
If you prayed that prayer, I encourage you to leave a comment by clicking on the “Leave a Comment” at the top of this blog and leave me your contact information so that I can reach out to you and tell you the next step you need to take to build on your Christian walk with the Lord.
All of us are used to reading, whether it is a book or a magazine or just a note or letter from mom and dad or grandma and grandpa. And when we read, oftentimes we find something that is very interesting and piques our inner being. We often reread what we just read so that we can remember it and digest it.
I’m reminded of a story about a man’s dog who found an animal bone in his back yard from a critter that had died. The owner watched the dog as he gnawed on that bone for several minutes. Then the owner decided to go see what his dog was chewing on and as he approached his dog very carefully, the dog growled with that deep growl from within. It was not a loud growl but one of those of content. The dog was really enjoying that bone.
The dog’s growling reminded me of the lion in a verse of Scripture found in Isaiah 31:4, “…as the lion or the young lion growls over his prey…” The word “growls” caught my attention. What that dog did with that bone was making that low throaty rumble of pleasure, as the dog gnawed on that bone and savored his find.
The word in Hebrew is the word “hagah”, which means to meditate. This is a word that our Hebrew ancestors used frequently for reading the kind of writing that deals with our souls. I don’t think the word “meditate” is really the word I would want to use here. Meditate is more like what I might do in my quiet time when I’m reading God’s Word while on my knees. What the lion in Isaiah and the dog were doing is they chewed and swallowed, using tongue and stomach and intestines. The lion was meditating on his prey and the dog was meditating on that bone. There is a certain kind of writing that invites this kind of reading, soft low growls as we taste and savor, and take in the sweet and spicy mouth-watering and soul energizing morsel words as the psalmist says: “O taste and seed that the LORD is good…” (Psalm 34:8). Isaiah uses that word again a few pages later in Isaiah 38:14 for the cooing of the dove. A careful reader of this text caught the spirit of the word when he said that hagah means that a person is lost in his religion, which is exactly what the dog was into his bone. In other words, it is like allowing a lozenge to slowly dissolve in your mouth until it is gone.
I say all that to say this: I want that kind of reading when I open the Word and read quietly and try to digest what our Father is saying to me. All serious and good writing anticipates precisely this kind of reading. These kinds of words are intended to get inside us, to deal with our souls. This kind of writing anticipates and counts on a certain kind of reading–a dog-with-a-bone kind of reading.
Spiritual writing requires spiritual reading, that honors words as holy, words as a basic means of forming an intricate web of relationships between God and the human, between all things visible and invisible.
There is only one way of reading that is conforming with the Holy Scriptures, writing that trusts in the power of words to penetrate our lives and create truth and beauty and goodness, writing that requires a reader who doesn’t always focus on the words written as much as he often leans back and closes his eyes over a line he has been reading again, and its meaning spreads through his blood. This is the kind of reading named by our ancestors as lectio divina, often translated “spiritual reading”, reading that enters our souls, as food enters our stomachs, spread through our blood, and becomes holiness and love and wisdom.
If only we would all learn to read God’s Word with such anticipation, allowing it to soak our minds and hearts.
Holly Garden, PI: Red is for Rookie by Anne Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love stories in Texas. What a great read! Holly is definitely a terrific character. The book is very heartwarming and inspirational. Anne is one of my favorite fiction writers and she always keeps the language clean and easy to read. This is quite a turn from the male PI and a welcome site. Anne never ceases to put in the right plot for a mystery. I would highly recommend this book to you. You will be pleasantly surprised!
I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my honest opinion.
View all my reviews
One of my favorite country music artists is the great Travis Tritt. Although I don’t know him personally and I’ve never met him in person, he is still my favorite. On my bucket list would be the opportunity to meet him in person and talk with him about some of his many songs and ballads.
The lines from one of his songs goes like this:
“And it’s a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shining
When I close my eyes
There’s some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can’t every day be just this good.”
I was thrilled when I reached the finish line and my book was finally published. It is now available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook. I hope you will view it and even consider buying it. It will make a great present also.
When your car breaks down you take it to a mechanic who has the proper tools to fix your broken car. If you have mental or physical problems, there are trained doctors or nurses qualified to help fix your problem.
As a Christian, you will encounter spiritual problems as well. Who do you go to for your spiritual problems? When your pastor or counselor is not available to help you with your problems, you do have tools that are designed to help you with your problems. Many of those problems are caused by sin, and that requires the Great Physician—the Lord Jesus Christ. What are those tools? You will find them in my book.
A familiar song we have sung over the years called “Open My Eyes Lord,” written by Bob Cull is a song I find myself singing quietly as I begin my bible study. Part of that song also says, “Open my ears, Lord and help us to listen.” I ask God to open my ears that I might hear Him clearly. I’m reminded by the verse in Psalm 40:6 that says, “…my ears You have opened…” Clearly, we want to hear what the Lord has to say to us.
The writer of the book of Hebrews quotes nearly all the verses from this psalm. Without reservation, it is indeed a most blessed revelation. What this psalm allows us to do is actually listen to a conversation in heaven between the Father and the Son, before He ever came into the world. The Lord makes clear to us in Hebrews 10 that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins. Animal sacrifices were just insufficient. Sacrifices just would not be accepted. What was the meaning of these sacrifices? They were types, a shadow of good things to come according to Hebrews 10:1 which says, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. (NKJV)”
The Son of God in the bosom of the Father, before His incarnation, is the speaker, who declares the insufficiency of burnt-offering and sin offering. A greater, a better sacrifice is needed to solve the sin question.
In Psalm 40.6, Jesus declares His willingness to come to do the Father’s will. He says, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.” God opened His Son’s ears as he also did to Isaiah in Isaiah 50:5, “The Lord has opened my ear…” There are other instances where God opened a person’s ears (Ex. 21:1-6).
If He was to come as a servant, obedient to God, and obedient unto death, the death on the cross, He had to take on a body and that body was a body prepared for Him. He indeed came with a body prepared, nothing whatever sinful was attached to the blessed body. He was “holy” who not only did not sin, but could not sin. He came to do God’s eternal will.
You see, what we want to do is clearly hear what the Lord has to say to us. As David realized how evident God had made it possible to hear the word of God, he was given the ability to obey the Lord’s direction. It is inherent upon us to ask God to open our ears so that we can clearly hear His voice. If we are seriously listening for His voice, He will speak to us.
As God had prepared Jesus’ body to come in the flesh, He will also prepare us to hear His voice. Listen closely and patiently for God’s voice, and then obey Him. Having an open ear means trembling at the threats that God issues and the warning that God gives those who fall away and turn from him.
If we are going to be good readers of His Word, we need to have our ears opened by the Spirit so that the Spirit can write the Word of God on our hearts, so that we can be obedient to him.
COVID-19 has put many of us at home, either in self quarantine or personal isolation. Many people today are in a state of confusion and paranoia, even fear, because of this pandemic called COVID-19, or better known as the Corona Virus. At the other end of the spectrum, some believers are becoming even more lacksadaisical toward others in regard to this virus.
Understand that self quarantine or isolation is a biblical aspect rooted in Jewish tradition. In the book of Leviticus, Moses, guided by Yahweh laid out guidelines on how to deal “with a leprous” infection. In Leviticus 13:45, in talking about the test for leprosy, God says, “As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovdered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!'”
Verse 46 goes on to say, “He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.” It is obvious that, though we may not be infected, we need to keep ourselves separate from groups or even strangers we are unfamiliar with. One does not want to be put in a position of isolation, but because of the seriousness of this virus, it is most assuredly the solution for today.
One positive tool we have at our disposal during isolation is prayer. There is no better time for us to build on our own relationship with the Lord. Not only does the Lord want to hear from us, but He wants to be close to us and know our needs. This is also a great time for us to spend time in His Word.
Here is what we need to remember, the quarantine measures are aimed at not just helping ourselves but more importantly others.
Also important is the need to “wash our hands!” As simple as it is, we must adhere to that.
I am praying for everyone to be safe and practice social distancing. May God bless you and keep you healthy during this pandemic.
Yes, I have changed the name. The Christian Writer’s Office was a mouthful and also required a little more effort to share my site with others. That being said, I have changed the name to The Light Writer (thelightwriter.net). The same content is here and nothing has changed with the blogs. I will continue to write blogs but I will also be freelancing my services.
I have been published in David C. Cook Publishing Co. in their Devotions magazine. Most recently, my articles were published in the week of May 9-13 of this year 2019.
I am also in the process of writing a book that will be of help to new Christians and more mature Christians who want to get back where they should be in life. My desire is to hopefully have this book published by year end, although I can’t promise that.
I would also say that I will be creating Bible studies that will be of interest to those who are students of the Bible.
I will continue to send out a newsletter, preferably a monthly newsletter. So if you are not subscribed, let me encourage you to sign up to receive it.
Therefore, I will be putting new light, no pun intended, into the sight in the coming days and months. Thank you all who follow me and please, share my site with your friends.
Blessings to all,
Visiting with an older gentleman one day, the discussion turned to faith. I asked him outright, “Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” The man was very kind and said, “Let me tell you what I know about Jesus.”
We were sitting on his porch while he was rocking in his rocking chair. I had visited this man several times while I was pastor in the little community. Life had not been good to this old gentleman, it was plain to see. He had farmed the land around his home for over 50 years. He was rugged and had worked in the fields most of his life and his skin was well parched. His eyes showed wear from years of squinting in the sun.
The old man began by saying, “My daddy farmed this land for many years before me and taught me all I know about farming. When I was a child, the preacher used to come visit us often, much like you have been doing. My momma and daddy attended church regularly on Sundays and took me with them. I listened to preacher deliver those messages and sometimes I would get that feeling that he was talking to me, but I mostly ignored it.”
“I grew up going to that church and listened to many a pastor preach over the years. I even became friends with some of those pastors when I grew up and took over the farming. Farming came natural for me and I could grow practically anything. It didn’t take much effort from me. Oh sure, farming is hard work, don’t get me wrong. Either it’s in you or it ain’t!”
I heartily agreed with the old man. I said, “I feel the same way about being a pastor. It’s either in you, or it’s not!” I will say that I have enjoyed the fruits of the pastorate, wherever I served. I said, “continue with your story.”
The old man sat back in his rocker and continued telling his story. “My upbringing taught me to respect the pastor and his family. I did that and became very close with one pastor. For years, he would come visit now and then and we would have great conversations. Oftentimes we would talk about Jesus and I would get off on another subject. I felt like I knew Jesus pretty well.”
I told the old man, “I’m sure you heard plenty about Him when you attended church. But what I want to know is, do you know him intimately, in your heart?” I could tell that the old man was becoming somewhat uncomfortable. He would change the subject every time he felt the Holy Spirit working on him.
As many times as I have visited this man, I knew when the Holy Spirit was working on him. It was clear to me that day that he was definitely under conviction and I did not want to leave until this man knew Jesus intimately.
I decided it was time for me to take control of the conversation and I began to share my testimony about how I experienced the touch of the Master Himself. After sharing with him, I could see his eyes beginning to tear up. I paused for a moment and watched a tear trickle down this old man’s cheek. He quickly grabbed his handkerchief from his overalls and wiped the tear. Perhaps I was a little melodramatic about my testimony, but it meant that much to me. I looked at the man and he was looking directly into my eyes and I simply said to him, “I sense that you have never had an intimate relationship with Jesus. Do you want to know Him that way today?”
“I don’t know preacher, I think Jesus must have given up on me years ago. I got to where I would go to church and it was the same old thing and I was just not feeling anything,” he said.
I told him, I had heard that same story over and over during my years as a pastor. Then I reached over and placed my hand on his arm very gently and as I did, I felt the power of the Spirit go through my arm into that man’s body. I was reminded of the woman who had touched Jesus’ garment. I truly felt as though God’s Spirit was present at that moment.
I said to the man, “Do you want to know Him, right now? You can! He never gave up on you and He has been here guiding you every day and He says today is your day! Don’t let this day go by without reaching out to Him and asking Him into your heart. You can do that! Won’t you do it?”
Tears began to stream down his cheeks and this time, he did not wipe them away. He said, “Yes preacher, I do!”
With that response, I quickly said, “would you pray with me and accept Jesus right now?” He replied with a hearty YES! I then led him in the sinner’s prayer and felt the power of the Holy Spirit take over that man’s life, immediately.
When we were through praying, he said, “Is that it? That’s all I had to do?”
I said, “Yes, it is that simple. Even a child can do it. So, how do you feel?”
The man was so overjoyed and he said, “It is Him! It is Him! I feel him right here!” He pointed to his chest and said again, “It is Him! I finally know Him!”
We embraced and praised God together.
He told me how he had always read the story and even heard it preached about how Thomas had doubted that the disciples had seen Jesus. He said, “I’ve often wondered what it would be like to reach out and touch Jesus and today I now know what it’s like! Thomas, you finally showed me what happened to you. It certainly is Him!”
Isn’t it strange that so often people live this kind of life not really knowing what it’s like to know Jesus that intimately? Anyone who is open to hearing the truth and accepting it, can have that feeling today.
Yes, it is Him!