Everything Becomes Formal

You will always observe that when forms of service become formal, the Spirit is less in evidence, and you move further away from the New Testament. The very characteristic of the New Testament Church was this spontaneity, this life, this living quality, this vivacity. But, as you fall away from the Spirit and his influence, everything becomes formal.

~ Martin Lloyd Jones (1899-1981)

Prevailing in Prayer

“And Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good.”

~ Genesis 32:12

This is the sure way of prevailing with the LORD in prayer. We may humbly remind Him of what He has said. Our faithful God will never run back from His word, nor will He leave it unfulfilled; yet He loves to be enquired of by His people and put in mind of His promise. This is refreshing to their memories, reviving to their faith, and renewing to their hope. God’s Word is given, not for His sake, but for ours. His purposes are settled, and He needs nothing to bind Him to His design of doing His people good; but He gives the promise for our strengthening and comfort. Hence He wishes us to plead it and say to Him, “Thou saidst.”

~ Charles Spurgeon, Devotional on Genesis 32:12

Pray, Pray, Pray

If we would do much for God, we must ask much of God… I cannot insist on this too much. Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, and the third thing necessary for a minister, especially in seasons of revival… Pray, then, my dear brother, pray, pray, pray.

~ Edward Payson (1783-1827)

A Slave To Riches

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24 (NKJV)

Christ returns to the former doctrine, the object of which was to withdraw his disciples from covetousness. He had formerly said, that the heart of man is bound and fixed upon its treasure; and he now gives warning, that the hearts of those who are devoted to riches are alienated from the Lord. For the greater part of men are wont to flatter themselves with a deceitful pretense, when they imagine, that it is possible for them to be divided between God and their own lusts.

Christ affirms that it is impossible for any man to obey God, and, at the same time, to obey his own flesh. This was, no doubt, a proverb in common use: No man can serve two masters He takes for granted a truth which had been universally admitted, and applies it to his present subject: where riches hold the dominion of the heart, God has lost his authority. True, it is not impossible that those who are rich shall serve God; but whoever gives himself up as a slave to riches must abandon the service of God: for covetousness makes us the slaves of the devil.

~ John Calvin’s Commentary on Matthew 6:24