Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Courage with Moderation

At this time of year, more hearts seem to be open to listen to the message of the gospel. Although we need to use every opportunity given by the Lord to spread God's love everyday, this is a time where there may be a chance to act in love toward someone who would never otherwise receive the message. Christmas is the chance to share the birth of Christ. Let us pray for quiet "hearing" hearts, presenting ourselves to the Lord in humbleness as He works every good thing for His purpose.

I was reminded in this great read that people cause more damage than good among God's people, among people looking in at us, and just in general, get in the way of the Lord working because they strive to stress their own voice, instead of hearing the voice of the Lord.
A.W. Tozer pastored from 1929 to 1967. His intellectual, biblical insight amazes me. The reminder was "Courage with Moderation." This excerpt was taken from "God Tells the Man Who Cares."

"The inability of even the most devout souls to show forth the Christian virtues in equal proportion and without admixture of unChristlike qualities has been the source of heartache to many of God's believing people. The virtues before us, courage and moderation, when held in correct proportion, make for a well-balanced life and one of great usefulness in the the kingdom of God. Where one is missing or present in only minute degree, the result is a life out of balance and powers wasted.

Almost any sincere writing, if examined closely, will be found to be autobiographic. We know best what we have ourselves experienced." ..Briefly, I have seldom been called a coward, even by my most cordial enemies, but my want of moderation has sometimes caused grief to my dearest friends. An extreme disposition is not easy to tame, and the temptation to bring severe, immoderate methods to the aid of the Lord is not one easily resisted." {my note: How often do we think we are running to 'aid' our Lord in His Work, when our tone and disposition is completely without moderation and our thoughts are not taken wholly before God before opening our mouths? Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.}

He continues.."There is a ministerial immunity accorded a man of God which may lead a 'Son of Thunder' into extravagant and irresponsible language unless he uses heroic measures to bring his nature under the sway of the Spirit of Love. This I have sometimes failed to do, and always to my own real sorrow. Here again the contrast between the ways of God and the ways of man is seen. Apart from such wisdom as painful experience may give, we are prone to try to secure our ends by direct attack, to rush the field and win by assault. Of Christ it was said, (Matthew 12:19-20: "He shall not strive, nor cry, nor any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till He send forth judgment into victory." {Amen} He achieved His tremendous purposes without undue physical exertion and altogether without violence. His whole life was marked by moderation; yet He was of all men the most utterly courageous. He could send back word to Herod who had threatened Him, "Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I will be perfected." Luke 13:32 There is no sign of contempt, no extravagance of word or act. He had courage with moderation."

A.W. Tozer (I highly recommend any book written by him!)
As you celebrate the birth of our Savior, let your humble, inner light shine forth. Glory to God in the Highest, Theresa

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