Church According to Tozer…

Faith in Jesus is not commitment to your church or denomination. I believe in the local church; I am not a tabernacle man. I believe in the divine assembly. We ought to realize that we are, as a group of Christians, a divine assembly, a cell in the body of Christ, alive with His life. But not for one second would I try to create in you a faith that would lead you to commit yourself irrevocably to a local church or to your church leaders. You are not asked to follow your church leaders. You are not asked like a little robin on the nest to open your innocent little mouth and just take anything I put in. If what I put in is not biblical food, regurgitate and do not be afraid to do it. Call me or come see me or write me an anonymous letter. But do something about it. Do not, by any means, swallow what your leaders give you. Here is the book, the Bible; go to it. Faith is faith in Jesus Christ, God”s Son. It is total faith in Christ and not in a denomination or church, though you may love the church and respect and love your leaders and your denomination. But your commitment is to Christ.
A. W. Tozer Sermon: The Danger of Mis-placed Commitment


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I recently read a “Statement of Faith” from a church in my area. They stated that a 10% tithe is a requirement for being in agreement with them. I see a couple of problems with this.

First Problem

Many Christians simply cannot afford to give 10%. They either are barely making enough to get by or have mismanaged their funds. This “requirement” will alienate them, embarrass or even humiliate them. So, perhaps we should offer them financial counseling so they can get their finances in order? Don’t get me wrong. I believe that we should give to God, without a doubt.

I counseled a couple a few years ago about giving. The wife said, “If we don’t tithe, God will give me a flat tire!” I replied, “Do you tithe?” “Yes,” she said. I replied, “Do you ever get flat tires?” She paused for a moment and said, “Yes.” I replied, “Then what is wrong with your thinking?” She considered tithing a legal obligation, so much so, that if she didn’t God would punish her. Nothing could be further from the truth. Such is the same with this church statement of faith.

To require 10% as a legal obligation will limit the range of people you will be able to minister to.

Second Problem

Many Christians can afford to give more than 10%. Significantly more. When I pastored full time, I went to a pastor’s conference. One of the speakers encouraged us to challenge our congregation to give 10%. As some of us discussed this afterwards, I told them that if I told the congregation to give 10% the offerings would decrease, not increase!

The Solution?

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NKJV)

Teach the Word and trust God to speak to the heart of each believer.

Think about it…



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Sunday Quotes

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.” Jim Elliot

“God knows you intimately. That means all the good as well as the bad. And He still is madly in love with us.” Jon Clayton

“We may depend upon God’s promises, for He will be as good as His Word. He is so kind that He cannot deceive us, so true that He cannot break His promise.” Matthew Henry

“Continue seeking Him with seriousness. Unless he wanted you, you would not be wanting Him.” C.S. Lewis

“We may be statistics and numbers as far as the world’s computers are concerned, but we are precious individuals as far as our Shepherd is concerned. He knows his sheep personally.” Warren Wiersbe

“The Oriental shepherd was always ahead of his sheep. He was down in front. Any attack upon them had to take him into account. Now God is down in front. He is in the tomorrows. It is tomorrow that fills men with dread. God is there already. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us.” F.B. Meyer

“Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. We are apt to over look this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest


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Great Faith

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” Romans 1:8, NKJV

Oh, to have great faith! How marvelous that would be. To be able to trust God in any and all circumstances, not because we cannot trust Him; we can, it is just that so often, we don’t. How many times I have despaired of hope, yet He remains faithful!

The faith of the believers had been so notorious, it was spoken of throughout the whole Roman Empire! To be such a man as to have my faith so known!

George Muller was such a man. This is just a few things he said about faith:

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”

“If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time.”

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testing’s.”

Trusting God in the midst of every circumstance should be simple for us. Just look at His record of faithfulness in our lives. Yet, we doubt so often.

When Peter sank beneath the waves (after walking on water, no less), Jesus said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31, NKJV), I do not believe it was a stern rebuke. It was, I believe, the tender voice of love, encouraging him not to doubt, but to believe.

Have you heard that tender voice? I have, more times than I can remember. Yet, He has not changed. Even if we do doubt Him, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Think about it…


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“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” Job 6:14, NKJV

Over the years, I have judged by some of the best. You see, it is unfortunate, but Job’s comforters still exist. There are those who just can’t seem to keep from judging everything you say and do.

Now it is important to understand that Job was not guilty of any wrongdoing: “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:22, NKJV

Job’s “friends” told him that it was obvious that he had some sin that, while though he had did it from men, he could not hid it from God. And God was judging him for his sin. Now essentially Job told them, “even if I had forsaken the fear of the Almighty, you ‘men of God’ should show me kindness.”

Now, at the end of the book, God speaks and says, “Who are these who don’t know what they are talking about?” If you have been a victim of these know-it-all’s you know how Job feels. Lord knows, I do.

But that is another story.

Think about it…

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Tragedy in the Church

“Ruling out the discernment and leadership of the Holy Spirit is the only possible explanation for the manner in which Christian churches have yielded to the temptation to entertain.”

A.W. Tozer wrote this before his death in 1963, yet it is still applicable. That is because his words were the Holy Spirits words, that which He desired to declare.

There are those who don’t like Tozer, believing him to be harsh, even judgmental. In his day, there were those who disliked him as well.

Harley Howard, a contemporary of Tozer, wrote, “unquestionably (Tozer) one of the greatest men who ever preached the Bible, was a man ridiculed while he lived because he was so ‘out of touch’ with the religious establishment around him. What made him so ‘out of touch’ with those around him was the fact that he was so “in touch” with God.”

Perhaps, man of God, you are discouraged because you are not appearing to have an “impact” (as men measure “impact”). Perhaps men have accused you of being out of touch because you do not join in the “entertainment.” Perhaps you are not the one who is out of touch?

Think about it…


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The Goodness of God

“The goodness of God leads you to repentance…” Romans 2:4 (NKJV)

In the midst of warning men about the consequences of their sins, Paul writes the above sentence. He is telling us that the call to repentance is because God is good! When God calls the unbeliever or believer to repentance, it is because of His goodness towards us.

The enemy of our faith is constantly lying to us about God. His lies usually go something like this:

“God is trying to keep you from having fun… He is keeping something good from you… if you give these things up, your life will be a drag…”

The truth is, when God is asking us to turn away from sin, it is for two reasons:

1. He desires to protect us. Paul goes on to tell us in Romans the consequences (wages) of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Following the world and the things of the world has only one consequence – death. So, God in calling us to turn away (repent) from the things of the world, He is protecting us from a life time of pain and sorrow (even though it may seem like fun now) and eventual death.

2. He desires to provide for us. Submitting your life to God is not the drag the enemy of our faith says it is. John the beloved says, “His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3, NKJV). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, these words are true. God cannot lie! He has something significantly better for your life right now! Abundant life now and life eternal with Him.

Now, let me say that the Christian life is difficult. Jesus said it best: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14, NKJV)

It is difficult to be a Christian. Jesus said so. But it is even more difficult to continue in sin. So, when He calls us to repent, it is because of His goodness towards us.

I believe that we are living on the edge of eternity. At any time Jesus could return for His Church. Will we be ready? Will He find us in sin, complacent, absorbed by the things of the world? Or will He find us working, watching and waiting?

Think about it…


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