I am not searching for consensus, but truth.

I just heard these quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and I wanted to help myself remember them and so, you get to read them too. Enjoy.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”

I know that Dr. King gave the same speech more than once and I read the following quote and was not sure if it was at a different time or had been changed. Either way, I like it as well.

“A man of conscience can never be a consensus leader. He doesn’t take a stand for consensus. He is ultimately a molder of consensus. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in moments of great challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kickin the ole bucket

Genesis 49:33 “When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.

I read that verse and thought “I would like to die like that”. Jacob had just finished his last words to his sons and then had the ability to draw his feet up into the bed and boom, he’s out. Immediately my thoughts ran to the time Jesus told Peter about someone else leading him where he would not want to go “signifying by what death he would glorify God” (John 21:18-19). So, in truth, I just want to die however God would grant that I die. “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment”.

What I find fascinating is that death is a gift. Not always, and not originally (as mankind has known it)… but such is the power of Christ’s redemption. God judges the first man with death (using what Satan had wrought) and yet the last Man destroyed him who had the power of death (as any power that Satan has must be delivered to him from God) (Heb 2:14 “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”).

So now, in Christ, even death is gain! A person being in Christ, being the key for receiving, knowing, and experiencing all that is good and perfect, and a person being out of Christ being the key for receiving, knowing, and experiencing wrath, condemnation, and the destruction that death brings.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” Rom 8:1
…he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thess, 5:9

Ah, Jacob… what a way to go. I am think I am just fascinated at how this plays out… that is, at the confidence, and inspiration that it brings… and as Heb, 2:14 said, it destroys the fear of death as well. That is just more good news. I am not consumed with death by any means, in fact, I am enjoying eternal life right now. What is eternal life? John 17:3 tells us: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Hellooo.

I woke up thinking about Haiti…

I woke up thinking about Haiti this morning. It has been almost twelve years since I went there for a mission trip. I remember vividly the night sky and staring up at the stars from the roof of the mission I was staying at. I remember the sound of the voodoo drums resonating across the mountains and valleys as we traveled to a “mountain church”. I remember the signs of spirituality everywhere… spirituality with great darkness.

I have seen several posts or comments related to the tragedy in Haiti, as well as other tragedies, typically they are from atheists, that say things like, “a single penny to help the cause is better than all the prayers in the world”. I hate that saying. It is a lie.

I am well aware that there are people who hide behind words and “saying a prayer” so that they do not actually have to give or move. I am well aware that the heart that is truly moved by the love of God will manifest itself with deeds of love. I am well aware that faith without works is dead.

Don’t think for a second that money given to relief is worth more than your prayers. James 5:17 says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.” God ordained and used Elijah’s prayer to shut up rain on the land of Israel for 3 1/2 years. God can ordain and use your prayer to awaken the hearts of Haitians to the light of the glorious good news of Jesus Christ.

I keep going back to read in Luke 18:1 when it says the reason Jesus spoke the parable to them was to teach them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. Men always ought to pray and not lose heart. Men always ought to pray and not lose heart. It’s easy to lose heart. Pray.

If you cannot give abundantly physically, you can give abundantly through prayer. Not through a flippant prayer, but through earnest and fervent prayers. The “effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. God honors fervent praying. Praying that shows a broken and contrite spirit.

There are times that you may be moved to pray and that prayer comes easily. There also may be times that you have to labor and wrestle not only in prayer but just to start praying. Regardless of how easy or hard it is we must continue earnestly in prayer, pray without ceasing, and pray always and not lose heart. God hears our prayers, God uses our prayers, God ordains our prayers as the means to carry out His will in the world, and who knows what other great things are happening which we cannot see?

God is good.

The greater the appetite, the greater the affections

I have been meaning to read Jonathan Edwards on Religious Affections and was looking over some quotes from it and found this one:

“Spiritual good is of a satisfying nature; and for that very reason, the soul that tastes, and knows its nature, will thirst after it, and a fullness of it, that it may be satisfied. And the more he experiences, and the more he knows this excellent, unparalleled, exquisite, and satisfying sweetness, the more earnestly will he hunger and thirst for more, until he comes to perfection. And therefore this is the nature of spiritual affections, that the greater they be, the greater the appetite and longing is, after grace and holiness.” – Jonathan Edwards from A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections

I am in awe how this works… how it plays out in my own life and the lives of those I know. I’m thirsty.

Now I really want to read it. It is moving up the docket.