Small Things

More great quotes from my journals.  All the small things mentioned below seem small, but end up being very big and powerful–wisdom, sleep, prayer, love, worship.  Mountains look tiny until you get up close enough to climb them.  It all depends upon your perspective.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.  She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.  Proverbs 3:13-15 (ESV)

Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God…I conclude that God made sleep as a continual reminder that we should not be anxious but should rest in Him.  — John Piper

The restraint of God’s discipline (Eph. 6:4), the demonstration of God’s love (Col. 3:21), and the power of prayer (Job 1:5), God has ordained, regularly and normally, to work through these means for the salvation of the children of believers.  For this Chris died.  Christian parents honor the blood of Jesus when they follow His ways for the sake of their children.  — John Piper

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  — Mother Teresa

Worship is the act of magnifying God.  Enlarging our vision of Him.  Stepping into the cockpit to see where He sits and observe how He works.  Of course, His size doesn’t change, but our perception of Him does.  As we draw nearer, He seems larger.  Isn’t that what we need?  A big view of God?  — Max Lucado, Grace for the Moment

 

 

 

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Compassion Quotes

Here are some quotes from my journals that relate to giving to others in need:

James 1:17 tells us our Father is the giver of all good gifts.  Throughout all of eternity, we will be lavished in the limitless wealth of the CEO of the universe.  Until then, we show ourselves to be sons and daughters of the one true God when we give, give, and give.  Let’s keep shoving that abundance out the door to help others in need, and God will lay up treasures for us in His own divine storage lot.  — Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 237

Don’t be afraid, you tiny flock!  Your Father plans to give you the Kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give the money away.  Get yourselves purses that never grow old, inexhaustible treasure in Heaven, where no thief can ever reach it, or moth ruin it.  For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!  Luke 12:33-34 (PHI)

I decided not to run away from the massive effect that my mother had on my life.  At that point, the lyrics and ideas began to flow more easily.  With all my records, I’m just regurgitating what she put in me.  For example, “Don’t Lose Your Steam” was a message I got from my mother…I was thinking about how she always helped the homeless, the hungry, the handicapped, anybody who needed some elevation.  Thought about it for years.  But how do I get that out in a song?  “Oh, they build their houses in preparation for the King/ and they line the sidewalks with every sort of shiny thing/ They will be surprised when they hear Him say/ Take me to the alley/ Take me to the afflicted ones.”  That is how my mother operated–she would go to the alleys, to Skid Row, and try to help people.  –Gregory Porter regarding his tunes, “Don’t Lose Your Steam” and “Take Me to the Alley”

If the bottom falls out, if the bridges fall down/Don’t lose your head of steam, don’t lose your dreams.  — Gregory Porter

Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless.  Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.  Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal.  — Isaiah 58:7-8a (NLT)

Infinite Distance

When we think of God’s holiness, the first thought that usually comes to mind is moral purity.  This is certainly an important aspect of it, as we shall see.  But when the seraphs called out, “Holy, holy, holy,” they meant something far more profound and fundamental.  The Hebrew word for holy is qadosh, which generally means, “cut off,” or “separate.”  When used of God, the word expresses the idea of separateness or “otherness.”  God is wholly “other” from all His creation, from angels, from men, and especially from sinful man.  He is absolutely distinct from all his creatures and is infinitely exalted above them in incomprehensible glory and majesty.  R. C. Sproul uses the word transcendence to describe this holiness:  “When we speak of the transcendence of God we are talking about that sense in which God is above and beyond us.  It tries to get at His supreme and altogether greatness…Transcendence describes God in His consuming majesty, His exalted loftiness.  It points to the infinite distance that separates Him from every creature…”  — Jerry Bridges, The Joy of Fearing God, pg. 66-67

Be Still and Listen

I never understand people that force having their way.  It’s always so much better to wait quietly, listen to God and trust in His way and timing.  Patience and kindness to others, especially when we disagree, is always best.

Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in “the shadow of His hand” (Isaiah 49:2).  The saint’s duty is to be still and listen.  There is a darkness that comes from too much light–that is the time to listen.  The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light.  When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait.  God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing.  Never try to help God fulfill His word.  Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all his self-sufficiency was destroyed.  He got past the point of relying on his own common sense.  Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure.  There’s never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him.  (see Isaiah 50:10-11)  — Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Special Gift

One Christmas my wife gave me a book I had wanted for a long time.  It was a rather obscure book on N. C. Wyeth.  When I discovered it (she had tried to hide it in the wardrobe) I was surprised and happy.  I didn’t hug the book, however, and give it a big sloppy kiss.  No, I dropped the book and embraced her, the one who had given such a special gift.  — Michael Card, Joy in the Journey

No Miracle

Those who passed by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!  Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”  — Matthew 27:39-40

If ever a moment demanded a miracle, it was this moment.  The crowds are clamoring and calling out for it.  So are the two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus.  Above all, it would seem that common sense demands it.  Now is the moment.  Now is the time to show them your miraculous power!  In the course of Jesus’ misunderstood life, this is the moment He is most misunderstood.  The crowd still clamors for miracles.  But He did not come to give them miracles; He came to give them Himself.  And on the cross He is doing precisely that.  The cross reveals to us that Jesus’ greatest miracle was His refusal at that moment to perform a miracle at all.  –Michael Card, Joy in the Journey

Overcoming

This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden…But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out…you know very well what I would see; brigands on the high road, pirates on the seas, in the amphitheaters men murdered to please the applauding crowds…Yet in the midst of it, I have found a quiet and holy people…they are despised and persecuted, but they care not.  They have overcome the world.  These people, Donatus, are Christians.  –St. Cyprian writing to his friend, Donatus, in the 3rd century