Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love - by Milton Vincent

"Re-preaching the gospel and then showing how it applied to life was Paul's choice method for ministering to believers, thereby providing a divinely inspired pattern for me to follow when ministering to myself and to other believers." (pg. 13)

"When God chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world, He did not merely choose me to be 'holy and blameless'; He chose me also to be 'before Him in love.' To be sure, I am always in God's presence on earth, and in heaven I will be in His presence more fully than ever. But it could also be said that in this life I am especially 'before Him in love' when I come 'before Him' in prayer and worship." (pg. 35)

"...the key to mortifying fleshly lusts is to eliminate the emptiness within me and replace it with fullness; and I accomplish this by feasting on the gospel." (pg. 46)

"The gospel is called 'the gospel of God,' not simply because it is from God, nor merely because it is accomplished through God, but also because ultimately it leads me to God, who is Himself its greatest Prize." (pg. 49)

Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love (Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing, 2008)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

If God Already Knows Why Pray? - by Douglas F. Kelly

"The better you know God the more certain it is that you will pray to Him." (pg. 21)

"At last, here is the answer to the question: what is God like? This is what the triune God is like: life, light, and love. That is the secret to this universe and the key to understanding everything that exists." (pg. 26)

"Praise takes us outside ourselves, above all our petty worries, and catches us up in something wonderful and ennobling. It catches us up into the very purposes and the person of God." (pg. 45)

"In the prayers of His people, as everywhere else, our God has the initiative. This is very encouraging if we grasp what it means! Effective prayers start in heaven and are sent down to us by God Himself." (pg. 63)

"It is the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous man (that) prevails. But what renders prayer 'effectual'? Not its length, not its vehemence, not its eloquence, not its passion, but simply the living sympathy which is established between the soul pleading in the closet, and the Saviour interceding in the heavens." [quote by B. M. Palmer] (pg. 64)

"Chosen by the Father to be engrafted by the Spirit and bonded by faith into His son, we have an incredibly happy, new family identity: we are united to Christ! How different our prayers are when we kneel down with an awareness of who we are and what we have in Christ!" (pg. 86)

"Power in prayer is found not by looking at ourselves, but by concentrating on the one with whom and through whom we wrestle. Instead of fainting, we need to keep looking to Jesus, who will enable us to win the battle of intercession." (pg. 140ff)

Douglas F. Kelly, If God Already Knows Why Pray? (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1995)