Today With Tozer

The Kingdom of God
Yet in their pride men assert their will and claim ownership of the earth. Well, for a time it is true, this is man’s world. God is admitted only by man’s sufferance. He is treated as visiting royalty in a democratic country. Everyone takes His name upon his lips and (especially at certain seasons) He is feted and celebrated and hymned. But behind all this flattery men hold firmly to their right of self-determination. As long as man is allowed to play host he will honor God with his attention, but always He must remain a guest and never seek to be Lord. Man will have it understood that this is his world; he will make its laws and decide how it shall be run. God is permitted to decide nothing. Man bows to Him and as he bows, manages with difficulty to conceal the crown upon his own head.

When we enter the Kingdom of God, however, we are in another kind of world. It is altogether other than the old world from which we came; always it is different from and mostly it is contrary to the old. Where the two appear to be alike it is only in appearance, for the first is of the earth earthy, the second is from heaven. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The first will perish; the last abides forever.

Verse
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
John 3:6

Thought
Man will have it understood that this is his world; he will make its laws and decide how it shall be run. God is permitted to decide nothing.

Prayer
Father, we long to born of Your Spirit, to live forever in Your presence.

Devotional

Alpha and Omega

Here we acknowledge (and there is fear and wonder in the thought) the essential unity of God’s nature, the timeless persistence of His changeless Being throughout eternity and time. Here we begin to see and feel the Eternal Continuum. Begin where we will, God is there first. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which was, and which is, and which is to come, the Almighty. If we grope back to the farthest limits of thought where imagination touches the pre-creation void, we shall find God there. In one unified present glance He comprehends all things from everlasting, and the flutter of a seraph’s wing a thousand ages hence is seen by Him now without moving His eyes.

Once I should have considered such thoughts to be mere metaphysical bric-a-brac without practical meaning for anyone in a world such as this. Now I recognize them as sound and easy-to-grasp truths with unlimited potential for good. Failure to get a right viewpoint in the beginning of our Christian lives may result in weakness and sterility for the rest of our days. May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the Kingdom like children through the marketplace, chattering about everything, but pausing to learn the true value of nothing?

Verse

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”Revelation 1:8

Thought

Failure to get a right viewpoint in the beginning of our Christian lives may result in weakness and sterility for the rest of our days.

Prayer

Let us not be like chattering children, Father God, but let us have the patience to pause and learn of You.

Today With Tozer

Infinite and Eternal

No one was ever saved other than by grace, from Abel to the present moment. Since mankind was banished from the eastward Garden, none has ever returned to the divine favor except through the sheer goodness of God. And wherever grace found any man it was always by Jesus Christ. Grace indeed came by Jesus Christ, but it did not wait for His birth in the manger or His death on the cross before it became operative. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The first man in human history to be reinstated in the fellowship of God came through faith in Christ. In olden times men looked forward to Christ’s redeeming work; in later times they gaze back upon it, but always they came and they come by grace, through faith.

We must keep in mind also that the grace of God is infinite and eternal. As it had no beginning, so it can have no end, and being an attribute of God, it is as boundless as infinitude.

Verse

All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. ~ Revelation 13:8

Thought

Just as God’s grace had no beginning, so it can have no end, and being an attribute of God, it is as boundless as infinitude.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for Your great grace through which men and women in the past and men and women still today come into Your presence.

Today With Tozer

One and Inseparable

We benefit eternally by God’s being just what He is. Because He is what He is, He lifts up our heads out of the prison house, changes our prison garments for royal robes, and makes us to eat bread continually before Him all the days of our lives.

Grace takes its rise far back in the heart of God, in the awful and incomprehensible abyss of His holy being; but the channel through which it flows out to men is Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The Apostle Paul, who beyond all others is the exponent of grace in redemption, never disassociates God’s grace from God’s crucified Son. Always in his teachings the two are found together, organically one and inseparable.

A full and fair summation of Paul’s teaching on this subject is found in his Epistle to the Ephesians: “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Verse
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Ephesians 1:5

Thought
Grace takes its rise far back in the heart of God, in the awful and incomprehensible abyss of His holy being; but the channel through which it flows out to men is Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.

Prayer
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of grace that comes through Your Son, Jesus Christ!

Today With Tozer

The Good Pleasure of God
God of all grace, whose thoughts toward us are ever thoughts of peace and not of evil, give us hearts to believe that we are accepted in the Beloved; and give us minds to admire that perfection of moral wisdom which found a way to preserve the integrity of heaven and yet receive us there. We are astonished and marvel that one so holy and dread should invite us into Tby banqueting house and cause love to be the banner over us. We cannot express the gratitude we feel, but look Thou on our hearts and read it there. Amen.

In God mercy and grace are one; but as they reach us they are seen as two, related but not identical.

As mercy is God’s goodness confronting human misery and guilt, so grace is His goodness directed toward human debt and demerit. It is by His grace that God imputes merit where none previously existed and declares no debt to be where one bad been before.

Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused propensity to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapprobation. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Verse
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 2:6

Thought
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving.

Prayer
We are the undeserving, Father, but we thank You for Your grace that You have richly bestowed on us.

Today With Tozer

God Is Merciful

Could our failure to capture the pure joy of mercy consciously experienced be the result of our unbelief or our ignorance, or both? It was so once in Israel. “I bear them record,” Paul testified of Israel, “that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” They failed because there was at least one thing they did not know, one thing that would have made the difference. And of Israel in the wilderness the Hebrew writer says, “But the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” To receive mercy we must first know that God is merciful. And it is not enough to believe that He once showed mercy to Noah or Abraham or David and will again show mercy in some happy future day. We must believe that God’s mercy is boundless, free and, through Jesus Christ our Lord, available to us now in our present situation.

We may plead for mercy for a lifetime in unbelief, and at the end of our days be still no more than sadly hopeful that we shall somewhere, sometime, receive it. This is to starve to death just outside the banquet hall into which we have been warmly invited. Or we may, if we will, lay hold on the mercy of God by faith, enter the hall, and sit down with the bold and avid souls who will not allow diffidence and unbelief to keep them from the feast of fat things prepared for them.

Arise, my soul, arise;

     Shake off thy guilty fears;

The bleeding Sacrifice

     In my behalf appears:

Before the throne my Surety stands,

My name is written on His bands.

My God is reconciled;

     His pardoning voice I bear:

     He owns me for His child;

     I can no longer fear:

With confidence I now draw nigh,

And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

          Charles Wesley

Verse
For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
Hebrews 4:2

Thought
We may plead for mercy for a lifetime in unbelief, and at the end of our days be still no more than sadly hopeful that we shall somewhere, sometime, receive it.

Prayer
Father, may we not be like the Israelites, who heard the message of hope but did not combine it with faith.

Today With Tozer

The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us.

~ Aiden Wilson Tozer ~