Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Look

The Look

Text Matthew 5:27-30

This is sheer brilliance from Ortberg. The emphasis is the importance of teaching on sexuality, and the universal struggle that it is for Christians.

The overall thrust is that there is no sin that God cannot forgive one who repents.

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 8

A Dentist for C.T. Studd

  Key Words Healing Prayer
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 228
  Quote THERE was a great sensation among the natives when one Sunday before a congregation of 1,000, C. T. appeared with a new set of shining white teeth. He had had much trouble with his’teeth, or the few that remained of them, and for some time had only been able to live practically on slops. One day, when some of the missionaries were with him, one of them said, ” Bwana, you know you ought to go home and get your teeth seen to.” But we knew what his answer would be before he spoke. ” If God wants me to have some new teeth, He can just as easily send me some here.” We all took it as a joke and laughed, but God had heard ! A few months later a dentist in England wrote to the Committee and offered his services for the Heart of Africa. The Committee considered his application, but finding him ten years over the age limit, refused him. But that did not daunt him. He sold up his practice, with the proceeds bought a passage to the mouth of the Congo and set off by him¬self. Arrived there, he began to practise dentistry amongst officials and traders, and in a few months had made enough money to complete the journey into the interior.

C. T.’s youngest daughter Pauline and her husband were then on their way home. They were travelling by native canoe, a fortnight’s journey on the Aruwimi river down to the point where it joins the Congo. One morning early, as they were being paddled along, they saw another canoe approaching from the opposite direction, making for the interior. In it was a white man. They wondered who it could be, for white travellers were very rare in those regions. As the canoes drew near to each other they called out a greeting in English, to be answered in the same language. It was an Englishman. In a few minutes we discovered that this was Mr. Buck, the dentist, on his way to join Mr. Studd. It was breakfast time, so we drew into the bank, got out into the forest, and had a meal and some prayer together. Then just as we were parting, Mr. Buck took Mrs. Grubb aside and said, ” As you are a daughter of Mr. Studd, I would like to tell you a secret that I have told no one else. God has sent me to the Heart of Africa not only to preach the Gospel, but also to bring Mr. Studd a new set of teeth, and I have brought with me all that is necessary for making and fitting them ! ” Mr. Buck arrived, extracted Mr. Studd’s remaining teeth, opera¬ting on his mouth so thoroughly that C. T.’s comment afterwards was that he ” felt like the poet who wrote :
Gums, gums everywhere But not a sign of teeth I “
Then C. T. himself tells the remainder of the story :

“When Buck arrived, he said, ‘ The first thing God sent me to Congo to do was your teeth.’ Just fancy God sending a dentist to the very Heart of Africa to look after the teeth of His child, who could not return home ! ! ! What wonder will God not do next ?
” I have heard much about bears with sore heads, but just at present I am thinking much more of the poor bears with sore teeth, for the gums are yet un-healed, so the adopted family of my mouth is rather wearing. I can sing much better with the plates in, for so much empty air does not escape and the plate acts as a sounding board, but they get so sore that I have to remove them after a while. Imagine the scene last Sunday. I began the big meeting with teeth all in place. Hallelujahs and wonder. But it was too much, so during prayer I removed them, then as we sang again, you should have seen the faces of the blacks simply consternation ! Who had extracted Bwana’s teeth while we prayed ? Whenever I appear now, every eye settles on my mouth to see if it is their old Bwana or the new one with the teeth. The boys came along the other day, so I put my lower plate lightly in, sat down on a low stool, took up a pair of nippers and pulled out eight teeth with one pull Tableau !”

The first set never fitted him really well, and as a ‘consequence were often to be found lying on his writing table doing duty as a pen rack. One day he had a narrow shave. He received an unexpected visit from an official. He was only told of his coming when he was a short distance from the house and only just had time to wash the ink stains off his teeth and pop them in his mouth !

The joy of the last years

  Key Words Joy Contentment
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 233
  Quote Yet the joy of these years far outweighed the suffering, for God had given him to see the two great desires of his heart – unity amongst the missionaries and manifest evidences of the Holy Ghost at work amongst the natives.

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 7

Beneath the surface

Key Words Sin Debauchery
Source C.T. Studd
Source Author Grubb, Norman
Location 189
Quote Studd’s impression of the Africa which lay beneath the surface of happiness and healthiness:Stop in a village with a few medecines and see them come in, children with sores from head to foot, men and womn with gaping ulcers on their legs, the fingerless and toeless leper, babies with their little soft heads squeezed out of shape by the cord bound tightly around, according to the universal custom which demands that the shape of their heads must be, not round, but long and narrow.

Talk to them and watch their faces, the furrow on the foreheads of the old mem, not merely of old age but of fear and darkness and devilry; gross sensuality and cruelty on nearly every face.

Get inside their lives as best a white man may, and learn of the utter debauchery, so that neither lad not girl is pure, “who being past feeling have given themselves over until lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness”; the stranglehold of the witchcraft upon them, a mixture of fear and murder and beastliness, fear of evil-spirits around them, murder because their never-ending attempts to do away with neighbours or relatives by working witchcraft on them, and beastliness because of the unnameable rituals of these secret societies; marriage almost always a purely business contract between father and suitor; bringing the father more “wealth” to buy himself another wife, and the husband a drudge and mother for his children.

See their hopeless ignorance, they have never once heard of a God who loves and cares, they have no conception of holiness or heaven, they have never seen a book.

And yet see one step further. See as God sees: see hearts that can be washed white as snow and their very desires changed; see souls that can receive eternal life: see bodies that can be possessed by the Spirit of Christ and all their powers used to show Him forth. And then we see the Divine Urge that drove C.T. on to capture this good land for Christ.

References Given themselves up (Romans 1)

Anything else left

Key Words Sacrifice Service Discipleship
Source C.T. Studd
Source Author Grubb, Norman
Location 196
Quote I have searched into my life and do not know of anything else left that I can sacrifice to the Lord Jesus

State of the Church

Key Words Righteousness Sin
Source C.T. Studd
Source Author Grubb, Norman
Location 208
Quote We are all gloriously discontented with the condition of the native Church. It is all very well to sing hymns and go to worship, but what we must see are the fruits of the Spirit and a really changed life and heart, a hatred of sin, and a passion for righteousness. God can do it and we must be content with nothing less.

A Gethsemane

Key Words Suffering Pain Gethsemane
Source C.T. Studd
Source Author Grubb, Norman
Location 212
Quote Sometimes I feel, and especially of late, that my cross is heavy beyond endurance, and I fear I often fell like fainting under it, but I hope to go on and not faint. My heart seems worn out and bruised beyond repair, and in my deep loneliness I often wish to be gone, but God knows best, and I want to do every ounce of work He wants me to do.
References Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36)
Gethsemane (Mark 14:32)
Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39-46)

Soldiers of Christ

Key Words Discipleship Commitment
Source C.T. Studd
Source Author Grubb, Norman
Location 214
Quote This is our need to-night! Will God give to us as He gave to them ? Yes! What are the conditions ? They are ever the same, ‘ Sell out!’ God’s price is one. There is no discount. He gives ALL to such as give ALL. ALL ! ALL ! ALL ! Death to ALL the world, to ALL the flesh, to the devil, and to perhaps the worst enemy of all YOURSELF.”
But how illustrate so great a matter? The talk turned to the Great War and the heroism of the British Tommy, who went ” over the top ” at the word of command, and did it, knowing all the odds were against his coming back alive. But how describe this spirit ? The question was asked of some who were present and had been soldiers, and one replied, ” Well, the way the Sergeant-major would describe it is that Tommy doesn’t care what happens to him so long as he does his duty by his king, his country, his regiment and himself.” Those words were the spark just needed to set the train alight. Bwana arose, raised his arm and said, ” That is what we need, and that is what I want! Oh, Lord, henceforth I won’t care what happens to me, life or death, aye, or hell, so long as my Lord Jesus Christ is glorified.” One after another all who were present rose and made the same vow, ” I don’t care what happens to me, joy or sorrow, health or pain, life or death, so long as Jesus is glorified.”

Good Christianity

Key Words Service
Source C.T. Studd
Source Author Grubb, Norman
Location 222
Quote Good Christianity and lazy or bad workmanship are an utter contradiction.

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 6

The call

  Key Words Salvation Repentance Discipleship
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 163
  Quote Christ’s call is to feed the hungry, not the full; to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; not to call the scoffers, but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapls, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers and artistic musical performances, but to raise living churches of souls among the destitute, to capture men from the devil’s clutches and snatch them from the very jaws of hell, to enlist and train them for Jesus, and make them into an Almighty Army of God. But this can only be accomplished by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion, where neither Church nor State, neither man nor traditions are worshipped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified.
     
  References Christ and him Crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2)

The bayonet of evangelism

  Key Words Devil Evangelism
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 164
  Quote Fools would “cut” the devil, pretending they do not see him; others erect a tablet over his supposed grave. Be wise, don t’ cut or bury him, kill him with the bayonet of evangelism.
     
  References Spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6)

Grabbers of the impossible

  Key Words Vision Hope Adventure
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 165
  Quote Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.

Within a yard of hell

  Key Words Evangelism Damnation
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 166
  Quote Some wish to live within the sound
Of Church or Chapel bell,
I want to run a Rescue Shop
Within a yard of hell.

The Devil’s Dogs

  Key Words Warfare Conflict Sanctification
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 173
  Quote The last impromptu meeting was under the mango tree. Here’s my final advice to them:
1. If you don’t desire to meet the Devil during the day, meet Jesus before dawn.
2. If you don’t want the Devil to hit you, hit him first, and hit him with all your might, so that he may be too crippled to hit back. “Preach the Word” is the rod the Devil fears and hates.
3. If you don’t want to fall – walk, and walk straight and walk fast!
4. Three of the Devil’s dogs with which he hunts us are:
– Swelled head; Laziness; Cupidity

Much knowledge of God

  Key Words Knowledge Revelation
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 176
  Quote Many chiefs were imploring C.T.Studd to send them teachers
“Four men came 20 days’ journey to Nala, and when asked why, said, “All the world knows there is much knowledge of God in Nala.'”

Impassioned preaching

  Key Words Preaching Death
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 182
  Quote From Webb Peploe

I’ll preach as though I ne’er shall preach again
And as a dying man to dying men.

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 5

Anointed by oil

  Key Words Healing Attack Disease Trust
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 148
  Quote Describes battle with African fever, Studd writes:

“Here I was permitted to sample the African fever so frequently as to know it by hear, but without any increase of affection. It was like being repeatedly ducked by the devil, and once I though hae ducked me too much. But as each time on coming up on spluttered out, “Sold again, old chap” he finally got so annoyed that he went and sat down in the sulks and left us alone. That big ducking was an ugly affair: the fever mounted, the weakness increased, all the medicines had failed, and the time for disappearing seemed to have arrived: the darkest hour brought a brilliant flash of memory: “I any sick let him call for the elders of the Church and let them anoint him with oil,” etc.

Studd then tells of going and there being no oil but kerosene but that this was okay because all the book specified was oil.

We can trust him too little, but we cannot trust God too much.

     
  References Anointed by the elders (James 5)

Disappointment

  Key Words Disappointment Pain Sorrow
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 150
  Quote The disappointment was hidden from our eyes, thank God, and once again we learned that the “dis” is more rightly spelt “His”.

Raising up friends

  Key Words Friendship Loneliness
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 151
  Quote If a man is faithful to God he is bound to lose some friends, but God always raises up others and truer ones to take the vacant places.

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 4

A gambler for God

  Key Words Evangelism Risk Adventure
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 127
  Quote On Studd after his mission committee told him he could go to Africa, but not (on doctor’s advice) south of Khartoum:

Penniless, turned down by the doctor, dropped by the Committee, yet told by God to go, what was he to do? “The only honest thing.” Once more he stake all on obedience to God. As a young man he staked his career, in China he staked his fortune, now he staked his life. A gambler for God! He joined the ranks of the great gamblers of the faith: Abraham, Moses, etc. in Hebrews xi, and the true apostolic succession, “Men that have hazarded (gambled with) their liver for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

No wonder he once wrote, “No craze so great as that of the gambler and gambler for Christ was ever cured, thank God!”

His answer to the committee was this, “Gentlemen, God has called me to go and I will go. I will blaze the trail, though my grave may only become a stepping stone that younger men may follow.”

He carried out his Master’s word to the letter “He that shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall find it.” The next twenty years were to prove the truth of the last paragraph, “shall find it.”

     
  References The gamblers of the Faith (Hebrews 11)
Risked their lives (Acts 15:26)
Life for my sake (Luke 17:33)
Loses his life (Matthew 10:39)
Loses his life (Mark 8:35)

Christ’s etceteras

  Key Words Humility Service
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 136
  Quote For this purpose we have banded ourselves together under the name of the Christ’s etceteras, and invite others of God’s people to join us in the glorious enterprise. We are merely Christ’s nobodies, otherwise Christ’s etceteras.

Later Studd writes (page 138)
We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear?

We will have the real holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.

     
  References The two builders (Matthew 7)

The committee I work under

  Key Words Committee Structure Employment Service
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 142
  Quote Studd:

The committee I work under is a conveniently small Committee, a very wealthy committee, a wonderfully generous Committee and is always sitting in session – the Committee of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

We have a multi-millionaire to back us up, out and away the wealthiest person in the world. I had an interview with Him. He gave me a cheque-book free and urged me to draw upon him. He assured me His firm clothes the grass of the field preserves the sparrows, counts the hairs of the children’s heads. He said the Head of the Firm promised to supply all our need, and to make sure, One of the Partners or rather Two, were to go along with each member of our parties, and would never leave us or fail us.

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 3

Relying on God

  Key Words Money Support
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 98
  Quote We had looked the facts in the face. If the return of the postman brought no relief, starvation stared us in the face. We decided to have a night of prayer. We got on our knees for that purpose. I think we must have stayed there twenty minutes before we rose again. We had told God everything that we had to say in those twenty minutes. Our hearts were relieved; it did not seem to us either reverence or common sense to keep on talking to God as though He were deaf or could not understand our simple language, or the extremity of our circumstances, or th weight of the words of His Son, Who said that God knew everything before we told him os as he said himself, “before they call I will answer.” And verily He did.

The mail returned at the appointed time. We were not slow to open the bag. We glanced over the letters, ther was nothing and we looked at each other.

I went to the bag again and took it by the corners and shook it mouth downwards, out came another letter, but the handwriting was totally unfamiliar to us. Drawn blank again. I opened it and began to read.

We were different after the reading of that letter form what we had been before, and I think our whole lives have been different since.

This was the letter – I looked at the signature first, one wholly unown to me –
“I have”, he said, “for some reason or other received the command of God to send you a cheque for £100. I have never met you, I have only heard of you, and that not often, but God has prevented me from sleeping tonight by this command. Why he should command me to send you this I don’t know – you will know better than I. Anyhow, here it is and I hope it will do you good.”

The name of that man was Frank Crossley. We had neither of us seen each other or corresponded.

Washed out by prayer

  Key Words Humility Pride Fame Reputation
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 109
  Quote When C.T. Studd was touring America:

Among his letters C.T. sent home a cutting giving various complimentary details of his life. His comment in the margin is,”This is the kind of rot they write in the papers. Once day a man got up and said something like this just before I spoke, so got up and said, “If I had known this awas going too be said, I would have come a 1/4 hour late. Let’s get and wash it out in some prayer.”

Saving souls

  Key Words Evangelism Conversion
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 111
  Quote Studd:
I’d far sooner save one soul than be Queen Victoria.

Feelings of salvation

  Key Words Feeling Emotion Salvation Holy Spirit
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 114
  Quote Studd writes:

God has made things so plain to me and enables me to put it plainly to others. Here is the gist of what I tell them. Asuurance of salvation depends on the fact that Jesus paid the penalty of your sin, not on any afeeling of yours. As Christ died for you, you belong by rights to Him. After futher explanation I say, “Will you not in a practical business way on your knees yield yourself and all to Jesus?” “Yes” Then he or she does it, and I ask if Jesus has accepted them. If they do not know, I simply ask if God is a liar, which at once produces the required assurance, as it is impossible for God to have lied. Then I tell the inquirer to ask in one sentence for the Holy Ghost, and he does it. Then I ask, “Has He been given?” By the same method the answer comes back, “Yes”; then I tell him to thank God for
1. Having accepted him
2. Having given the Holy Ghost.

Then I say “Don’t worry or fret, or think, or try, but just be careful for nothing, only trust and obey His voice. Rejoice and be glad in Jesus always. The feeling will come in due course, but it is a fact that God has given the Holy Ghost. Do not hinder God by helping Him, but quit hindering Him.” They come long-faced, and go away sparkling and beaming.”

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 2

Spiritual Champagne

  Key Words Prayer Quiet Time Devotion
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 59
  Quote The Lord is so good and always gives me a large dose of Spiritual Champagne every morning which braces one up for the day and the night.

Of late I have had such glorious times. I generally wake about 3.30am and fell quite wide awak, so have a good read, etc. and then have an hour’s sleep or so before finally getting up. I find what I read then is stamped indelibly on my mind all through the day: and it is the very quietest of times, not a foot astir, nor a sound to be heard, saving that of God.

If I miss this time I fell like Samson shorn of his hair, and so of all his strength. I see more and more how much I have to learn of the Lord. I want to be a workman approved, not just with a “pass” degree as it were. Oh! How I wish I had devoted my early life, my whole life to God and His Word. How much have I lost by these years of self pleasing and running after the world’s honours and pleasures.

     
  References Praying always (Ephesians 6)

Break on the judgment day

  Key Words Money Treasure Sacrifice
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 67
  Quote Studd and his wife wrote a letter to General Booth of the salvation army, transferring over the last of their money:

You see we are rather afraid – notwithstanding the great early safety of Messrs Coutts and Co. and the Bank of England – we are, I say, rather afraid that they may both break on the Judgement Day. And this step has been taken not without most definite reference to God’s word and the command of the Lord Jesus who said “Sell that ye have and give alms. Make for yourselves purses that wax not old.” He also said “If you love me, keep my commandments” And again “He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar.”

     
  References Treasure in heaven (Matthew 6)
Sharing possesions (Acts 2:42-46)
Sharing possessions (Acts 4:32-37)
Sell what you have (Matthew 19:21)
Sell what you have (Mark 10:21)
Sell what you have (Luke 18:22)
Sell your possessions (Luke 12:3

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 1

Body near the wall

  Key Words Service Mission Battle
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 6
  Quote From Alfred Buxton:

I myself owe an enormous debt to him. From him I learned that God’s ideal of a saint is not a man primarily concerned with his own sanctification; God’s saint is 50 per cent a soldier. So we and thousands more will continue to thank God for the soldier life he lived and the soldier death he died. A little time ago I sent him these lines, and how wonderfully they are fulfilled in his case:
“Let the victors when they come,
When the forts of folly fall
Find thy body near the wall.”

     
  References The armour of God (Ephesians 6)

No good at games

  Key Words Conversion Mission Evangelism
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 18-19
  Quote Tells the story of Mr. W. a man that Studd and his teenage brothers considered a “milksop”. Unlike them he was not good at riding or sports, and yet it was him who won them for Christ.

Grubb concludes:

So the “milksop” who was no good at games, was really an expert at the greatest game of all – catching men for Christ, and he had hooked three shy fish, all members of the Eton XI, in one day.

     
  References Not the greatest (1 Corinthians 1)
Fishers of men (Luke 5)

Hallowed Be Your Name

Pray Like This: Hallowed Be Your Name

John Piper – 30th December 2007

Comparing John Piper and John Ortberg is like the classic comparison between the bludgeon and the rapier, the powerfully effective and charismatically mercurial.

The closest Piper comes to Ortberg-esque anecdotage is a story about leaving his mobile phone after his wife has called (don’t leave the phone on with your wife, but you can leave it on with God).

Prayer can be one of five things: petition, confession, thanks, praise and complaint (do not to add to the sin of a complaining heart with the sin of hypocrisy).

A powerful section is on James 4:2 – you do not have because you do not ask, and the causality of prayer, its effect. Into the ordained plan of the world is included the prayers of the people of God.

Piper ends with a meditation on the first line of the Lord’s prayer “God has commanded us to ask God that God’s glorify God’s name”.