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“Only an awakened church…only in a revived condition are going to make a dent on this society.”

 ~ Quoted in The Gospel by Ray Ortlund Jr., 19-20.

Ray Ortlund

September 20, 2015

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1.  Get thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself.  Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress. . . . When speaking of earthly goods Paul could say, “I have learned to be content,” but when referring to his spiritual life he testified, “I press toward the mark.”  So stir up the gift of God that is in you.

2.  Set your face like a flint toward a sweeping transformation of your life.  Timid experimenters are tagged for failure before they start.  We must throw our whole soul into our desire for God. . . .

3.  Put yourself in the way of the blessing.  It is a mistake to look for grace to visit us as a kind of benign magic, or to expect God’s help to come as a windfall apart from conditions known and met.  There are plainly marked paths which lead straight to the green pastures; let us walk in them.  To desire revival, for instance, and at the same time to neglect prayer and devotion is to wish one way and walk another.

4.  Do a thorough job of repenting.  Do not hurry to get it over with.  Hasty repentance means shallow spiritual experience and lack of certainty in the whole life.  Let godly sorrow do her healing work. . . . It is our wretched habit of tolerating sin that keeps us in our half-dead condition.

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Living Well

Jun 16, 2015 | Ray Ortlund

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“Isaac Hann was a little-known Baptist pastor who served a small church in Loughwood, England, in the mid-18th century.  At the close of his ministry the membership of his church numbered twenty-six women and seven men.  Underneath the list of members for that year this poignant note appears: ‘These are the men that remain at present, though not above four of these do in any shape keep their places [attend].’

Rev. Hann would be unnoticed today, one of those pastors who never quite ‘made’ it.  But when he died at the age of 88, his parishioners placed a commemorative plaque in his honor of the wall of their little meeting house.  It reads in part:

Wit sparkled in his pleasing face,
With zeal his heart was fired;
Few ministers so humble were,
Yet few so much admired.

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