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Morning and Evening with A.W. Tozer

Devotional for August 19

Tozer in the Morning
Spiritual Pride

It might be a shock to some of us if we could know why we are disliked and why our testimony is rejected so violently. Could it be that we are guilty of a deep sinfulness of disposition that we just cannot keep hidden? Arrogance, lack of charity, contempt, self-righteousness, religious snobbery, fault-finding--and all this kept under careful restraint and disguised by a pious smile and synthetic good humor. This sort of thing is felt rather than understood by those who touch us in everyday life. They do not know why they cannot stand us, but we are sure that the reason is our exalted state of spirituality! Perilous comfort. Deep heart searching and prolonged repentance would be better.

Yet let us not assume that if we are persecuted it is because of our faults. The opposite may be the fact. They may hate us because they first hated Christ, and if that is so, then blessed are we indeed. The point is, let us take nothing for granted. We may be better than we think we are, but the likelihood is not overwhelming. Humility is best.


Tozer in the Evening
Public Bible-Reading as Part of Worship

To read the Bible well in public we must first love it. The voice, if it is free, unconsciously follows the emotional tone. Reverence cannot be simulated. No one who does not feel the deep solemnity of the Holy Word can properly express it. God will not allow His Book to become the plaything of the rhetorician. That is why we instinctively draw back from every simulated tone in the reading of the Scriptures. The radio announcer's artificial unction cannot hide the absence of the real thing. The man who stands to declaim the Scriptures like a schoolboy reciting a passage from Hamlet can only leave his hearers with a feeling of disappointment. They know they have been cheated, though most of them could not tell just how. Again, to read the Bible well, one must know what the words mean and allow them to mean just that, without putting any body English on the passage to make it take a turn of meaning not found in the text. Probably the hardest part of learning to read well is eliminating ourselves. We read best when we get ourselves out of the transaction and let God talk through the imperfect medium of our voice. The beginner should read aloud whole books of the Bible in the privacy of his own room. In that way he can learn to hear his own voice and will know how he sounds to others. Let him consult a pronouncing Bible to learn the correct pronunciations of the names and places of the Bible. Let him cultivate the habit of reading slowly and distinctly with the reverence and dignity proper to the subject matter. Surely Protestants deserve a better sort of Scripture reading than they are now getting in our churches. And we who do the reading are the only ones who can give it to them.

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This material is considered in the public domain.


Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, August 19th, 2017
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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