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Daily Devotionals

Morning and Evening with A.W. Tozer

Devotional for October 22

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Tozer in the Morning

I believe there is a positive warning in the gospels that a person's faith may stand in the revealed Bible text-and still be as dead as the proverbial door nail! Consider the prayer of our Lord in Matthew 11: "All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." There is more than a body of truth - and if we do not get through to the soul of truth, we have only a dead body on our hands. When the power of God moves in on the text and sets the sacrifice on fire, then you have genuine Christianity! We try to call that revival, but it is not revival at all. It is simply New Testament Christianity. People who thought they were saved get saved! People who have only believed in a code now have placed their faith and trust in Christ's person. It is not any deluxe edition of Christianity-it is simply New Testament Christianity having its place!

Tozer in the Evening
Dead Passivity

Most readers will remember (some with just a trace of nostalgia) his or her early struggles to learn the difference between the active and the passive voice in English grammar, and how it finally dawned that in the active voice, the subject performs an act; in the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. Thus, "I love" is active, and "I am loved" is passive.

A good example of this distinction is to be found at the nearest mortuary. There the undertaker is active and the dead are passive. One acts while the others receive the action.

Now what is normal in a mortuary may be, and in this instance is, altogether abnormal in a church. Yet we have somehow gotten ourselves into a state where almost all church religion is passive. A limited number of professionals act, and the mass of religious people are content to receive the action. The minister, like the undertaker, performs his professional service while the members of the congregation relax and passively "enjoy" the service.

One reason for this condition is the failure of the clergy to grasp the true purpose of preaching. There is a feeling that the work of the preacher is to instruct merely, whereas the real work of the preacher is to instruct with an end to securing moral action from the hearers. As long as there has been no moral response to the instruction, the hearers are passive merely and might as well be dead. Indeed, in one sense they are dead already.

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This material is considered in the public domain.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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