Christian knowledge, experience, doctrine, morality, deeds, etc. are indeed good. But they are the fruit, the results, and the evidences, not the substance. They are the harmonies and riffs, the tempos and the rhythms of the Christian song, but not the melody. Or, to put the question more bluntly, what is the sine qua non of Christianity?
Ten years ago this day, the Lord made me a Christian. If God had given me only salvation, and then misery and death the rest of my life, it would have been abundant grace and far more than I deserve.
But He has given me so much more.
As I reflect on the year, the overwhelming sense is one of content satisfaction; it has been a good year. And thus, I must give all praise to the sovereign God, who has been exceedingly kind to me.
This is terrifying. How does a man turn into a mere hearer? After all, he listens to the same word as the doer. He sits in the same church building, sees the same preacher, hears the same preaching, and might even take the same notes. He hears the points, the applications, the exhortations, and yet, he is a mere hearer; he does not do what the Word of God says. Why? Or rather, how?
I was the first to leave, sometime between 12:30 and 1:00 A.M., as I still had some preparation to do for my class at 8:00 A.M. the next morning. The pastor assured me that this was a fairly normal Wednesday evening."
To neglect to pray is to neglect to breathe. To neglect to pray for His glory is to extinguish the fire in my soul. To neglect to pray for God’s favor and grace upon the day is to rely on my own wisdom and strength apart from Him. To neglect to pray for His people in my church is to ignore the saints He has given me to love. To neglect to pray that He would send His people into the plentiful harvest is to scorn His glorious name. To neglect to pray for God to save sinners is to surrender my yet-to-be-saved brothers and sisters to hell. To neglect to pray is to sin.