Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pepper and Salt 4


 Many will find the simple writing of Vance Havner barely intelligible. Many modern Christians know nothing of the principles that he lays before us. They seem to be from another world. Let me assure you that the reason is not because we know better today, but that we are more familiar with the ways of men and are alienated from those of God. Havner walked under the sun of heaven and we seldom get out from under the synthetic light invented by men. There is another school of Christianity that has been forgotten, set aside and is collecting dust. Our only hope is to get back and reopen its doors.  Read, then, and learn!

Doesn’t he look nice?

A mortician can make a dead man look better than he ever did when he was alive. So churches like Sardis may appear very much alive when they are dead in the sight of the Lord. There are experts who are very clever at this business of making church corpses appear very healthy so that they have an image for robust vitality in their own sight, among other churches, and up at headquarters… but God knows the difference.

Defeat turns to victory

A Frenchman became a naturalized British citizen. “Yesterday,” he remarked, “Waterloo was a defeat but today it is a victory.” When one becomes a Christian, defeat changes to victory.

Discernment or deception!

A sinister breeze blows across the world today. It is deceptive and demonic; many well-meaning souls are lulled to sleep thereby. What some call the birth pangs of a new era are but the dying gasps of this age. Strange new currents are moving everywhere, even in evangelical Christianity. It will take a double portion of wisdom from above to distinguish the true from the false, the sheep from the wolves. It is no time for us to be fitted with rose-colored glasses. We need a second touch from the Master, like the blind man of old, lest we see men as trees walking.

Whose voice do you fear?

Saul said to Samuel, “I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” Samuel said to Saul, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?” The issue nowadays is vox populi or vox dei, the voice of the people or the voice of God.

Heavenly breakthrough

We talk of major ‘breakthroughs’ in science, in space exploration. We hope for a breakthrough in the conquest of cancer. The greatest of all major breakthroughs was stated by Isaiah: “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down…” That is a breakthrough in reverse… God visiting us. He has done it in His Son, in His Spirit’s coming at Pentecost, in great revivals, in answers to prayer. He will break through when our Lord returns. We need a major breakthrough now in a fresh visitation. Lord, do it again!

Who are you with? Doing what?

Obadiah was a contemporary of Elijah and Ahab. He was a good man but he was out looking for grass with Ahab when he should have been praying for rain with Elijah. While he was out on grass-hunting expeditions to relieve the drought, Elijah the solitary man of God was ready to call Israel to a confrontation, to the showdown that always must precede the showers of blessing. We waste our time working with the powers that be, trying to improve conditions today, when the only answer lies in squarely facing the issue of Baal or Jehovah.

Communication or true fellowship?

Christian fellowship has almost become a lost art. I recall how, as a boy, I sat before the open fire on a Saturday night while father and the visiting minister talked long and late about the things of God. I remember John Brown, deacon in my first country charge, who used to visit my room and talk until midnight. There was time in those days, but who can take time off today to mediate at the Master’s feet, like Mary of old, or to share His fellowship with other Christians? Fellowship has come to mean a noisy after-session at church with coffee and cookies and a lot of idle chatter about everything on earth but spiritual things. How many Christian homes know how to converse about Jesus Christ? Bunyan was helped by overhearing two godly women talk about the things of God. Would anybody listening in on your conversation be helped in his soul? And there is the Great Eavesdropper (Malachi 3:16) who overheard the faithful remnant amidst the “wherein-ners” of that sad day.

Discipline for sinners

Joshua and the elders of Israel lay on their faces and prayed after the defeat at Ai, but it did no good. There was sin in the camp and Achan had to be dealt with. The church at Corinth prided itself in its tolerance of immorality, but Paul demanded that the offender be put out and delivered to Satan. There is sin in the churches today and neither pious prayer meetings nor amiable tolerance will take care of the situation. We are afraid to touch Achan and the fornicators with a forty- foot pole. There is no church discipline now, for who would discipline whom? Ananias and Sapphira are more likely to be on the official board.

Speeches without meditation

It is doubtful whether the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States could have been written under the glare of modern publicity. Those men had time to reflect, to think. In the phantom era of ghostwriters, no wonder the speeches have no body to them! Gadgets and gimmicks abound, but nothing born of meditation. How many speeches out of Washington, how much of the torrent of drivel on television, how much of modern music, and, alas! How many sermons bear the marks of quiet thought?

The faithful remnant

The Faithful Remnant of Malachi’s day had four characteristics (3:16) that mark God’s Minority today. Their Hearts Were Moved By The Fear of God: “They that feared the Lord…” Their Minds Were Filled With Thoughts Of God: “…that thought upon his name.” Their Tongues Were Busy With The Things of God: “… spake often one to another.” Their Names Were Written In The Book Of God: “… the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written…”

Counterfeit money can do good

A ten-dollar bill got into circulation and did a lot of good. It helped buy coal for a needy old woman, helped buy medicine for a sick child, and showed up in the collection plate at church one Sunday. Then it fell into the hands of a bank teller who spotted it as a counterfeit. The test is not how many good deeds you claim to your credit, but rather, can you pass inspection in the sight of God!

God’s way

Wouldn’t you think that Jesus, with only three years to go, would have visited Rome and Athens, would have sought all available publicity, would have called celebrities and appeared at forums and symposiums, would have rushed from dawn to midnight, making every moment count, would have help public debates and put on healing exhibitions? Instead, He stayed in an obscure little Roman province, talked with a few individuals, mingled with ordinary people, exasperated His brothers by not performing in Jerusalem. It is all so foreign to our American way of doing things. Maybe we had better learn the gait of Galilee!
The violent language of Acts

Have you considered the almost violent language of the Book of Acts? “The place was shaken”; “Ananias fell down and gave up the ghost”; “they were cut to the heart”; “they gnashed on him with their teeth… and stoned him”; Herold “killed James with the sword”; “O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil”; “having stoned Paul they drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead”; “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison”… so it goes. This was no sham battle.

Who knows God’s secrets?

At the Cana wedding feast it was not the governor of the feast who was in on the secret of the water made wine, “… but the servants which drew the water knew…” (John 2:9). How often are God’s secrets hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes!

Sheep or giraffes

I want my message to be intelligible to the ordinary man. I’m feeding sheep, not ministering to a few intellectual giraffes.

Get well, grow up and learn!

It is sometimes argued that hospitals minister to sick people and schools to ignorant people and the church to sinful people; therefore we should not set too high a standard for our church members. But sick people are expected to get well, and ignorant people are supposed to learn, and Christians should grow and become better. There is no excuse for us to stay babes on milk when we should mature and feed on meat.


Post a Comment