Tozer Devotional

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Collective Writings from the Books of A.W. Tozer
Updated: 2 hours 9 min ago

Christ-based Security

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All that I have been saying may seem complex and involved. This much we must understand: Jesus our Lord, God's Christ and our Savior, lives forevermore! As God is timeless and ageless, so also is Jesus Christ. And Jesus lives to intercede for us! His eternal interest is to be our surety. We sing of it with faith and joy: "Before the throne my Surety stands; My name is written on His hands." And then we continue with the rest of those stirring words from the vision and heart of Charles Wesley:

The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One; He cannot turn away The presence of His Son. His Spirit answers to the blood And tells me I am born of God. It is Christ's unfailing intercession that makes it possible for us to tell each other that we believe in the security of the saints of God. We believe there is a place of security, not because there was some technicality that John Calvin might have advanced, but because of the high priestly intercession of the eternal One who cannot die. Day and night He offers our names before the Father in heaven. No matter how weak we may be, we are kept because Jesus Christ is our eternal High Priest in the heavens.

A New and Living Way

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 9:00am
I hope I will not be accused of anti-Semitism when I cite certain Bible truths indicating that even yet Jews do not really know why they worship. We evangelicals have no sympathy for those who hate the Jews. In our understanding of the Scriptures and God's great plan, we recognize the worth of our Jewish friends. We have a concern for their well being in an unfriendly world. Moreover, we believe strongly in the future glory of Israel. We believe that when God's Messiah returns, Israel will minister again in faith and worship in her own land. We believe in a day yet coming when a reborn Israel will shine forth. The Word of God's righteousness will go forth from Zion and the Word of God from Jerusalem. But for the present, the living, beating life of Jewish faith is gone. There is no altar. There is no Shekinah glory and Presence. There is no efficacious sacrifice for sin. There is no mediatorial priest and no Holy of Holies for him to enter on behalf of his people. All is gone—eliminated as useless, powerless, without further authority. In its place God has instituted and accepted a new sacrifice—the Lamb of God, the eternal Son. He has confirmed a new and efficacious altar, this one eternal in the heavens, where Jesus ever lives to make intercession for God’s believing children. He has ordained and accepted a new High Priest, Jesus, the eternal Son, seating Him at His right hand.

The Significance of the Torn Curtain

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 9:00am
The priesthood, the priests, the old covenants, the altars, the sacrifices—all that had been involved in the Old Testament system of law—was done away with. God had eliminated it as useless, powerless, without authority. In its place He instituted a new Sacrifice, the Lamb of God, the eternal Son, Jesus Christ. God instituted as well a new and efficacious altar, this one eternal in the heavens, where Jesus lives to intercede for God’s believing children. When the Temple veil was torn top to bottom, tradition has it that the Levitical priests determined they must repair that long-sacred partition. And they did. They sewed it together as best they could. Not understanding that God had decreed a new order, they took the earthly view by trying to continue the old system of sacrifices.

The New Order

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 9:00am
We who are Christian believers should thank God continually for our New Testament guarantees of spiritual life and freedom in Christ! Our sacrifice is not an animal offered by a priest as imperfect as we are. Our sacrifice is the very Lamb of God, who was able and willing to offer Himself to take away the sins of the world. Our altar is not the altar in old Jerusalem. Our altar is Calvary, where Jesus offered Himself without spot to God through the eternal Spirit. Our Holy of Holies is not that section of a temple made with hands, secluded behind a protective veil. Our Holy of Holies is in heaven, where the exalted Jesus sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Note the comparison of the two priesthoods. In the Old Testament, every priest who ever served knew that he would ultimately be retired and die. Each priest was temporal. But in our Lord Jesus Christ we have an eternal High Priest. He has explored and conquered death. He will not die again. He will continue as a priest forever, and He will never change! It is for that very reason, the writer assures us, that Jesus is "able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25). Before we move on from the subject of the passing of the Old Testament priestly mediation, I want to mention the strange, anomalous event that took place within the Jerusalem Temple as Jesus gave up His life on the cross. As He "gave up his spirit" (John 19:30) outside Jerusalem, the very finger of God Almighty reached into the temple's most holy place, splitting, rending, tearing the heavy hanging veil. That ancient veil was not just a curtain. It was a special drape — a veil so thick and heavy that it took several men to pull it aside. As Jesus died, the finger of God rent that veil which had housed the earthly presence of the invisible God. Thus, God was indicating the beginning of a new covenant and a new relationship between mankind and Himself. He was demonstrating the passing of the old order and the transfer of authority, efficacy and mediation to the new order.

Freedom from the Old

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 9:00am
The comparisons made in this letter indicate that the provisions of the Old Testament Mosaic law and the system of the Levitical priesthood were interdependent. Thus, when the priesthood was eliminated, the Mosaic law passed away also. The writer's summary is clear: "The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God" (Hebrews 7:18–19). What does all this mean to us in our Christian lives, our Christian faith? Thankfully, it means that we do not stand under the shadow of those laws given through Moses. We do not stand under the shadow of the imperfections of the Old Testament Jewish priesthood and mediation. Instead, we stand in the light and authority of Jesus Christ. He is superior to all Old Testament priests. He has fulfilled the Law—dismissed it, if you will—by the institution of the new covenant based on a superior sacrifice. This new covenant, sealed in the blood of Jesus, our Savior and Mediator, introduces for us a great spiritual freedom. We should rejoice daily. No one can lay the burden of the old law upon us—a law that Israel was unable to fulfill. In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul dealt with this very problem. He states the principle of God's grace and righteousness through faith with telling effect. He condemns those who followed the Galatian Christians around, trying to make Jews out of them. "Stand firm, then," he says, "and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. . . . You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace" (Galatians 5:1, 4).

Turning from the Old to Embrace the New

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 9:00am
In view of the importance given to the Jewish records of ancestry, it is significant that all those carefully preserved records were lost in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. So historians believe. Jesus had come as Redeemer and Messiah. Israel rejected Him, crucifying Him on the cross. But there could be no other. No other could have furnished the necessary proof of his descent from Abraham and David. Jesus, the risen, ascended Son of God was and is Israel's final hope. As we come into a consideration of the things taught in this section of Hebrews, we must be prepared to do some thinking. We live in a generation that wants everything condensed and predigested. But here we must do some thinking. And in the end, the understanding we achieve will be well worth the effort. In this part of his letter, the writer sets out to make three things very plain to the troubled Hebrew Christians of his day. First, he declares that the Mosaic law and the Levitical priesthood were not established by God as permanent and perfect institutions. Second, he makes it plain that the eternal and sinless Son came to assure believers concerning His superior and enduring priesthood, confirmed by His glorification at God's right hand. Third, he wants his readers to know that the plan of salvation for sinful men and women does not rest upon earthly offerings made by Levitical priests, but upon the eternal sacrifice and high priestly mediation of Jesus, the eternal Son, who also was willing to become the sacrificial Lamb of God.

Christ Our Eternal High Priest

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 9:00am
Long before the time of Moses and Aaron and the sons of Levi, the Genesis record notes the appearance of a mysterious yet compelling personality, Melchizedek. Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the most high God. When Abraham returned from the rescue of Lot, his nephew, he was greeted and blessed by Melchizedek. And Abraham gave to Melchizedek the tithe of all the goods he had recovered (Genesis 14:17–20). The Genesis appearance of Melchizedek is brief and without explanation in Old Testament history. More information is offered by the writer to the Hebrews. When he notes that Melchizedek was "without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life" (Hebrews 7:3), the writer simply was saying that Melchizedek had no "family tree," no genealogical records through which his origins could be traced. In short, we do not know where he came from. Melchizedek is not mentioned again until Psalm 110. There he is referred to as the type of an eternal priest of God who would yet appear in Israel’s national development.

A Better Covenant, Priesthood and Hope

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 9:00am
It was never in the mind of God that a privileged priesthood of sinful, imperfect men would attempt, following the death and triumphant resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, to repair the veil and continue their office of mediation between God and man. The letter to the Hebrews makes that fact very plain. When Jesus rose from the dead, the Levitical priesthood, which had served Israel under the Old Covenant, became redundant. God's better plan for an eternal High Priest and a sinless Mediator is also made plain in the letter to the Hebrews. Jesus glorified at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens is now our High Priest forever. His priesthood is not after the order of Aaron and Levi but after the enduring priesthood of Melchizedek. Those are highlights in the Hebrews message concerning the better covenant, the better priesthood and the better hope resting upon the completed work of Jesus Christ for lost mankind. We read:

Jesus . . . Has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. . . . When there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. . . . The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. . . . If there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another (Hebrews 6:20; 7:12, 18–19; 8:7).

Believe and Keep on Believing

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 9:00am
We are in the midst of the storm of life. The believing saints of God are on board the ship. Someone looks to the horizon and warns, "We are directly in the path of the typhoon! We are as good as dead. We will surely be dashed to pieces on the rocks!" But calmly someone else advises, "Look down, look down! We have an anchor!" We look, but the depth is too great. We cannot see the anchor. But the anchor is there. It grips the immovable rock and holds fast. Thus the ship outrides the storm. The Holy Spirit has assured us that we have an Anchor, steadfast and sure, that keeps the soul. Jesus—Savior, Redeemer and our great High Priest—He is that Anchor. He is the One who has gone before us. He has already entered into the calm and quiet harbor, the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Where Jesus is now, there we will be—forever. The Spirit is saying to us, "Keep on believing. Pursue holiness. Show diligence and hold full assurance of faith to the very end. Follow those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." He is faithful!

Resting in the Arms of the All-Powerful One

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 9:00am
Because holiness is God’s being, He cannot lie. Because He is God, He cannot violate the holy nature of His being. God does not will to lie. He does not will to cheat. He does not will to deceive. He does not will to be false to His own dear people. Or to put it positively, in the very perfection of His character, God wills to be true to His children. Because He is perfect and because He is holy, His believing children are safe. Confidently knowing that the Lord God omnipotent reigns, and knowing that He is able to do all that He wills to do, I have no more doubts. I am safely held in the arms of the all-powerful God. There is no better way to conclude a discussion like this than with the definition of this omnipotent God given in Hebrews: Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:17–20).

Our God is Holy

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 9:00am
I must confess in behalf of all of us that we humans are not as wise as God is. For example, there are men and women forever wishing they might find someone able to predict the future for them. No one can do so with accuracy. Also, we frequently fail to live up to our promises. But there is no such failure with God. He knows everything that can be known. He is perfect in wisdom. God never has to excuse Himself with a "Well, my intentions were good, but I failed." His ability to deliver on His promises is tied directly to His omnipotence. If God was not omnipotent, He would be unable to keep His promises. He could not give any of us assurance of salvation. This attribute of God we call omnipotence does not really mean that God can do anything. It means that He is the only Being who can do anything He wills to do. We understand up to a point that God is perfect in love and wisdom, in holiness and strength. Still, it is impossible for us to comprehend what the Lord God means when He says, "I am the holy God." We may, however, come to the understanding that "holy" is the way God is, and that He has made holiness the moral condition necessary to the health of His entire universe.

Unfailing Love and Faithfulness

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 9:00am
I have always considered it a little humorous that sinful men who cannot trust each other call on God or the Holy Bible to witness that a sinful being is not going to tell a lie. I suspect there is a chuckle in hell whenever a person in one of our courts promises before God that he or she will "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth." With all of that by way of background, let me tell you my theory. I believe God made an accommodation and went along with our way of doing things. When during Abraham's time He made a promise to save His people, God took an oath to confirm the covenant. And because He could call on no one greater, He swore by Himself! Our faithful God has so sworn for all who will be heirs of the promise. Are we going to trust God? Are we going to commit our entire future to Him? What more assurance do we need than the character of God Himself? It is God's own eternal Person and His faithful character that tell us our salvation is secured through the blood of Jesus Christ, our Savior. It is because God is who He is that we can trust Him and be assured that His covenant will never change. How rewarding it is to be able to make a proclamation like this! Our forgiveness, our hope for salvation, our confidence in the life to come rest upon God’s unchanging love and faithfulness.

Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 9:00am
Note this theme in Psalm 89. In that psalm, the Holy Spirit has dictated a plain message. He goes far beyond the reference to King David. Rather, he is describing David's greater Son, even Jesus, the eternal Son and Lord of all. The Holy Spirit is not speaking concerning the earthly David who would die. He is speaking of a Son, of whom He says:

He will call out to me, "You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior." I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail (89:26–28). This Son could be none other than Jesus. And the unfailing covenant God makes with Him is ours. It will never fail because it is God who has promised, and God can be counted on. I hope what I have been reviewing here is plain. A promise—any promises—nothing in and of itself. The value of the promise depends on the character of the one who makes it. We know only too well the history of men and women. They make promises and covenants, but often those promises and covenants are broken. They are not kept.

The Covenants of God

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 10:00am
Because of His love for us, God already has taken the initiative. He has left us without room for human excuse. If God cannot get us concerned about His own things and our shortcomings, He cannot do anything at all for us. If His grace and mercy cannot move us, He cannot save us. This brings us right back to our starting point. Our Christian hope and the promises of God all rest upon the very character of the triune God. We are New Testament believers. We are saved through the terms of a new covenant. That new covenant is based in the love and grace of the One who created us and then gave His life for our redemption. Of His own free will God has made a pledge and given us a covenant. A Christian is a Christian and remains a Christian because of the bond between the persons of the Godhead and himself or herself. Note this theme in Psalm 89. In that psalm, the Holy Spirit has dictated a plain message. He goes far beyond the reference to King David. Rather, he is describing David's greater Son, even Jesus, the eternal Son and Lord of all. The reference is to the kind of covenant a faithful God has made with the people of His choice. The statements made by God to David's progeny and David's people are almost unconditional. God does not make unconditional promises to our race, but these in Psalm 89 are as nearly unconditional as any we will ever find.

The Son's Authority

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 9:00am
Throughout this letter, the writer leaves us in no doubt concerning the supreme authority vested in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son. Early on, he states the thesis of the letter: Because the message concerning Jesus Christ is true, we must give it our full and complete commitment. The Holy Scriptures are like that. The Bible is frank, logical, honest. Certain things are true, the Bible is saying, and here they are. And because those things are true, these are your obligations. That is the way God has seen fit to work in His communication with the men and women of this planet. In the past, there have been those who have looked at what the Bible has to say, and they have reasoned like this: "No argument. Christ carries the supreme authority of God. That leaves us no room to be concerned, no reason to be disturbed. Everything is in God's hands!" But God's Word declares that it is not quite that simple. God has made everyone of us with a free will. He has made us capable of choosing or rejecting. For us to ignore the authority that God has given to His Son is a grave offense, indeed.

Moving of the Spirit

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 9:00am
God's Word, which is God's truth, and God's Spirit unite to arouse our highest emotions. Because He is God and worthy of our praise, we will find the ability to praise Him and to glorify Him. Some religious and evangelistic techniques are directed almost entirely to the emotions of those who are listening to the appeal. They are psychology, not Spirit-directed conviction. They are unrelated to the sweet, tender ways of the God of all mercy and all grace. I have to disagree with religious appeal that supposes if someone in the audience can be moved to shed a tear, a saint has been made. Or that if a husky listener can be touched emotionally to the point that he must blow his nose as though it was Gabriel's trumpet, all will be well with his soul. I warn you that there is no connection whatsoever between the human manipulation of our emotions, on the one hand, and, on the other, the confirmation of God's revealed truth in our beings through the ministry of His Holy Spirit. When in our Christian experience our emotions are raised, it must be the result of what God's truth is doing for us. If that is not so, it is not properly religious stirring at all.

Reality and Emotions

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 9:00am
Our Lord will never have to send a message to us, saying, "I am not feeling well today; therefore, I shall not be dealing with you today on the same basis as I dealt with you yesterday." You may not be feeling well physically today. Have you learned to be thankful anyhow and to rejoice in the promises of God? God's eternal blessings do not depend on how you feel today. If my eternal hope rested on how I felt physically, I might as well begin packing for a move to some other region! Even if I do not feel heavenly, my feelings in no way change my heavenly hope and prospect. I dare not relate even a fraction of my faith and hope to my emotions of the moment and to how I feel today. My eternal hope depends on God's well being — on whether God Himself is able to make good on His promises. And about that there is no doubt. Now that I have brought up the subject of our human emotions, I should add this further word. I do not know how familiar you are with the ways of God and the tender movings of His Spirit. But I will tell you this quite frankly: God does not play on our emotions to bring us to the point of spiritual decision.

Trusting God's Promises Because of His Character

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 9:00am
Why do I insist that all Christians should search the Scriptures and learn as much as they can about this God who is dealing with them? It is because their faith will only spring up naturally and joyfully as they find that our God is trustworthy and fully able to perform every promise He has made. This word concerning God's total faithfulness is a vibrant, positive message in the Hebrews letter. Those to whom it is primarily written were being persecuted. They were suffering. The enemy of their souls was busy planting doubts about God's plans for them and God's promises to them. Probably Satan was sowing doubts about the very character of God who had revealed Himself in a new covenant of grace, sealed in the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Let me share a conclusion I have come to in my study of the Scriptures. I have come to believe that all the promises of God have been made to assure us weak and changeable humans of God’s never-ending good will and concern. What God is today He will be tomorrow. And all that God does will always be in accord with all that God is!

Promises and the Promiser

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 9:00am
Is there anyone among us, any human being, who has not experienced the sadness and disappointment of a promise not kept? More than a few times we have heard an apology, an excuse, perhaps a downright fabrication: "I'm sorry. I thought I could do what I promised you, but I find it is not humanly possible." That is the language and the experience of human beings. Quite the opposite is our experience when we relate with God. All of God's promises are sure. They are as reliable as His character. Here is how the writer of the letter to the Hebrews puts it: When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, 'I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.' And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised (Hebrews 6:13–15). I must confess that in my ministry I keep repeating some of the things I know about God and His faithful promises. Why do I insist that all Christians should know for themselves the kind of God they love and serve? It is because all the promises of God rest completely upon His character.

Jesus Our Model Man

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 9:00am
Jesus is not said to be the victorious God—God is always victorious. How could the sovereign God be anything but victorious? Rather, we take our position with those earliest Christian believers who saw in Jesus a Man in the heavenlies. He is a victorious man, and if we are in Him, we too can be victorious. Through the new birth, the miracle of regeneration, we have been brought by faith into the kingdom of God. As Christians we should recognize that our nature has been joined to God's nature in the mystery of the incarnation. Jesus has done everything He can to make His unbelieving people see that we have the same place in the heart of God that He Himself has. He does so not because we are worthy of it, but because He is worthy and He is the Head of the Church. He is the representative Man before God, representing us. Jesus is the Model Man after which we are patterned in our Christian faith and fellowship. That is why He will not let us alone. He is determined that we will have eyes to see more than this world around us. He is determined that we will have eyes of faith to see God in the kingdom of heaven, and Himself—our Man in glory—seated there in victorious control!