"I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me." —Psalm 16:7 (ESV)
Every day runs its course, and all tasks but one must come to an end: to search God and know Him. Of this there can be no end.
In these 365 daily reflections on the wonder of God and the way of His Word, Tozer prompts us to seek God earnestly and love Him with our whole heart. Known for his steadfast devotion and incisive ponderings upon the Christian life, A. W. Tozer is a wise and trustworthy counselor.
As the daylight dims and the night winds down, let Evenings with Tozer rest your heart in God’s eternal wisdom.
"Tozer is one of the great Christian writers of this century. Reading him is like drinking at an oasis in the desert."
—Dr. J. I. Packer, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
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About the Author
A.W. TOZER began his lifelong pursuit of God at the age of seventeen after hearing a street preacher in Akron, Ohio. A self-taught theologian, Tozer was a pastor, writer and editor whose powerful use of words continues to grip the intellect and stir the soul of today's reader. Among his best-loved books are the classics The Pursuit of God and The Attributes of God.GERALD B. SMITH was a prolific writer and editor, most widely known for his A. W. Tozer books, some of which are Evenings with Tozer, Jesus is Victor, Mornings with Tozer, Jesus, Author of Our Faith and the missionary story of Mabel Francis, One Shall Chase a Thousand.
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Evenings with Tozer
Daily Devotional Readings
By A. W. Tozer
Moody PublishersCopyright © 1981 Moody Bible Institute of Chicago
All rights reserved.
God Is Always First and Will Surely Be Last
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord.
God is always first, and God will surely be last!
In the plan of God, man is never permitted to utter the first word nor the last. That is the prerogative of the Deity, and one which He will never surrender to His creatures.
Man has no say about the time or the place of his birth; God determines that without consulting the man himself. One day the little man finds himself in consciousness and accepts the fact that he is. There his volitional life begins.
Before that he had nothing to say about anything.
After that he struts and boasts, and encouraged by the sound of his own voice he may declare his independence of God.
Have your fun, little man; you are only chattering in the interim between first and last. You had no voice at the first and you will have none at the last!
God reserves the right to take up at the last where He began at the first, and you are in the hands of God whether you will or not.
Adam became a living soul but that becoming was not of his own volition. It was God who willed it and who executed His will in making Adam a living soul. God was there first!
And when Adam sinned and wrecked his whole life, God was there still. Adam's whole future peace lay in this — that God was still there after he had sinned.
It would be great wisdom for us to begin to live in the light of this wonderful and terrible truth: God is the first and the last!
Jesus Christ Is All That the Godhead Is
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30
I advise you not to listen to those who spend their time demeaning the person of Christ.
I advise you to look beyond the cloudiness of modern terms used by those who themselves are not sure who Jesus Christ was in reality.
You cannot trust the man who can only say, "I believe that God revealed Himself through Christ." Find out what he really believes about the person of the incarnate Son of God!
You cannot trust the man who will only say that Christ reflected more of God than other men do. Neither can you trust those who teach that Jesus Christ was the supreme religious genius, having the ability to catch and reflect more of God than any other man.
All of these approaches are insults to the Person of Jesus Christ. He was and is and can never cease to be God, and when we find Him and know Him, we are back at the ancient fountain again.
Christ is all that the Godhead is!
This is the wonder, the great miracle — that by one swift, decisive, considered act of faith and prayer, our souls go back to the ancient fountain of our being, and we start over again!
It is in Jesus Christ Himself that we find our source, our satisfaction. I think this is what John Newton perceived in the miracle of the new birth, causing him to sing, "Now rest my long-divided heart, fixed on this blissful center — rest!"
Holy Spirit: God in Contact with His Creatures
... The Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
If I read aright the record of Christian experience through the years, those who most enjoyed the power of the Spirit of God have had the least to say about Him by way of attempted definition.
The Bible saints who walked in the Spirit never tried to explain Him. In postbiblical times many who were filled and possessed by the Spirit were by the limitations of their literary gifts prevented from telling us much about Him. They had no gift for self-analysis, but lived from within in uncritical simplicity.
To them the Spirit was One to be loved and fellowshipped the same as the Lord Jesus Himself. They would have been lost completely in any metaphysical discussion of the nature of the Spirit, but they had no trouble in claiming the power of the Spirit for holy living and fruitful service.
This is as it should be. Personal experience must always be first in real life. Knowledge by acquaintance is always better than knowledge by description, and the first does not presuppose the second nor require it.
What we have in the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit is Deity present among us.
He is not God's messenger only — He is God!
He is God in contact with His creatures, doing in them and among them a saving and renewing work.
The Spirit of Man Makes Him a Human Being
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11
Deep inside every man there is a private sanctum where dwells the mysterious essence of his being. It is the man's "I am," a gift from the I AM who created him. The I AM which is God is underived and self-existent; the "I am" which is man is derived from God and dependent every moment upon His creative fiat for its continued existence. One is the Creator, high over all, ancient of days, dwelling in light unapproachable. The other is a creature and, though privileged beyond all others, is still but a creature, a pensioner on God's bounty and a suppliant before His throne!
The deep-in human entity of which we speak is called in the Scriptures "the spirit of man." Paul told the Corinthian church: "For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."
As God's self-knowledge lies in the eternal Spirit, so man's self-knowledge is by his own spirit, and his knowledge of God is by the direct impression of the Spirit of God upon the spirit of man. This reveals the essential spirituality of mankind.
It also denies that man is a creature having a spirit and boldly declares that he is a spirit having a body!
That which makes man a human being is not his body but his spirit, in which the image of God originally lay.
Do Not Mistake the True Meaning of the Cross
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our LORD Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
All unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles.
It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial, the differences fundamental!
From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life with encouragement for a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist tries to show that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. The modern view is that the new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him!
The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere, but it is as false as it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.
The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. In Roman times, the man who took up his cross and started down the road was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life redirected: he was going out to have it ended! The cross did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more!
The race of Adam is under death sentence. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. Thus God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life!
The Bible: More Than a Volume of Facts
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16
Charles G. Finney believed that Bible teaching without moral application could be worse than no teaching at all and could result in positive injury to the hearers. I used to feel that this might be an extreme position, but after years of observation have come around to it, or to a view almost identical with it.
There is scarcely anything so dull and meaningless as Bible doctrine taught for its own sake. Theology is a set of facts concerning God, man and the world. These facts may be and often are set forth as values in themselves; and there lies the snare both for the teacher and for the hearer.
The Bible is more than a volume of hitherto unknown facts about God, man and the universe, ft is a book of exhortation based upon these facts. By far the greater portion of the book is devoted to an urgent effort to persuade people to alter their ways and bring their lives into harmony with the will of God as set forth in its pages. Actually, no man is better for knowing that God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth. The devil knows that, and so did Ahab and Judas Iscariot. No man is better for knowing that God so loved the world of men that He gave His only begotten Son to die for their redemption. In hell there are millions who know that.
Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed. The purpose behind all doctrine is to secure moral action!
The Flock of God: Safe in Jesus Christ
Feed the flock of God which is among you ... And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
1 Peter 5:2,4
The people who want to know God and walk with God, those who have learned to recognize the voice of the good Shepherd, will always be at home in a Spirit-filled congregation.
It is sad indeed that some have never heard the voice of the Shepherd. His voice is as tender as a lullaby and as strong as the wind and as mighty as the sound of many waters. The people who have learned to hear and recognize the voice of Jesus — that healing, musical, solemn, beautiful voice of Jesus in His church — are always at home where everything centers around Him. The true Christian church can be a conglomeration of everything under the sun. That is, we may have Calvinists and Arminians and Methodists and Baptists and all sorts of others, and yet we are all together on one thing — Jesus Christ is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption! He is All in all, and the people of the Lord who have learned to hear the voice of the Shepherd gravitate towards that kind of church!
They may not be so sure about who else is present, but they know the Lord is present and they are sensitive to that.
Do you find your own heart sensitive to the Lord's presence or are you among those who are "samplers" and "nibblers"? God help you if you are, for the child of the King is a sheep who loves his Shepherd and he stays close to Him! That's the only safe place for a sheep. Stay close to Jesus and all of the wolves in the world cannot get a tooth in you!
True Worship: Fully Seeking the Lord We Adore
0 come, let us worship and bow down....
An old creed says that we worship one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.
If we could set forth all of God's attributes and tell all that fie is, we would fall on our knees in adoring worship.
The Bible tells us that God dwells in light that is unapproachable, whom no man can see or has seen, and whom no man can see and live.
It says that God is holy and eternal and omnipotent and omniscient and sovereign, and that Fie has a thousand sovereign attributes. And all of these should humble us and bring us down!
I have come to believe that no worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in us displeasing to God. If there is anything within me that does not worship God, then there is nothing in me that worships God perfectly.
Note that I am not saying that God must have a perfection of worship or He will not accept any worship at all. I would not go so far; if I did, I would rule myself out. But, I do say that the ideal God sets before us is to worship as near to perfectly as we can. Faith and love and obedience and loyalty and high conduct of life — all of these must be taken as burnt offerings and offered to God!
True worship seeks union with its beloved, and an active effort to close the gap between the heart and the God it adores is worship at its best!
Believe the Right Thing about the Right Person
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
There is a nebulous idea accepted by many in our day that faith is an almighty power flowing through the universe which anyone may plug into at will! It is conceived vaguely as a subrational creative pulsation streaming down from somewhere Up There, ready at any time to enter our hearts and change our whole mental and moral constitution as well as our total outlook on man, God and the cosmos.
When it comes in, supposedly out go pessimism, fear, defeat and failure; in come optimism, confidence, personal mastery and unfailing success in war, love, sports, business and politics.
All of this is, of course, a gossamer of self-deception woven of the unsubstantial threads of fancy spun out of minds often-derhearted persons who want to believe it! What is overlooked in all this is that faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy.
For it is not enough that we believe; we must believe in the right thing about the right One!
To believe in God is more than to believe that He exists. To a right faith knowledge is necessary. We must know at least something of what God is like and what His will is for His human creatures. To know less than this is to be thrown back upon the necessity of accepting the affirmations of the soul and substituting "Thus saith my soul" for the biblical "Thus saith the Lord," and no man has any right to pick and choose among revealed truths.
Every One Must Pray as if He Alone Could Pray
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
Thomas a' Kempis wrote that the man of God ought to be more at home in his prayer chamber than before the public. It is not too much to say that the preacher who loves to be before the public is hardly prepared spiritually to be before them. Right praying may easily make a man hesitant to appear before an audience.
The man who is really at home in the presence of God will find himself caught in a kind of inward contradiction. He is likely to feel his responsibility so keenly that he would rather do almost anything than face an audience; and yet the pressure upon his spirit may be so great that wild horses could not drag him away from his pulpit.
No man should stand before an audience who has not first stood before God. Many hours of communion should precede one hour in the pulpit. The prayer chamber should be more familiar than the public platform.
Schools teach everything about preaching except the important part, praying. The best any school can do is to recommend prayer and exhort to its practice. Praying itself must be the work of the individual. That it is the one religious work which gets done with the least enthusiasm cannot but be one of the tragedies of our times!
In true prayer, every man must be an original, for true prayer cannot be imitated nor can it be learned from someone else. Everyone must pray as if he alone could pray!
Excerpted from Evenings with Tozer by A. W. Tozer. Copyright © 1981 Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] Having read quite a few writings by A.W. Tozer , it is interesting to see his writings used for devotional readings, which are generally not known for their pointed contents or fierceness, both of which this book provides in spades. In reading this book, though, I had some questions that the book didn't answer at all, such as the places these writings came from? To be sure, this book read with all of the ferocity that one expects from him, but where indeed were these readings found? This book contains no textual notes that indicates whether these writings were short and fierce texts by the author, or whether they were taken from larger works, and this gives the book a certain sense of mystery about them. The mysterious nature of these texts is increased when one ponders that there is a companion volume to this work (which I have not yet read) which is titled Mornings With Tozer and which promises to be equally fierce to this volume. Even so, as far as devotionals are concerned this book is a pretty straightforward one. It contains 366 devotionals, each of them one page, for every day of a leap year. Moreover, as is common, there is a standard approach for all of these devotionals, with the day of the year followed by a title, a quoted Bible verse, and a short discussion of several paragraphs. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, there is a great deal of similarity in the contents included. Many of the devotionals are critical about contemporary society, focus on issues of faith and obedience, discuss the burden of responsibility on Christians and especially on ministers, comment on taking God seriously and taking the church to task for not taking the Bible seriously. Other devotional topics of high frequency include the author's belief in Christian mysticism, specifically the view that the Bible cannot be understood in its reading without the presence of the same spirit that inspired the writing of the Bible. Although Tozer ends up hitting many topics over and over again, there is a lot to enjoy and appreciate here, especially as the writing never gets tiresome or too repetitive, even if one wonders where it came from in Tozer's body of work. Like many books by Tozer, this one presents an interesting challenge for readers. It is likely that Tozer was rather personally reflective, but he comes off as especially fierce and likely will both attract some readers specifically because of that fierceness and will repel others on those same grounds. Tozer's works remain rather popular as far as reprints go in large part because of the way that he speaks in such an honest and forthright and critical fashion about the fashionable follies of contemporary society and Christendom. Yet I wonder how many people will read this book the way it was actually intended. While there will be some people who read this book and use Tozer's rather pointed critiques to encourage their own criticism of contemporary society and the contemporary church and others will be offended because they will take Tozer's comments personally and view the criticism as negative and unjust, I wonder how many readers of this book will be cut to the heart and will view it was an opportunity to encourage their own repentant attitude and their own reflection about their own fallen and corrupt human nature. It seems unjust that this book will likely be used to poke at oth
Evenings with Tozer: Daily Devotional ReadingsI feel like I have lived my Christian life growing with A.W. Tozer. I have read other books by him and they always leave me reflecting and refreshed. This book, Evenings With Tozer does the same. This book includes a reading for each day of the year. Each entry is composed of an overall thought, a verse and reflection which work together. I come away from each reading feeling even closer to God and his creation. I see this as an individual or a family devotion, a way to help a family feel a connection to God together. They speak to my heart the way they always have. Each entry helps a person grow in their Bible time and is meant to enrich this time. Tozer began as a street preacher who became a self-educated man who spent his life reaching others as a a pastor, teacher and as a writer. I was given this book by Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest review. Find this book at Amazon, Christianbook.com, and at Barnes and Noble.
I love the cover of this book, but even more I like the inspiring devotionals found on the inside. I have always admired Tozer's writings and his love and devotion to God. I have read a book or two by him in the past and been encouraged and motivated by his writings. This book makes me want to curl up with a cup of something warm on a cold evening and just reflect on God. This is a collection of 365 daily readings that will stimulate you to a closer walk with God and motivate you to grow as a Christian and lead you to a life of holiness. Each day contains a Scripture to meditate on and a devotional to go along with it in Tozer's words but compiled Gerald Smith. Tozer is not about denomination, instead he is all about a relationship with God and really getting to know Him! These devotionals will help you pursue a deeper relationship with the Trinity. Tozer gives us lots of food for thought. Such as the devotional titled God Has Few Admirers Among Christians Today. In which Tozer says: " To love God because He has been good to us is one of the most reasonable things possible, but the quality of our worship is stepped up as we move away from the thought of what God has done for us and nearer the thought of the excellence of His holy nature. This leads us to admiration! The dictionary says that to admire is 'to regard with wondering esteem accompanied by pleasure and delight; to look at or upon with an elevated feeling of pleasure.' According to this definition, God has few admirers among Christians today. " I encourage you to challenge and stretch your faith with a copy of Tozer's work. Mine was provided by Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to review it positively or otherwise compensated for my opinion.
This devotional gives fresh insights into our Lord and helps to get your focus on God and not just the next task in life.