Holy Community
The Word that Grips (Series: Selecting a Text)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword…
Hebrews 4:12

Lectures to My Students

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

What is the right text? How do you know it? We know it by the signs of a friend. When a verse gives your mind a hearty grip, from which you cannot release yourself, you will need no further direction as to your proper theme. Like the fish, you nibble at many baits, but when the hook has fairly pierced you, you will wander no more. When the text gets a hold of us, we may be sure that we have a hold of it, and may safely deliver our souls upon it.”

We have all that had that experience of a text “gripping” us in some mysterious but unmistakable way. We read, meditate, pray, and wait on the Lord, returning to verses and thinking about them in the light of our present calling and the needs of God’s people. Suddenly, an impression begins to form; the text starts to rise, as it were, off the pages of Scripture, and present itself as the appropriate one for the time. It speaks to us; then we shall be able to speak it to God’s people.

How would you describe your practice of meditation? Does it allow you to turn a passage over and over? To combine many passages in one? Does your practice of meditation lead to the pricking of your soul?


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[1]All quotations are from C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973).



Pastors: Special Opportunities at the Wilberforce Weekend Conference, April 26-28.

Make your plans now to attend the Wilberforce Weekend Conference, “Making the Invisible Kingdom Visible,” in D. C. We’re planning a number of activities within the program focused especially on pastors and the work of the Kingdom. Check out the information page here, and make your plans accordingly.

Seeking the Kingdom:
A Worldview Church Webinar Series

Join the Kingdom Conversation
Our conversations concerning the Kingdom of continue on the first Monday in February. You may register either for the 2:00 or the 9:15 sessions. All sessions are free.

The focus of our February conversation is on awakening.Awakening is what revived people and renewed churches bring to the culture and society around them. There have been many seasons of awakening in Church history – some national or international, others more local – and we believe God can move in such a way in our own day. But we need to know what to pray and how to prepare.

If you’re already on our list of webinar participants, we’ll send you the worksheet for February. Otherwise, if you’d like to join us, send an email to T. M. Moore at tmmoore@ailbe.org and he will send you the document, What We Seek: A Kingdom Manifesto, and a worksheet to help you prepare for January’s conversation. Now more than ever in our lifetimes, we need to be earnest about seeking the Kingdom of God. Join the conversation and let’s help one another in this high and holy calling.

Pastor to Pastor brings the insights of great servants of God from the past to pastors in our own day, to link our ministries with theirs in the grand tradition of building the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 7

Spiritual Friendship

Aelred of Rievaulx (1109-1167)

“A human being without a friend is like a beast: for he lacks someone with whom he can share his joy in prosperity and his sadness in adversity, to whom he may unburden his mind when he is preoccupied, with whom he may talk whenever he has had a particularly sublime or illuminating insight…That person is completely along who has no friend.”

St. Brigid said that a man without a spiritual friend is like a man without a head. He can’t think clearly, can’t see the world as it really is, and doesn’t even know what’s wrong with him. Aelred says that those who have no friends are like beasts – competing for everything, wary of everyone, consumed only with, well, consuming. True spiritual friends care about our souls and seek, like Philemon, to bring refreshment and renewal to our hearts, that we might know joy and comfort. This is what it means to be a true spiritual friend.

To whom are you a true spiritual friend like this?