Pastor Tyler Horton

February 2014

I Still Come

There is a great reluctance in my circle to the use of written prayers.  But unless you have ripped all 150 Psalms out of your Bible, you are at the very least admitting that they may be of some use.  The inspired prayers in your Bible deserve a unique position; however, it is not as though David and the sons of Korah have the market on praying entirely cornered.  They are not the only ones who can teach us to pray.  The fact that pre-written prayers have often fallen short of the ideal of lively communion with God gives us reason for caution but it doesn’t give us a reason for entire abandonment.  I don’t need to give up my balloon just because someone else’s popped.   And so, as I have mentioned before, I am using a collection of Puritan prayers called ‘The Valley of Vision’.  It helps me because these prayers say things to God that are not currently on my mind.  As a parent, I absolutely, indisputably do...

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If He Had Been Spared

How much can God rightly take from me in order to accomplish His purposes?  When Jesus calls, of course I want to say with Peter that “even if must die with you, I will not deny you” (Mt 26.35).  But it is one thing to give up your own life and entirely another to give up someone else’s.  Hudson Taylor had his first wife Maria and a number of his children die young in China but he was by no means the only one.  George Clarke, whose young son had recently perished wrote the following: “The Lord has been leading us by a painful path....Doubtless He saw best to take our dear boy to Himself, to send us to Yunnan; for if he had been spared we should not have thought of leaving Kweichow.  Now, where is the married couple who can go as well as we?” (Taylor, pg. 381)  This was during one of the great openings of the interior provinces which lay at the heart of the work of the China Inland Mission.  In the death of...

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Caution and Encouragement

“But we are concerned that only men and women called of God, fully consecrated to Him, and counting everything precious as dross and dung ‘for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord’, should come out to join us; and we would add to this appeal a word of caution and encouragement, to any who may feel drawn to offer themselves for this blessed work.  Of caution, urging such to count the cost; to wait prayerfully on God; to ask themselves whether they will really trust Him for everything, wherever He may call them to go.  Mere romantic feeling will soon die out amid the toilsome labour and constant discomforts and trials of inland work, and will not be worth much when severe illness arises and perhaps all the money is gone.  Faith in the living God alone gives joy and rest in such circumstances.  But a word also of encouragement, for we ourselves have proved God’s faithfulness and the blessedness of dependence on Him. ...

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Communion and Love

I recently posted about the women that were involved in the early years of the China Inland Mission and especially those involved in pioneering efforts.  Mrs. Wilson was one of these and the advice that Hudson Taylor gave her on setting out is worthy of note.  “Whatever is your best time in the day, give that to communion with God; and do love the Chinese women.”  (Taylor, pg. 380) Simple and yet so crucial.  It got me to thinking about how I need to follow that in my own life.  Both sides are too easily dropped.  How easy is it for me to let other things, even really good things, intrude into my time of communion with God?  Am I giving him my absolute best time at all?  When I do lose that time, am I quick to find a place through the day to make up for it? On the other side, I find it very easy to get my attention focused on tasks instead of people.  When I was a full time pastor that often looked like spending...

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Preaching Pronouns

Who should I preach to?  Should I address ‘us’ and ‘we’ or should I aim at ‘you’.  When trumpeting the greatest commandment, should I say ‘we should love God with all we are’ or should I say ‘you should love God with all you are’?  It seems there is truth on both sides.  The geographic elevation of the preacher on a platform is not equal to a moral elevation that clears him from the demands of God’s Word.  So in that sense I should say ‘we’.  However, the preacher does speak for God as one standing in the line of the prophets and apostles, even while being distinct from them.  So in that sense I should say ‘you’.  The mood in the circles I have been in is definitely toward using the inclusive terms like ‘we’ and ‘us’.  We are told that we should not talk at people but should talk with them.  Again, I can see an...

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Women Of The C.I.M.

In starting the China Inland Mission Hudson Taylor took a lot of heat.  There were already mission agencies that were active in China; in fact, he had left one in order to start the CIM.  But he was convinced of certain principles and practices that led him down a path that no other group was yet walking.  This included wearing Chinese clothing, which the other western missionaries felt was below them.  He was also determined to get past all barriers so that they could live up to the name of the mission and take the gospel truly ‘in-land’.  Previously nearly all Christian witness had been concentrated on the coast under the protection of British treaties.  One of his boldest moves was to allow women to go as missionaries into previously unreached places where they were almost assured to meet resistance.  Many believed that the risks were too great for women to face and that men alone were needed for a work that took such a great...

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Lord Of All, Or Not Lord At All

I have another post up over at Don Longworth's blog.  The main part is a challenging quote from Hudson Taylor where he reminds us that either Christ is lord of all, or He is not lord at all.  You can read it here.

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Exalted With Christ

“...far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”  (Ephesians 1:21-23, ESV) This passage is a description of the exalted position that Christ has been given.  It could not be higher.  He is not just above, but far above all rule, authority, power and dominion.  There is no name that can stand as a rival, an equal or a superior to him.  For age upon age this will remain true.  Take a second and try to make that statement bigger.  What more could possibly be said that would raise Christ higher?  If the tone of this passage was not so clearly worshipful, Paul could be taken for a 7 year old boy in the heat of an earnest ‘whose dad is the biggest and toughest’...

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Forgiven

“In him we have...the forgiveness of our trespasses...”  (Ephesians 1:7, ESV) There have been a multitude of things I have missed about Amy since she passed away but this one took a while to surface.  I miss being forgiven.  There are still plenty of opportunities to forgive me laying about – it seems to be about the only thing my kids are capable of picking up – but because Amy knew me and my selfishness on a deeper level, there is a depth of forgiveness that is absent.  Forgiveness is about being accepted but it is about more than just being accepted as we are.  Because when someone looks at me and says ‘I forgive you’ they are acknowledging that I have blown it.  To forgive someone is accept them with their faults but it is also to say out loud that they are not as they should be.  We all know it is hollow compliment at best when we are told we are fine just as we are.  Even if we are ignoring the...

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In Him All Is Ours

At the end of the last sermon in the 'Hungry?' series I talked about Hudson Taylor's experience of union with Christ meeting all his needs (you can listen to that message here).  Reading his biography today I came across an excerpt from a letter he wrote to a mission member that picks up a lot of the threads we had been following. "May God keep you, and not only keep you - fill you more and more, and keep you running over with the living waters.  The one thing, I judge, to bear in mind is that it has 'pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell'.  Apart from Him we have nothing, are nothing, cannot bring forth any fruit to God.  He will not give some of His riches to you and some to me, to use and live on away from Himself.  But in Him all  is ours.  With Him there is a constant feast for us.  To know Christ as the Bridegroom is more blessed; to be not betrothed and...

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