When I was starting out as a young, green pastor, in the providence of God, I discovered the expositions of Ray Stedman. He was a preacher who needed no gimmicks to build one of the most successful churches in America. He built the Peninsula Bible Church of Palto Alto, California, upon solid and consistent exposition of the Word. His down to earth applications were relevant to the issues my young church family faced at that time. Every time I opened one of Ray’s commentaries, I uncovered practical and powerful principles to share with my people. Below are some of the bite-sized truths that flowed from the heart of this man of the Word, Ray Stedman.

From- Expository Studies in 1 John:

When you are confident in yourself, all that you accomplish is what you can do. But when God is at work in you, you not only accomplish what you can do but far more than you can’t see.  You change lives. People are affected permanently and you leave behind an impression that is not forgotten. 18

Do not make the mistake of thinking that the only way to have joy is to have no problems. No, you will have all of these, but along with them a wonderful feeling down inside that God is at work in you. God is using you to do his eternal work. 22  

Darkness is simply the absence of light. Wherever there is no light there is darkness. To walk in darkness means to walk as though there were no God, for God is light. It is to be a practical atheist- not an actual one, of course. We believe there is a God, we know he is there, but we live as though he did not exist. We do not expose ourselves to him. That is walking in darkness. 33

When the Scriptures talk about knowing the Word of God, it is never merely talking about the instrument of the Bible, it is always the Bible plus the Spirit. It is the Word understood in the light of the illuminating, searching power of the Holy Spirit. It takes these two, to produce maturity. We first lay hold of the Word, and then it lays hold of us. Thus the Word abides. It penetrates to the conscience, it lays hold of the will, it exposes the thoughts and intents of the heart. That is what produces maturity. 97

You cannot believe truth without rejecting error. You cannot love righteousness unless you are ready to hate sin. You cannot accept Christ without rejecting self. 295

People will scratch and fight like wildcats to say they cannot love someone, when God says they can. We want to find an excuse for lovelessness. But it is not that we cannot love; it is that we will not. Is that not true? Then let us face it. If you really cannot, then you are not a Christian….You are a liar when you say you love God. But if you love him, and you know you do, then you can love your brother- and you must! 333

“I am not dogmatic, I am bulldogmatic.” 347

From- Expository Studies in Ephesians 6:

Finally, in the face of whatever attacks God allows Satan to mount against us, we are to stand firm in our faith with the certain knowledge that the battle is the Lord’s. Our faith in his victory, already accomplished, is what overcomes the world. 12

“The strategy of the devil is to murder. The tactic he uses is to lie.” 40

The devil can never get us back into the position of unconscious control which he once exercised over us, as he does over the rest of the world. But the devil can demoralize the Christian, he can frighten us, make us miserable, and defeat us in many ways. He can make us weak and barren and unfruitful in the things of God. It is quite possible, at least periodically, to be more miserable as a Christian than you ever were before. 53

Remember, though, do not try to start with peace. When you get troubled or upset, when attacks come, do not try to start making your heart feel at peace. This is a mistake many people make. They try to conjure up some kind of feeling of peace within and succeed only in upsetting themselves once more. Do not start with peace. Start with truth. Work your way back down through truth and righteousness and you will come out at peace. This is the way to begin. 83

Faith is acting upon belief. Faith is decision, action, resolution. Faith is saying, “Yes I believe Christ is the truth. He is my righteousness, he is my peace. Therefore, this, and this and this must follow.” Faith is working out the implications of belief. When you say “therefore” you move from belief into faith. Faith is particularizing; it is taking the general truth and applying it to the specific situation and saying, “If this is true, then this must follow.” That is the shield of faith. 86

“Doubt is always an attack on faith. The fact that you have doubts proves that you have faith.” 88

The Christian has learned to expect wars and rumors of wars unto the very end. He expects false teachings and false philosophies and heresies and cults to abound. He is told all that will happen. It is part of the total overall plan and purpose and moving of God in history. 98

From-How to Live What You Believe:

Surely it is difficult to believe God sends these things, yet the whole of Scripture is to this point. Perhaps you say, Satan sends them. No, God sends them, using Satan, perhaps, but you have never looked far enough if you look only at the immediate instrument. You must lift your eyes to the One behind it all and see that God sends these things. Therefore they come for our blessing and we rejoice in that. 168

From- Talking to My Father:

We must be praying or fainting-there is no other alternative. The purpose of all faith is to bring us into direct, personal, vital touch with God. True prayer is an awareness of our helpless need and an acknowledgement of divine adequacy. For Jesus, prayer was as necessary as breathing, the very breath of his life. Although God certainly knows all our needs, praying for them changes our attitudes from complaint to praise and enables us to participate in God’s personal plans for our lives. 3

True prayer is not begging or cajoling a reluctant God. That is never prayer! True prayer is believing, it is faith. Prayer is thanking instead of complaining, trusting instead of trying, rejoicing, accepting, appropriating, receiving-  that is prayer. 14

When we think everything is fine, that we need no help from God and that life is under control, we are suffering from a satanic delusion, a fantasy, a soap bubble of imagination which is bound to burst into slippery confusion. 45

God, in a manner of speaking, builds his kingdom in secret. When it is least evident that he is at work, this is often the time when he is accomplishing the most. Behind the scaffolding of tragedy and despair, God frequently is erecting his empire of love and glory. 56