Quotations for May, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Feast of Philip & James, Apostles
At the bottom of the modern man there is always a great thirst for self-forgetfulness, self-distraction; he has a secret horror of all which makes him feel his own littleness; the eternal, the infinite, perfection, therefore scare and terrify him. He wishes to approve himself, to admire and congratulate himself; and therefore he turns away from all those problems and abysses which might recall to him his own nothingness.
... Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel, tr. Mrs. Humphry Ward, New York: Macmillan, 1885, p. 169
(see the book; see also Gen. 2:7; 3:19; Job 1:21; Ps. 90:3; 104:29; Isa. 6:5; more at Greatness, Man, Self, Self-righteousness)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Feast of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher, 373
The Word was not degraded by receiving a body... Rather, he deified what he put on; and, more than that, he bestowed this gift upon the race of men.
... St. Athanasius (293?-373), from Contra Arianos, i.42, in The Early Christian Fathers, Henry Scowcroft Bettenson, London: Oxford University Press, 1969, p. 384
(see the book; see also Rom. 9:5; John 10:34-36; Gal. 3:16; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:1-3; 10:5-7; 1 John 1:1-3; 4:2-3; more at Gifts, Grace, Sanctification)
Thursday, May 3, 2012
It is by no means necessary to salvation to believe that St. Matthew wrote ... the gospel, but only to believe what he wrote.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. IX, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, p. 231
(see the book; see also Matt. 21:42; 22:31-32; 26:54-56; Mark 12:24; 2 Tim. 3:16; more at Authenticity, Belief, Gospel, Salvation)
Friday, May 4, 2012
Feast of English Saints & Martyrs of the Reformation
If you serve Christ, He will be content with nothing less than the whole of you. The service means taking up the Cross; being hard where others find it easy, being regarded by some as unintelligent, by others as bigoted, by others as uncharitable—for Christ’s lordship is intolerant. We are His sworn men and owe Him “life and limb and earthly worship” and service against all other lords; and we cannot reduce our faith into mere commonplace morals or respectable citizenship.
... John Neville Figgis (1866-1919), The Gospel and Human Needs, London: Longman’s, Green & Co., 1911, p. 153
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:11-12; 7:13-14; 10:21-23; 24:9-10; Mark 13:11-13; Luke 6:22-23; John 15:18-19; 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:8-12; more at Affliction, Christ, Cross, Faith, Life, Morality, Service, Worship)
Saturday, May 5, 2012
O Thou whose tender mercies are over all Thy works, humbly and sorrowfully I crave Thy forgiveness for the sins of this day;For every weakening and defiling thought to which my mind has given harbour;for every word spoken in hastiness or passion;For every failure of self-control;For every stumbling-block which by deed or example I have set in another’s way;For every opportunity lost;For every blessing thanklessly received;For loitering feet and procrastinating will;For this ...And this ...And this ...And grant that, as the days go by, Thy Spirit may more and more rule in my heart, giving me victory over these and all other sinful ways.
... John Baillie (1886-1960) & Donald M. Baillie (1887-1954), A Diary of Private Prayer, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1939, p. 23
(see the book; see also Luke 3:3; 17:12-19; Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 8:9-13; 9:25; Phil. 4:6; 2 Pet. 1:5-6; 1 John 1:9; more at Confession, Failure, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Humility, Mercy, Prayers, Self-control)
Sunday, May 6, 2012
O Christ, our joy, to Whom is giv’nA throne o’er all the thrones of Heav’n,In Thee, Whose hand all things obey,The world’s vain pleasures pass away.
So, suppliants here, we seek to winThy pardon for Thy people’s sin,That, by Thine all-prevailing grace,Uplifted, we may seek Thy face.
And when, all Heav’n beneath Thee bowed,Thou com’st to judgment throned in cloud,Then from our guilt wash out the stainAnd give us our lost crowns again.
Be Thou our joy and strong defense,Who art our future recompense:So shall the light that springs from TheeBe ours through all eternity.
O risen Christ, ascended Lord,All praise to Thee let earth accord,Who art, while endless ages run,With Father and with Spirit One.
... Laurence Housman (1865-1959), translated from 13th c. Latin verses
(see the book; see also Ps. 2:6-9; 32:1-2; Matt. 19:28; Luke 21:27; John 1:4; Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 7:14; more at Christ, Eternity, Forgiveness, Grace, Heaven, Judgment, Light, Prayers, Sin, Vanity)
Monday, May 7, 2012
The titles of God are virtually promises. When he is called a sun, a shield, a strong tower, a hiding-place, a portion. The titles of Christ, light of the world, bread of life, the way, truth, and life; the titles of the Spirit, the Spirit of truth, of holiness, of glory, of grace, and supplication, the sealing, witnessing Spirit; faith may conclude as much out of these as out of promises. Is the Lord a sun? Then he will influence me, &c. Is Christ life? Then he will enliven me.
... David Clarkson (1622-1686), The Practical Works of David Clarkson, v. 1, Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864, p. 187-188
(see the book; see also Gen. 15:1; Ps. 46:1; John 6:35; 8:12; 14:6,16-17; Heb. 10:38; 13:5; more at Bread, Christ, Faith, Glory, God, Grace, Holiness, Life, Light, Promise, Spirit, Truth, Way)
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Feast of Juliana of Norwich, Mystic, Teacher, c.1417
Commemoration of Dallas Willard, Teacher, Spiritual Writer, 2013
[Our Lord] saith thus: Pray inwardly, though thou thinkest it savour thee not: for it is profitable, though thou feel not, though thou see nought; yea, though thou think thou canst not. For in dryness and in barrenness, in sickness and in feebleness, then is thy prayer well-pleasant to me, though thou thinkest it savour thee nought but little. And so is all thy believing prayer in my sight.
... Juliana of Norwich (1342?-1417), Revelations of Divine Love, Grace Harriet Warrack, ed., Methuen, 1901, ch. XLI, p. 85-86
(see the book; see also Ps. 42:3-8; 116:2; Rom. 8:26; 12:12; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Belief, God, Prayer, Sickness)
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
If God is not, then the existence of all that is beautiful and in any sense good, is but the accidental and ineffective by-product of blindly swirling atoms, or of the equally unpurposeful, though more conceptually complicated, mechanisms of present-day physics. A man may well believe that this dreadful thing is true. But only the fool will say in his heart that he is glad that it is true. For to wish there should be no God is to wish that the things which we love and strive to realize and make permanent, should be only temporary and doomed to frustration and destruction. If life and its fulfilments are good, why should one rejoice at the news that God is dead and that there is nothing in the whole world except our frail and perishable selves that is concerned with anything that matters?
... William Pepperell Montague (1873-1953), Belief Unbound, Yale University Press, 1931, p. 66-67
(see the book; see also Ps. 14:1; Job 12:7-9; Matt. 11:16-19; Luke 16:31; Rom. 1:18-20; Eph. 2:11-13; more at Beauty, Blindness, Doom, Existence, Frustration, God, God is dead, Goodness, Impermanence)
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Modern culture is a mighty force. It is either subservient to the gospel or else it is the deadliest enemy of the gospel. For making it subservient, religious emotion is not enough, intellectual labor is also necessary. And that labor is being neglected. The Church has turned to easier tasks. And now she is reaping the fruits of her indolence. Now she must battle for her life.
... J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), The Princeton Theological Review, v. 11, 1911, p. 13
(see the book; see also Prov. 18:9; Isa. 56:10; Matt. 7:15-16; Rom. 16:17-18; Phil. 1:27; 1 Tim. 6:12; Jude 1:2; more at Battle, Church, Culture, Enemy, Gospel, Indolence, Labor)
Friday, May 11, 2012
Western European civilization has witnessed a sort of atomizing process, in which the individual is more and more set free from his natural setting in family and neighborhood, and becomes a sort of replaceable unit in the social machine, His nearest neighbors may not even know his name. He is free to move from place to place, from job to job, from acquaintance to acquaintance, and—if he has attained a high degree of emancipation—from wife to wife. He is in every context a more and more anonymous and replaceable part, the perfect incarnation of the rationalist conception of man. Wherever western civilization has spread in the past one hundred years, it has carried this atomizing process with it. Its characteristic product in Calcutta, Shanghai, or Johannesburg, is the modern city into which myriads of human beings, loosened from their old ties in village or tribe or caste, like grains of sand fretted by water from an ancient block of sandstone, are ceaselessly churned around in the whirlpool of the city—anonymous, identical, replaceable units.In such a situation, it is natural that men should long for some sort of real community, for men cannot be human without it. It is especially natural that Christians should reach out after that part of Christian doctrine which speaks of the true, God-given community, the Church of Jesus Christ. We have witnessed the appalling results of trying to go back to some sort of primitive collectivity based on the total control of the individual, down to the depths of his spirit, by an all-powerful group. Yet we know that we cannot condemn this solution to the problem of man’s loneliness if we have no other to offer. It is natural that men should ask with a greater eagerness than ever before, such questions as these: “Is there in truth a family of God on earth to which I can belong, a place where all men can be truly at home? If so, where is it to be found, what are its marks, and how is it related to, and distinguished from, the known communities of family, nation, and culture? What are its boundaries, its structure, its terms of membership? And how comes it that those who claim to be the spokesmen of that one holy fellowship are themselves at war with one another as to the fundamentals of its nature, and unable to agree to live together in unity and concord?” The breakdown of Christendom has forced such questions as these to the front. I think that there is no more urgent theological task than to try to give them plain and credible answers.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Household of God, London, SCM Press, 1953, New York: Friendship Press, 1954, p. 13
(see the book; see also Ps. 127:1; Rom. 14:19; Col. 4:6; Phil. 1:27; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Christ, Church, Community, Fellowship, Historical, Loneliness, Neighbor, Question, Social, Task, Theology)
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Commemoration of Aiden Wilson Tozer, Spiritual Writer, 1963
We get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God. We are right when, and only when, we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 95
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:24; 12:50; Heb. 12:1-2; Rev. 22:14; more at God, Knowing God, Morality, Wrong)
Sunday, May 13, 2012
O what a melting consideration is this! That out of His agony comes our victory; out of His condemnation, our justification; out of His pain, our ease; out of His stripes, our healing; out of His gall and vinegar, our honey; out of His curse, our blessing; out of His crown of thorns, our crown of glory; out of His death, our life: if He could not be released, it was that you might. If Pilate gave sentence against Him, it was that the great God might never give sentence against you. If he yielded that it should be with Christ as they required, it was that it might be with our souls as well as we can desire. And therefore, thanks be to God for His unspeakable gifts.
... John Flavel (1628-1691), Serm. XXIV from The Fountain of Life , in The Whole Works of the Reverend Mr. John Flavel, v. I, Paisley: A. Weir and A. McLean, 1770, p. 331
(see the book; see also Isa. 53:5; Luke 23:23-24; Rom. 5:6; 2 Cor. 9:15; more at Blessing, Christ, Condemnation, Death, Gifts, God, Justification, Life, Victory)
Monday, May 14, 2012
Feast of Matthias the Apostle
It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God’s. He begs you to leave the future to Him and mind the present.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, v. I , London: Strahan & Co., 1873, p. 203
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:26-34; 11:28-30; Luke 12:25-26; Gal. 6:2; more at Burden, Future, Today, Weakness)
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945
Sin is sin, and we must not call it less than sin. It is not an act of love to explain sin away as a psychological determinism or sociological conditioning, for it is real and must be dealt with. Men need a Savior. Therefore, Christians in our generation must resist relativistic and deterministic thinking. If men are going to find a real solution to the problem of who they are, they must come to terms with the fact that they need a Savior because they are sinners in the presence of a holy God. Sin is serious business.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), No Little People, Downer Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1974, reprint, Crossway, 2003, p. 45
(see the book; see also Isa. 6:5; Matt. 5:48; Luke 16:15; Rom. 14:23; Heb. 2:2-3; 12:14; more at God, Holiness, Love, Savior, Sin, Sinner)
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877
I speak as a socially concerned evangelical, one who sees that the Gospel is a stick of dynamite in the social structure. We need to proclaim the whole Gospel to the whole man, and this includes relating Christian faith to the whole man, and this includes relating Christian faith to the economic and political areas of life as well as the so-called religious area. At the same time we must beware of combining the Gospel with any social ideology.
... Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010), Essentials of Evangelical Theology, Harper & Row, 1978, p. xi
(see the book; see also Ex. 23:6; Isa. 1:23; Amos 5:24; Luke 7:29-30; Acts 20:26-27; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17; more at Faith, Gospel, Man, Preach, Social)
Thursday, May 17, 2012
The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.
... William Blake (1757-1827), The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, University of California Press, 2008, p. 201
(see the book; see also Ex. 23:4-5; Pr. 19:11; 25:21; Matt. 5:43-44; 6:14-15; 18:21-22; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:27-28; Rom. 12:14; Col. 3:13; more at Forgiveness, Glory, Victory)
Friday, May 18, 2012
Israel had another house besides Jerusalem [which was destroyed and the nation dispersed]. It was not merely their national existence, but there was another habitation which God had given unto them—the habitation of the word of God. Their house is left unto them desolate. They are still reading Moses and the prophets; they are still familiar with the outward form of the Word; but the house is desolate. They read the Bible, but the Master of the house is not seen by them. They read Moses, but He of whom Moses testifies is not known by them. They read the prophets, but the Messiah and His great work—behold, this is hidden from their eyes!
... Adolph Saphir (1831-1891), Christ and Israel, London: Morgan and Scott, 1911, p. 124-125
(see the book; see also Matt. 23:37-39; John 3:11-12; 5:39-40; Rom. 9:3-6; more at Bible, Desolation, God, Israel, Jerusalem, Messiah, Nation, Prophet)
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Feast of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
Consecrated brethren, we who keep our confidence,We who learn from Jesus the obedience of our Lord,We are house and household for the coming Prince of Glory,Holding fast our hope in full reliance on His Word.
... Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985)
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:1-6; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Confidence, Consecration, Hope, Jesus, Kingdom, Obedience)
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Idolatry is... all manner of devotion in those that would serve God without Christ the Mediator, his Word and command. In [the Roman Catholic world] it was held a work of the greatest sanctity for the monks to sit in their cells and meditate of God, and of his wonderful works; to be kindled with zeal, kneeling on their knees, praying, and having their imaginary contemplations of celestial objects, with such supposed devotion, that they wept for joy. In these their conceits, they banished all desires and thoughts of women, and what else is temporal and evanescent. They seemed to meditate only on God, and his wonderful works. Yet all these seeming holy actions of devotion, which the wit and wisdom of man holds to be angelical sanctity, are nothing else but works of the flesh. All manner of religion, where people serve God without his Word and command, is simply idolatry, and the more holy and spiritual such a religion seems, the more hurtful and venomous it is; for it leads people away from the faith of Christ, and makes them rely and depend upon their own strength, works, and righteousness.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), Table-Talk , CLXXI
(see the book; see also Col. 3:4-6; Isa. 41:24; 66:3-4; Hab. 1:11; 1 Cor. 12:2-3; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 3:8-9; more at Idol, Meditation, Sin, Work)
Monday, May 21, 2012
Feast of Commemoration of Helena, Protector of the Faith, 330
God Himself, who is the Author of virtue, shall there [in the city of God] be its reward; for, as there is nothing greater or better, He has promised Himself. What else was meant by His word through the prophet, “I will be your God, and ye shall be my people,” than, I shall be their satisfaction, I shall be all that men honorably desire,—life, and health, and nourishment, and plenty, and glory, and honor, and peace, and all good things? This, too, is the right interpretation of the saying of the apostle, “That God may be all in all.” He shall be the end of our desires who shall be seen without end, loved without cloy, praised without weariness.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), The City of God, v. II, Marcus Dods, ed., as vol. 2 of The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Edinbugh: T & T Clark, 1871, XXII.30, p. 541
(see the book; see also Lev. 26:12; Joel 2:27; 1 Cor. 12:6; 15:28; Col. 3:11; Heb. 11:16; more at City of God, Glory, God, Goodness, Health, Honor, Life, Love, Peace, Praise, Promise, Satisfaction, Virtue)
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
If you have failings, ask God often whether it be His honour and pleasure to take them away from you; for without Him you can do nothing. If he takes them away, thank Him; but if He does not do that, you will bear it no more, however, as the defect of a sin, but as a great trial with which you are to gain merit and practice patience. You should be content, whether or not He accords you His gift.
... Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?), Works of Meister Eckhart, London: J. M. Watkins, 1924, p. 39
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:13; 15:10; 2 Cor. 12:7-10; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; more at Bearing, Contentment, God, Patience, Sin, Thanksgiving, Trial, Weakness)
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Commemoration of Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, 6th century
“The Law,” he says, “was our ‘pedagogue’, until Christ should come.” Those words have been interpreted as though they described the Law as a preparatory education, continued at a higher stage by Christ. That, however, is not quite what Paul meant. The “pedagogue” in Greek society was not a schoolmaster, he did not give lessons... He was a slave who accompanied a boy to school, and both waited upon him and exercised a supervision which interfered with the boy’s freedom of action. He is, in fact, a figure in the little allegory which Paul gives us to illustrate the position of the People of God before Christ came. There was a boy left heir to a great estate. He was a minor, and so must have guardians and trustees. He was as helpless in their hands as if he had been a slave. He must live on the allowance they gave him, and follow their wishes from day to day. They gave him a “pedagogue” to keep him out of mischief. He could not please himself, or realize his own purposes and ambitions. Yet all the time he was the heir; the estate was his, and no one else’s. Just so the People of God, the Divine Commonwealth, was cramped and fettered by ignorance and evil times. It remained in uneasy expectation of one day coming into active existence. At last the heir came of age: guardians and trustees abdicated their powers, and the grown man possessed in full realization all that was his. So now the fettered life of the Divine Commonwealth bursts its bonds and comes into active existence... The intervention of law was not a reversal of God’s original and eternal purpose of pure love and grace towards men, it only subserved that purpose, while it seemed to contradict it, just as the presence of the “pedagogus” might seem to the high-spirited young heir quite contrary to the rights secured to him by his father’s will.
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 79-80
(see the book; see also Lev. 25:42; Matt. 5:17-18; John 8:32-35; Rom. 3:20-22; 7:7-9; Gal. 3:21-24; more at Christ, Education, Grace, Helplessness, Law, Love, Slave)
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Feast of John and Charles Wesley, Priests, Poets, Teachers, 1791 & 1788
I could scarcely reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which [Whitfield] set me an example on Sunday; having been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if it had not been done in a church.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), entry for March 29, 1739, Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, v. I, London: J. Kershaw, 1827, p. 177
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:1-12; Rom. 1:16; 11:13-14; 1 Cor. 9:19-22; more at Church, Example, Historical, Preach, Salvation, Sin, Soul, Sunday)
Friday, May 25, 2012
Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735
Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, 709
If we look carefully within ourselves, we shall find that there are certain limits beyond which we refuse to go in offering ourselves to [God]. We hover around these reservations, making believe not to see them, for fear of self-reproach... The more we shrink from giving up any such reserved point, the more certain it is that it needs to be given up. If we were not fast bound by it, we should not make so many efforts to persuade ourselves that we are free.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fénelon, ed. Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879, p. 61-62
(see the book; see also Ps. 51:17; 69:30-31; Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; Phil. 2:17; Heb. 13:15-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Bondage, Freedom, God, Offering, Self, Weakness)
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Feast of Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
Commemoration of Arthur John Gossip, Spiritual Writer, 1954
No doubt the gospel is quite free, as free as the Victoria Cross, which anyone can have who is prepared to face the risks; but it means time, and pains, and concentrating all one’s energies upon a mighty project. You will not stroll into Christlikeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for one’s leisure moments, taken up at intervals when we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting... It takes all one’s strength, and all one’s heart, and all one’s mind, and all one’s soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint. This is a business for adventurous spirits; others would shrink out of it. And so Christ had a way of pulling up would-be recruits with sobering and disconcerting questions, of meeting applicants, breathless and panting in their eagerness, by asking them if they really thought they had the grit, the stamina, the gallantry, required. For many, He explained, begin, but quickly become cowed, and slink away, leaving a thing unfinished as a pathetic monument of their own lack of courage and of staying power.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924, p. 230-231
(see the book; see also Matt. 7:13-14; 10:22; 24:12-13; Mark 4:18-19; 13:13; Luke 18:18-27; 22:31-32; John 8:31-32; 15:4; more at Christ, Christlikeness, Courage, Gospel, Heart, Mind, Pain, Soul, Spirit, Strength)
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Commemoration of John Calvin, renewer of the Church, 1564
It is extraordinary that sects of religious enthusiasts, from the Montanists down to the Catholic Apostolics, should have imagined that to make verbal noises which nobody else could understand was evidence of Divine Inspiration, a repetition of the miracle of Pentecost. What happened at Pentecost was exactly the opposite, the miracle of instantaneous translation—everybody could understand when everybody else was saying.
... W. H. Auden (1907-1973), A Certain World, London: Faber and Faber, 1971, p. 170
(see the book; see also Isa. 28:11; Acts 2:4-11; 10:44-46; more at Inspiration, Miracle, Pentecost, Sect, Understanding)
Monday, May 28, 2012
Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089
Popularity is the most dangerous spiritual state imaginable, since it leads one so easily to the spiritual pride which drowns men in perdition. It is a symptom to be watched with anxiety since so often it has been purchased at the too heavy price of compromise with the world.
... Stephen Neill (1900-1984), in The Record, 28 March, 1947, p. 161
(see the book; see also Matt. 23:6-8; 20:26-28; Mark 10:43-44; Luke 11:43; Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:27-29; Gal. 6:3; Phil. 2:3; more at Anxiety, Condemnation, Danger, Pride, World)
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
In a Christian community, everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. A community which allows unemployed members to exist within it will perish because of them. It will be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community, that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable. Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the fellowship.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together , tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 95-96
(see the book; see also Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 12:22-24; Heb. 5:12-14; more at Community, Doubt, Existence, Fellowship, Strength, Weakness)
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Feast of Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906
Commemoration of Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431
Commemoration of Apolo Kivebulaya, Priest, Evangelist, 1933
In the beginning we are indeed the subject and the center of our prayers. But in God’s time and in God’s way a Copernican revolution takes place in our heart. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, there is a shift in our center of gravity. We pass from thinking of God as part of our life to the realization that we are part of his life. Wondrously and mysteriously God moves from the periphery of our prayer experience to the center.
... Richard J. Foster (b. 1942), Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, HarperCollins, 1992, p. 15
(see the book; see also Ps. 42:8; Matt. 6:6; Luke 6:12; John 14:16; Rom. 8:26; 1 Thess. 5:17-18; Jude 1:20; more at Beginning, Experience, God, Heart, Life, Prayer)
Thursday, May 31, 2012
The more earnestly you are at work for Jesus, the more you need times when what you are doing for Him passes totally out of your mind, and the only thing worth thinking of seems to be what He is doing for you.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Twenty Sermons, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1887, p. 234
(see the book; see also Ps. 1:1-2; Jer. 14:22; Hag. 2:19; Matt. 6:32-33; Luke 9:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:9-10; 2 Cor. 9:8-10; more at Contemplation, Jesus, Need, Thought, Work)
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