Christ, our Light

Quotations for November, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012
Feast of All Saints

God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose. If we do this, God’s omnipotent commitment to His name will be over us like a banner, and we will not lose, in spite of many tribulations.
... John S. Piper (b. 1946), Let the Nations Be Glad!, Baker Academic, 2010 (3rd ed.), p. 62 (see the book; see also Acts 9:16; John 15:20; 16:2-4; Rom. 8:35-39; 2 Tim. 2:9-10; more at Comfort, God, Omnipotence, Purpose, Renunciation, Worldly, Worship)

Friday, November 2, 2012
Feast of All Souls

“Not called,” did you say? Not heard the call, I think you should say. He has been calling loudly ever since He spoke your sins forgiven—if you are forgiven at all—entreating and beseeching you to be His ambassador. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull poor sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonised heart of humanity and listen to its pitying wail for help. Go and stand by the gates of Hell and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house, and bid their brothers, and sisters, and servants, and masters not to come there. And then look the Christ in the face, whose mercy you profess to have got, and whose words you have promised to obey, and tell Him whether you will join us heart and soul and body and circumstances in this march to publish His mercy to all the world.
... William Booth (1829-1912), All the World, v. I, London: Salvation Army Book Stores, 1884-1885, n.1, Nov. 1884, p. 2 (see the book; see also Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 9:22; more at Bible, Call, Christ, Condemnation, Fire, Forgiveness, Hell, Mercy, Sinner)

Saturday, November 3, 2012
Feast of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher, 1600
Commemoration of Martin of Porres, Dominican Friar, 1639

The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 23 (see the book; see also Acts 15:32; Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:14-26; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 2:14; 4:11-13; Col. 1:27; 3:15-16; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:24; more at Christ, Discouragement, God, Heart, Jesus, Salvation, Truth, Uncertainty, Weakness)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Every life is a profession of faith and exercises an inevitable and silent influence.
... Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel, tr. Mrs. Humphry Ward, New York: Macmillan, 1885, p. 36 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:14-16; Rom. 13:13-14; Eph. 5:8; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 2:11-12; Tit. 2:7-8; 1 Pet. 2:12; 3:15-16; more at Faith, Influence, Life)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Self-rule will probably err. Moreover, those who choose their own path must be responsible for the consequences thereof, however serious; whereas when God rules, we need nothing save patient trust. He loves us far more than we can love ourselves, and He watches over us with more than a Father’s love. Trust in Him, and it is impossible for devil or man to hinder His grace.
... Jean Nicolas Grou (1731-1803), The Hidden Life of the Soul, London: Rivingtons, 1870, p. 1 (see the book; see also Ps. 52:7-8; 119:41-42; Nah. 1:7; 2 Cor. 1:9; 10:3-4; Jas. 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 5:7; more at Father, Grace, Love, Responsibility, Rule, Trust)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Feast of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1944

All is of God; the only thing of my very own which I can contribute to my own redemption is the sin from which I need to be redeemed.
... William Temple (1881-1944), Nature, Man and God, London: Macmillan, 1934, 1949, p. 401 (see the book; see also Matt. 20:26-28; Luke 21:28; Rom. 3:22-24; Eph. 1:7-8; Col. 1:13-14; Tit. 2:12-14; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 2:2; more at God, Redemption, Salvation, Sin)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739

Learning without the Holy Ghost blinds men to the realities of Divine truth.
... Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932), The Way to Pentecost, Hodder and Stoughton, 1932, p. 36 (see the book; see also Isa. 9:16; Mal. 2:8; Matt. 15:13-14; 23:23-24; Luke 6:39; John 5:39-40; more at Blindness, Holy Spirit, Truth)

Thursday, November 8, 2012
Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England

The “one thing” that the rich young ruler lacked was eternal life. The only thing a dead man lacks is life. The only thing a sick man lacks is health. The only thing a beggar lacks is money... The “one thing” a man lacks who is not a Christian is eternal life. Believe in Christ, and then go to work.
... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), from “Five ‘One Things’,” in Homiletic Review, v. XXXIII, I. K. Funk & D. S. Gregory, eds., New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1897, p. 236 (see the book; see also Matt. 16:24-26; Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23-25; 18:22; Jas. 2:10; more at Christ, Death, Eternal life, Health, Money, Work)

Friday, November 9, 2012
Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433

People like to make their pastoral leaders feel necessary so that they can cop out of their responsibilities in the “priesthood of all believers.” If we rediscover our pastoral call, however, we know that we are merely equippers, prodders, encouragers, and promoters of all the people so that each one fulfills his or her vocation in the Church. Then no one is more “necessary” than any others, but all are set free to “be Church,” to live in a way corresponding to the priesthood to which each Christian has been called.
... Eugene H. Peterson (1932-2018), The Unnecessary Pastor, Marva J. Dawn, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000, p. 228 (see the book; see also Rom. 12:6-8; 15:4-5; Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Thess. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:2; Heb. 13:20-21; 1 Pet. 2:9; more at Call, Church, Fulfillment, Leader, Minister, People, Responsibility, Way)

Saturday, November 10, 2012
Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461

The fact of Jesus’ coming is the final and unanswerable proof that God cares.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), in Presbyterian Survey, v. 55 (see the book; see also John 3:16-17; 6:38; Rom. 5:8; Gal. 4:3-5; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 1:13-15; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 John 4:9-10; more at Jesus, Love, Proof)

Sunday, November 11, 2012
Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397

The first article of Christian faith is that man has one and only one true object of worship. There is one Holy God, creator of heaven and earth. He is Lord of all life. To Him we are beholden for our life in all its meaning and its hope. Monotheism for the Christian means that anything else which is put in the place of our loyalty to God is an idol. The worship of national power, or racial prestige, or financial success, or cultural tradition, is a violation of the one truth about our life, that all created things come from God. To commit life to the one true God is to refuse to have any other gods at all. Values there are in abundance, interests, plans, programs, loyalties to family and nation. But these are not gods. They do not save us. They are not holy in themselves.
... Daniel Day Williams (1910-1973), Interpreting Theology, 1918-1952, Daniel Day Williams, London: SCM Press, 1953, ed. 3, under alternative title, New York: Harper, 1959, p. 21 (see the book; see also Ex. 20:3; 1 Kings 18:21-40; Isa. 45:21-22; Jer. 25:6; Matt. 4:10; 1 Cor. 8:5-6; Col. 3:5; more at God, Idol, Monotheism, Worship)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christ died to save us, not from suffering, but from ourselves; not from injustice, far less from justice, but from being unjust. He died that we might live—but live as he lives, by dying as he died who died to himself that he might live unto God. If we do not die to ourselves, we cannot live to God, and he that does not live to God, is dead.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “Freedom”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 96 (see the book; see also John 8:32-36; Rom. 6:6-7; 8:9,13-14; Gal. 2:20; more at Christ, Death, God, Justice, Life, Salvation, Suffer)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Feast of Charles Simeon, Pastor, Teacher, 1836

Faith is life in Jesus Christ, and a life can never be confined within certain systems or creeds. Therefore creeds are not the end or object of faith in themselves, but expressions of our fellowship with Christ, and must not be mistaken for the object or center of our faith. Obviously the fullness of the living Christ cannot be held within the narrow limits of written creeds.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 2 (see the book; see also Mark 7:6-8; John 5:39-40; Acts 10:47-48; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 4:7; 6:20-21; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 1 John 2:27; more at Creed, Faith, Fullness, Jesus, Life)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796

Perfection does not consist in the knowledge of God’s order, but in submission to it. The order of God, the good pleasure of God, the will of God, the action of God, grace—all these are one and the same thing in this life... Perfection is nothing else than the faithful cooperation of the soul with the work of God. This ultimate purpose of our life grows and increases in our souls secretly and without our knowledge.
... Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751), Abandonment to Divine Providence, I.i.4 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:48; 12:50; Rom. 12:1-2; Phil. 3:12; Jas. 1:22; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; more at Cooperation, Faith, God, Knowledge, Life, Perfection, Purpose, Will of God)

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Commemoration of Oswald Chambers, spiritual writer, 1917

One wants to have love alone, not seeing that by denying God’s holiness and wrath, God’s love is deprived of its true depth and meaning. Is it not so even in human experience? The man who cannot become angry, cannot truly love. The man who passes over treachery, infidelity, breach of confidence as if it were nothing, cannot be a true friend and cannot be faithful himself. It is here that a decision of the first order takes place: he who refuses to hear of God’s wrath, judgment and condemnation, will never understand Jesus Christ. The living God is the God whose love is united with holiness. This paradox of holiness and mercy is... the essence of the biblical doctrine of God.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Scandal of Christianity, London: SCM Press, 1951, reprint, John Knox Press, 1965, p. 78 (see the book; see also Ps. 30:5; Isa. 42:24-25; Amos 4:10-12; Acts 17:30-31; more at Faith, God, Holiness, Infidelity, Jesus, Judgment, Love, Mercy)

Friday, November 16, 2012
Feast of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church, 1093
Commemoration of Edmund Rich of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1240

In his enthusiasm, the evangelist often finds it difficult seriously to imagine that anyone could be called not to be an evangelist. The man of vision and imagination finds it difficult to see the value of those who do no more than plod on faithfully along a well-tried road. The man whose concern is personal dealing with people and leading them to understand God better finds it difficult to be patient with the theologian or the Christian philosopher whose work is in the quiet of a book-lined study. Yet the truth is that the wholeness which God is working to achieve is never complete in an individual, but through individuals living together as one body, each supplying the deficiencies of the others.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole, London: Highway Press, 1952, p. 66 (see the book; see also Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-7,14-31; Eph. 4:15-16; more at Body of Christ, Church, Evangelization, Leader, Philosophy, Theology)

Saturday, November 17, 2012
Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200

We sometimes confer too great importance on our individual spiritual or religious life. To be sure, each of us is of infinite worth before God, for he gave his Son to save us. But above all each of us is important for the work which God demands. The Christian is not just the man who is saved by Christ; he is the man whom God uses for the salvation of others by Christ.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Judgment of Jonah, tr. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1971, p. 88-89 (see the book; see also Acts 8:30-31; 11:22-24; 1 Cor. 1:17; 10:33; Eph. 4:11; more at Christ, God, Man, Salvation, Spiritual life, Work)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The people of God are not merely to mark time, waiting for God to step in and set right all that is wrong. Rather, they are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will someday bring to pass.
... Philip Yancey (b. 1949), Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud, p. 237 (see the book; see also Pr. 4:18; Isa. 42:3; Mark 15:43; John 12:36; Phil. 2:14-16; Rev. 21:2; more at Awakening, Earth, God, Heaven, People, Time)

Monday, November 19, 2012
Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280

[The Holy Spirit is voluntarily] distributing to every one as he will; and therefore is this work done in so great variety, both as to the same person and divers. For the same person, full of joy sometimes in a great distress, full of consolation,—every promise brings sweetness when his pressures are great and heavy; another time, in the least trial [he] seeks for comfort, searches the promise, and it is far away. The reason is, the Spirit distributes as he will. And so with divers persons: to some each promise is full of life and comfort; others taste little all their days;—all upon the same account. And this faith especially regards in the whole business of consolation:—it depends on the sovereign will of the Holy Ghost; and so is not tied unto any rules or course of procedure.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost [1657], in Works of John Owen, v. II, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, p. 238 (see the book; see also John 3:8; 14:26; 16:13-15; more at Comfort, Consolation, Faith, Holy Spirit, Joy, People, Promise, Trial, Work)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Feast of Edmund of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
Commemoration of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876

We should always consider with greatest concern (even if it is only in a casual conversation or when we are alone with ourselves) that a free space is left through which God Himself can come to us.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), from “He Himself” in Come Holy Spirit: Sermons, New York: Round Table Press, 1933, reprint, Mowbrays, 1978, p. 161 (see the book; see also Matt. 6:6; 14:23; Luke 5:16; 10:38-42; John 6:15; more at Attitudes, Emptiness, God, Prayer)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Parochial Sermons, v. 1, New York: D. Appleton, 1843, p. 42 (see the book; see also Mark 8:34-35; 9:43-47; Luke 9:23; 14:26-27; Rom. 13:10-11; 1 John 2:28; more at Action, Christ, Cross, Duty, Obedience)

Thursday, November 22, 2012
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963
Thanksgiving (U.S.)

Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. And to be at last summoned inside would be both the glory and honor beyond all our merits and also the healing of that old ache.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “The Weight of Glory” in The Weight of Glory, and other addresses, Macmillan Co., 1949, p. 12 (see the book; see also Ps. 27:4; 42:1-2; 63:1-2; 84:1-2,10; 143:6; Matt. 18:20; John 4:23-24; Rev. 21:22; more at Door, Glory, Health, Honor, Kingdom, Longing)

Friday, November 23, 2012
Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100

[After the Ascension, the Apostles] returned to the city, conscious that they were entrusted with the Gospel message which was the salvation of the world, and at the end of their task they would again meet face to face the Lord Who had committed it to them. From that day to this, these two themes have been inseparable from health in the church.
... B. F. C. Atkinson (1895-1971), Valiant in Fight, London: Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Evangelical Unions, 1937, p. 11 (see the book; see also Isa. 65:1; Matt. 24:14; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; John 14:3; Acts 1:7-11; Heb. 9:27-28; more at Ascension, Church, Commitment, God, Gospel, Health, Salvation)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed,
If Thou the spirit give by which I pray:
My unassisted heart is barren clay,
That of its native self can nothing feed:
Of good and pious works Thou art the seed,
That quickens only where Thou sayest it may:
Unless Thou shew to us Thine own true way,
No man can find it: Father! Thou must lead.
Do Thou, then, breathe those thoughts into my mind
By which such virtue may in me be bred
That in Thy holy footsteps I may tread;
The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind,
That I may have the power to sing of Thee,
And sound Thy praises everlastingly.
... Michelangelo Buonarrotti (1475-1564), translated by William Wordsworth in The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, William Wordsworth, Philadelphia: Troutman & Hayes, 1851, p. 220 (see the book; see also Isa. 64:8; Rom. 8:26; 9:21; 2 Cor. 12:9; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18; 6:18; Jude 1:20; more at Goodness, Holiness, Praise, Prayer, Prayers, Truth, Virtue, Way)

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Commemoration of Katherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th century

It is a fearful case to be an unsanctified professor, but much more to be an unsanctified preacher. Doth it not make you tremble when you open the Bible, lest you should read there the sentence of your own condemnation? When you pen your sermons, little do you think that you are drawing up indictments against your own souls! ... Oh what an aggravated misery is this, to perish in the midst of plenty, and to famish with the bread of life in our hands, while we offer it to others, and urge it on them!
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Reformed Pastor [1655], in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. IV, G. Virtue, 1838, p. 423 (see the book; see also Ps. 32:1-2; Matt. 25:45; John 3:18-19; 6:35,48-51; Rom. 5:1-2; 8:1-2; Jas. 3:1; more at Bible, Bread, Condemnation, Fear, Preacher, Sermon, Soul)

Monday, November 26, 2012
Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748

Had I the tongues of Greeks and Jews,
And nobler speech than angels use;
If love be absent, I am found,
Like tinkling brass, an empty sound.
Were I inspir’d to preach, and tell
All that is done in heaven and hell;
Or could my faith the world remove,
Still—I am nothing without love.
Should I distribute all my store,
To feed the hung’ry, clothe the poor;
Or give my body to the flame,
To gain a martyr’s glorious name;—
If love to God, and love to men,
Be absent—all my hopes are vain:
Nor tongues, nor gifts, nor fiery zeal,
The works of love can e’er fulfil.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, n. 134, p. 360 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:1-3; Gal. 5:6; 1 Pet. 4:8; 2 Pet. 2:18; 1 John 4:8; more at Emptiness, Gifts, God, Hope, Love, Man, Martyr, Poverty, Preach, Zeal)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The church had magnificent buildings, superb equipment, trained leadership, excellent teaching materials, organizational ability, and yet lacked that one thing that could take all these tools and make them the channel of God’s will. In spite of its ever-increasing membership, the church lacks the spirit of God’s growing love and understanding that can transform it from an efficient organization into a loving, dynamic fellowship where men and women become vitally alive with faith, love, and hope.
... Thomas M. Steen, “Renewal in the Church”, in Spiritual Renewal through Personal Groups, John L. Casteel, ed., NY: Association Press, 1957, p. 30 (see the book; see also Isa. 9:6-7; John 13:34-35; Acts 4:32-35; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:24; 1 John 2:10; 2 John 1:5; more at Church, Faith, Fellowship, God, Growth, Hope, Love, Teach, Understanding)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

If religion calleth us to a life of watching and prayer, it is because we live amongst a crowd of enemies, and are always in need of the assistance of God. If we are to confess and bewail our sins, it is because such confessions relieve the mind, and restore it to ease; as burdens and weights taken off the shoulders, relieve the body, and make it easier to itself. If we are to be frequent and fervent in holy petitions, it is to keep us steady in the sight of our true good, and that we may never want the happiness of a lively faith, a joyful hope, and well-grounded trust in God. If we are to pray often, it is that we may be often happy in such secret joys as only prayer can give; in such communications of the Divine Presence, as will fill our minds with all the happiness, that beings not in Heaven are capable of.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 180 (see the book; see also Ps. 32:5; 40:11-13; 51:7; Luke 11:5-8; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; Heb. 5:7; Jas. 5:16; 1 John 1:9; 2 John 1:8; Rev. 3:11; 16:15; more at Confession, Enemy, Faith, God, Goodness, Happiness, Hope, Life, Prayer, Religion, Truth)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

As to the question, How shall we be persuaded that it came from God without recurring to a decree of the Church? it is just the same as if it were asked, How shall we learn to distinguish light from darkness, white from black, sweet from bitter? Scripture bears upon the face of it as clear evidence of its truth, as white and black do of their colour, sweet and bitter of their taste.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.vii.2, p. 76-77 (see the book; see also Ps. 93:5; John 1:4-5; Rom. 8:16; Eph. 2:19-20; more at Bitterness, Church, Darkness, God, Light, Question, Scripture, Truth)

Friday, November 30, 2012
Feast of Andrew the Apostle

Whether it be a brief, single encounter or the daily community of many years, Christian community is solely this. We belong to one another only through and in Jesus Christ.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 31 (see the book; see also Rom. 13:8; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:10; 15:7; Gal. 3:26-27; 5:13; Eph. 2:19-20; 3:6; 4:32; Heb. 3:13; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; 1 John 1:7; more at Body of Christ, Christ, Community, Jesus)


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