Quotations for September, 2015
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Commemoration of Giles of Provence, Hermit, c.710
The apologetic of the New Testament, and of the early centuries generally, was addressed to men who had been brought up within one or other of the great pre-Christian religious systems and who staunchly defended their own inherited traditions against the innovation of the Christian outlook; whereas any apologetic that is to be effective in this country today must be addressed to men who stand within the inheritance of the Christian tradition and know nothing, save by hearsay, of any other, but who have now in varying degrees disengaged themselves from this tradition and whose quarrel with Christianity is therefore undertaken from the point of view either of no religion at all or of some very vague and tenuous residuum of Christian religiosity.
... John Baillie (1886-1960), Invitation to Pilgrimage, Oxford University Press, 1942, and New York: Scribner, 1942, p. 7-8
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:1-12; Matt. 12:39; Acts 2:40; 17:21; Rom. 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; more at Apologetics, Bible, Inheritance, Knowledge, Religion, Salvation, Today, Tradition)
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942
All encompassing in all places,All encompassing in each place,Bestowing being upon each place,On all that occupies a place,
The successive for You is simultaneous,In these spaces and times that you created,Satellites of your Gentleness.Alight yourself like a seal, on my heart.
... Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), Three Small Liturgies of the Divine Presence , Paris: Editions Durand & Cie., c1952, sec. III
(see also Ps. 139; Job 38:4-5; Ps. 20:6; Ps. 34:18; Matt. 4:17; Col. 1:27; Jas. 4:8; more at Blessing, Creation, Gentleness, God, Heart, Omnipresence)
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Feast of Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, Teacher, 604
One can believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and feel no personal loyalty to Him at all—indeed, pay no attention whatever to His commandments and His will for one’s life. One can believe intellectually in the efficacy of prayer and never do any praying.
... Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), Beyond Our Selves, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961, p. 71
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:19; Matt. 23:23-24; Rom. 1:18-23; 1 Cor. 8:4; more at Authenticity, Belief, Commandment, Jesus, Loyalty, Prayer)
Friday, September 4, 2015
Commemoration of Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester (Oxon), Apostle of Wessex, 650
All that Christ wanted was faith in Himself. He had no interest in any institutional organization with worldly offices and laws. Neither did He give any dogmas or creeds which may be used to distinguish believers from non-believers. When He praised the faith of people, it was not because of their orthodox theology, or the fact that they belonged to some organization, but on account of their simple faith in His person.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 6
(see the book; see also Matt. 9:20-22; 8:5-13; 9:28-30; 15:22-28; Mark 5:25-34; 10:46-52; Luke 7:2-10,50; 8:43-48; 17:12-19; 18:35-43; John 9:35-38; 11:25-27,45; 12:44; 14:1; 1 Tim. 1:16; more at Christ, Creed, Dogma, Faith, People, Simplicity, Worldly)
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Now we shall possess a right definition of faith if we call it a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.ii.7, p. 496
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:4-5; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:14-17; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 11:1; more at Faith, Heart, Holy Spirit, Knowledge, Promise, Revelation)
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851
Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965
We walk by faith, and not by sight;No gracious words we hear From Him who spoke as never man, But we believe Him near.
We may not touch His hands and side,Nor follow where he trod; But in His promise we rejoice, And cry, “My Lord and God.”
Help Thou, O Lord, our unbelief;And may our faith abound, To call on Thee when Thou art near, And seek where Thou art found:
That when our life of faith is done,In realms of clearer light We may behold Thee as Thou art, With full and endless sight.
... Henry Alford (1810-1871), , The Poetical Works of Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury, London: Strahan & Company, 1868, p. 300
(see the book; see also Mark 9:23-24; John 20:24-28; 2 Cor. 5:7; Eph. 1:17-18; Heb. 12:2; more at Belief, Call, Faith, Life, Light, Promise, Sight, Unbelief)
Monday, September 7, 2015
Commemoration of Douglas Downes, Founder of the Society of Saint Francis, 1957
Our imitation of God in this life—that is, our willed imitation, as distinct from any of the likenesses which He has impressed upon our natures or our states—must be an imitation of God Incarnate: our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life in itself, is apparently not only like, but is, the Divine life operating under human conditions.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 6
(see the book; see also Mark 6:3; 1 Cor. 15:48-49; Phil. 2:5-7; 2 Thess. 3:10; Heb. 2:17; 4:15; more at Calvary, Crowd, God, Incarnation, Jesus, Life)
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Commemoration of Søren Kierkegaard, Teacher and Philosopher, 1855
It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression “follower.” He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life Christ is looking for.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Practice in Christianity, tr. Hong, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991, p. 237-252
(see the book; see also Mark 8:34; Matt. 4:19; 8:22; 9:37; 16:24; 28:19-20; Mark 1:17; 2:14; Luke 5:27; 9:23; 14:27; John 1:43; more at Call, Christ, Disciple, Life)
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Go back! Back to that Upper Room, back to your knees, back to the searching of heart and habit, thought and life; back to pleading, praying, waiting, till the Spirit of the Lord floods the soul with light, and you are endued with power from on high. Then go forth in the power of Pentecost, and the Christ-life shall be lived, and the works of Christ shall be done. You shall open blind eyes, cleanse foul hearts, break men’s fetters, and save men’s souls. In the power of the Indwelling Spirit, miracles become the commonplace of daily living.
... Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932), Humanity and God, Hodder and Stoughton, 1904, p. 201
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:13; Matt. 6:6; Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8; Eph. 5:18; more at Christ, Heart, Holy Spirit, Life, Miracle, Pentecost, Prayer, Search, Thought)
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Cultivate the habit of speaking aloud to God. Not perhaps always, because our desires are often too sacred or deep to be put into words. But it is well to acquire the habit of speaking to God as to a present friend while sitting in the house or walking by the way. Seek the habit of talking things over with God—letters, your plans, your hopes, your mistakes, your sorrows and sins. Things look very differently when brought into the calm light of His presence.
... Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847-1929), The Secret of Guidance, New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1896, p. 107-108
(see the book; see also Ps. 3:4; Deut. 30:14; Josh. 1:5; Ps. 22:22; 31:20; 52:9; 95:1; 142:1; Phil. 4:5; Jas. 4:8; more at Calm, Friend, God, Hope, Light, Sin, Sorrow)
Friday, September 11, 2015
Read what chapter, or doctrine of Scripture you will, be ever so delighted with it, it will leave you as poor, as empty and unreformed as it found you, unless it be a delight that proceeds from, and has turned you wholly and solely to the Spirit of God, and strengthened your union with, and dependence upon him.
... William Law (1686-1761), An Humble, Earnest, and Affectionate Address, to the Clergy, Edinburgh: Guthrie and Tait, 1817, p. 2-3
(see the book; see also John 16:13-15; Neh. 9:20; Ps. 1:2; 119:11; 37:31; John 15:26-27; 16:7-11; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16; more at Dependence, Emptiness, Poverty, Reform, Scripture, Understanding)
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Must I face the stormy river?There is One to break its flood—Christ, my great High-priest and faithful,Christ, my all-sufficient good:Through His blood shall come the triumphOver death and hell to me;And I shall be in His likeness,Sinless through eternity.
Disembodied of all evil,I shall pierce with earnest eyesInto Calvary’s deep wonders,And its infinite surprise:The Invisible beholding,Who is living and was dead;In a pure, unbroken unionWith the ever-living Head.
From salvation’s highest fountains,Oh, to drink with each new day!Till my thirst for earthly pleasuresHas completely passed away:Waiting always for my Master,Quick to answer to His call;Then to hold the door wide open,And enjoy Him, all in all.
... Ann Griffiths (1776-1805), in Sweet Singers of Wales: a story of Welsh hymns and their authors, Howell Elvet Lewis, London: Religious Tract Society, 1889, p. 66-67
(see the book; see also Ps. 32:1-2; Isa. 1:18; 43:25; Rom. 4:6-8; 5:11; Heb. 2:17; 4:15; 1 John 3:2; more at Calvary, Christ, Eternity, Evil, Infinite, Master, Pleasure, Salvation)
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Feast of John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, Teacher, 407
It would not have entered the Apostles’ thoughts to preach what they did preach, had they not enjoyed Divine Grace; and that so far from succeeding, they would not even have devised such a thing. Well then, let us also to-day prosecute the same subject in our discourse; and let us shew that it was a thing impossible so much as to be chosen or thought of by them, if they had not had Christ among them: not because they were arrayed, the weak against the strong, not because few against many, not because poor against rich, not because unlearned against wise, but because the strength of their prejudice, too, was great. For ye know that nothing is so strong with men as the tyranny of ancient custom.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), Homily VII, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, v. XII, ed. Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889, p. 40
(see the book; see also Acts 4:13-20; Rom. 10:14-15; 1 Cor. 1:17; Gal. 1:15-17; Eph. 3:8-9; more at Christ, Grace, Preach, Tyranny, Wisdom)
Monday, September 14, 2015
Feast of the Holy Cross
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all he his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 44-45
(see the book; see also Matt. 13:44-46; 16:26; 19:29; Luke 14:33; Phil. 3:7-9; Col. 2:2-3; more at Absolution, Baptism, Communion, Confession, Discipline, Forgiveness, Grace, Incarnation, Jesus, Preach, Repentance, Treasure)
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
We see [Jesus] exalting love for neighbor along with love for God. He reaches out to foreigners who are beyond the borders of the “Israel of God.” He seeks the release of captives, prisoners, and slaves. He denounces the scribes and religious leaders who “devour the houses of widows.” Despite his well-known requirement of loyalty that surpasses family ties, he insists that a man put the care of his own parents ahead of his obligations to his religion. His treatment of women is radically opposed to the strictures of that day. He exhibits sympathy and understanding toward children. He operates an out-patient clinic wherever he happens to be. He insists upon justice as the basis for everyday dealings between citizens. The social teaching of parables like “the good Samaritan” and incidents such as the encounter with the rich young ruler have had an effect upon his followers that cannot easily be measured. If one summary statement of Jesus’ ethics can be made, it is that love of God is best shown by love of fellow man.
... Sherwood Eliot Wirt (1911-2008), The Social Conscience of the Evangelical, New York: Harper & Row, 1968, p. 23
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:36-40; 7:16-20; 12:15; 19:18-19; Mark 12:29-31; Luke 4:17-19,40; 10:30-36; more at God, Health, Jesus, Justice, Love, Loyalty, Neighbor, Prisoner, Religion, Slave, Social, Teach, Woman)
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Feast of Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, Martyr, 258
Commemoration of Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle to the Picts, c. 430
Commemoration of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, tractarian, 1882
Now that is the will of God which Christ both did and taught. Humility in conversation; stedfastness in faith; modesty in words; justice in deeds; mercifulness in works; discipline in morals; to be unable to do a wrong, and to be able to bear a wrong when done; to keep peace with the brethren; to love God with all one’s heart; to love Him in that He is a Father; to fear Him in that He is God; to prefer nothing whatever to Christ, because He did not prefer anything to us; to adhere inseparably to His love; to stand by His cross bravely and faithfully; when there is any contest on behalf of His name and honour, to exhibit in discourse that constancy wherewith we make confession; in torture, that confidence wherewith we do battle; in death, that patience whereby we are crowned;—this is to desire to be fellow-heirs with Christ; this is to do the commandment of God; this is to fulfil the will of the Father.
... St. Cyprian (Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus) (?-258), Treatise IV. On the Lord’s Prayer , in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, v. V, Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, trs., Buffalo: Christian Literature Company, 1886, p. 451
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:6-7; 5:16,39-41; 11:29; Rom. 12:7-8; 1 Cor. 6:18; Phil. 2:8; Jas. 1:5-6; ; more at Bearing, Christ, Discipline, Faith, Father, God, Humility, Justice, Love, Morality, Peace, Will of God)
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Feast of St. Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179
To the extent that we are in a place of leadership (elder, pastor, teacher or whatever), we must especially hurry to repent because, if we do not, not only will we be hurt but so will the Lord’s work. If we are in the place of leadership, then hurry—hurry and repent when we sin.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), No Little People, Downer Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1974, reprint, Crossway, 2003, p. 59
(see the book; see also Jas. 3:1; 1 Sam. 15:26; Ps. 32:1-2; Matt. 5:23-26; Mark 1:15; 1 Tim. 3:2-3; 1 John 1:9; more at God, Minister, Repentance, Sin, Work)
Friday, September 18, 2015
Commemoration of George MacDonald, Spiritual Writer, 1905
Instead of so knowing Christ that they have Him in them saving them, they lie wasting themselves in soul-sickening self-examination as to whether they are believers, whether they are really trusting in the atonement, whether they are truly sorry for their sins—the way to madness of the brain and despair of the heart...Instead of asking yourself whether you believe or not, ask yourself whether you have, this day, done one thing because He said, Do it, or once abstained because He said, Do not do it. It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe, in Him, if you do not do anything He tells you.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Truth in Jesus”, in Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1886, p. 244-245
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:22; Matt. 7:24-27; 12:50; Luke 6:47-49; 11:28; John 13:17; 14:15; Eph. 4:20-23; 1 John 2:3; 5:3-5; more at Atonement, Belief, Christ, Despair, Heart, Knowledge, Obedience, Self-examination)
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Commemoration of Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
The ordinary historian would probably not condemn the spirit of Laodicea so strenuously as St. John did. In the tendency of the Laodiceans towards a policy of compromise he would probably see a tendency towards toleration and allowance, which indicated a certain sound practical sense, and showed that the various constituents of the population of Laodicea were well mixed and evenly balanced. He would regard its somewhat featureless character and its easy regular development as proving that it was a happy and well-ordered city, in whose constitution “the elements were kindlier mixed” than in any other city of Asia. He would consider probably that its success as a commercial city was the just reward of the strong common sense which characterised its people. St. John, however, was not one of those who regarded a successful career in trade and money-making as the best proof of the higher qualities of citizenship. The very characteristics which made Laodicea a well-ordered, energetic, and pushing centre of trade, seemed to him to evince a coldness of nature that was fatal to the highest side of human character, the spirit of self-sacrifice and enthusiasm.
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1904, p. 425-426
(see the book; see also Rev. 3:14-16; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16; more at City, Historical, Self-sacrifice, Spirit, Strength, Tolerance)
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Feast of John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia, & his Companions, Martyrs, 1871
The pleasures of being forgiven are as superior to the pleasures of an unforgiven man, as heaven is higher than hell. The peace of being forgiven reminds me of the calm, blue sky, which no earthly clamours can disturb. It lightens all labour, sweetens every morsel of bread, and makes a sick bed all soft and downy—yea, it takes away the scowl of death. Forgiveness may be yours now. It is not given to those who are good. It is not given to any because they are less wicked than others. It is given only to those who, feeling that their sins have brought a curse on them, which they cannot lift off, ‘look unto Jesus,’ as bearing all away.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Dundee: W. Middleton, 1845, p. 48
(see the book; see also Acts 13:38-39; Ps. 32:1-2; Matt. 11:29-30; 26:28; Acts 2:38; 5:31; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:13-14; Heb. 12:2; more at Death, Forgiveness, Heaven, Hell, Jesus, Pleasure)
Monday, September 21, 2015
Feast of Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist
How can we love a holy God? The simplest answer I can give to this vital question is that we can’t. Loving a holy God is beyond our moral power. The only kind of God we can love by our sinful nature is an unholy god, an idol made by our own hands. Unless we are born of the Spirit of God, unless God sheds his holy love into our hearts, unless He stoops in His grace to change our hearts, we will not love Him. He is the One who takes the initiative to restore our souls. Without Him we can do nothing of righteousness. Without Him we would be doomed to everlasting alienation from His holiness. We can only love Him because He first loved us.
... R. C. Sproul (1939-2017), Classic Teachings on the Nature of God, Hendrickson Publishers, 2010, p. 131
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:19; Luke 7:47; John 15:16; Eph. 2:3-5; Tit. 3:3-7; 1 John 4:10; more at Doom, Everlasting, God, Heart, Holiness, Love, Righteousness, Spirit)
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The truly patient man considereth not by what man he is tried, whether by one above him, or by an equal or inferior, whether by a good and holy man, or a perverse and unworthy; but indifferently from every creature, whatsoever or how often soever adversity happeneth to him, he gratefully accepteth all from the hand of God and counteth it great gain: for with God nothing which is borne for His sake, however small, shall lose its reward.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, III.xix.3, p. 150
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:11-12; 10:40-42; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:22-23,35; Eph. 6:7-8; more at Adversity, Equality, Goodness, Gratitude, Holiness, Patience)
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The glory of the Incarnation is that it presents to our adoring gaze, not a humanized God or a deified man, but a true God-man—one who is all that God is and at the same time all that man is: on whose almighty arm we can rest, and to whose human sympathy we can appeal. We cannot afford to lose either the God in the man or the man in the God; our hearts cry out for the complete God-man whom the Scriptures offer us.
... Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921), Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield, v. 1, Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1970, p. 166
(see the book; see also Phil. 2:6-8; Matt. 28:18; John 3:31; 5:26-27; 20:27-28; Heb. 4:15; Jas. 2:1; more at Glory, God, Incarnation, Man, Scripture, Sympathy, Truth)
Thursday, September 24, 2015
We may be perfectly sure of this, that the time of our need is the time of His closest and tenderest watchfulness. What would we think of a mother who should run away from her children the moment they got into trouble? And yet this hateful thing, which we would resent in any human mother, some of God’s own children do not hesitate to ascribe to Him!
... Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911), Every-day Religion, New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1893, p. 111
(see the book; see also Isa. 43:1-3; Ps. 18:6; 116:1-2; Isa. 43:16-17; Matt. 4:24; Luke 4:40; Rom. 15:13; Heb. 4:14; more at Child, God, Need, Time, Trouble)
Friday, September 25, 2015
Feast of Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, Spiritual Writer, 1626
Commemoration of Sergius of Radonezh, Russian Monastic Reformer, Teacher, 1392
[Jesus] sheweth them His hands and His side, as much to say; See what I have suffered to procure your peace. Your peace cost Me this;—see you hold it dear. Now sure, if there were any one thing better than other, those hands would not have withheld it, and that heart would wish it. And peace it doth wish, therefore nothing more to be wished.There need no other sign be given but that of the Prophet Jonas, that Christ wished His wish: so the tempest may cease, and peace as a calm ensue, spare me not, “take me, cast me into the sea,” make me a peace-offering and kill me. This is enough to shew it is to be wished, to make it precious in our eyes. For we undervalue it at too low a rate, when that which cost so dear, for every trifling ceremony we are ready to lose it. Our faint persuasion in this point is the cause we are faint in all the rest.
... Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), Ninety-six Sermons, v. II, Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841, p. 244
(see the book; see also Jonah 1:12,15; Matt. 12:39-41; 16:4; Luke 2:14; 11:29-30; 19:42; John 14:27; more at Calm, Jesus, Peace, Prophet, Sea, Suffer)
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Commemoration of Wilson Carlile, Priest, Founder of the Church Army, 1942
Your state is not at all to be measured by the opposition that sin makes to you, but by the opposition you make to it.
... John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition upon Psalm CXXX , in Works of John Owen, v. VI, New York: R. Carter & Bros., 1851, p. 605
(see the book; see also Jas. 4:7; Ps. 130:4; Matt. 4:3-11; Luke 4:1-13; Eph. 4:26-27; 6:11-12; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; more at Adversity, Sin, Strength)
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Feast of Vincent de Paul, Founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists), 1660
Your helplessness is your best prayer. It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas. He hears it from the very moment that you are seized with helplessness, and He becomes actively engaged at once in hearing and answering the prayer of your helplessness.
... O. Hallesby (1879-1961), Prayer, London: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1943, reprint, Augsburg Fortress Books, 1975, 1994, p. 17
(see the book; see also Deut. 32:36; Ps. 72:12; 142:4-6; Matt. 9:2-8,36; Mark 2:2-12; Luke 5:18-26; John 5:2-9; more at God, Heart, Helplessness, Prayer)
Monday, September 28, 2015
God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;He plants his footsteps in the sea,And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable minesOf never-failing skill, He treasures up his bright designs, And works his sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall breakIn blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,But trust him for his grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,Unfolding ev’ry hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,And scan his work in vain;God is his own interpreter,And he will make it plain.
... William Cowper (1731-1800), Olney Hymns , John Newton, Edinburgh: Murray & Cochrane, 1797, fifth edition, p. 255
(see the book; see also Rom. 11:33; Isa. 55:8-9; John 13:7; Rom. 8:28; 1 Tim. 3:16; more at Blessing, Blindness, Courage, Fasting, God, Judgment, Mercy, Providence, Saint, Treasure, Unbelief, Wonder)
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Feast of Michael & All Angels
Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness—kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. In the slums we are the light of God’s kindness to the poor. To children, to the poor, to all who suffer and are lonely, give always a happy smile. Give them not only your care but also your heart. Because of God’s goodness and love every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things. Be open, ready to receive and you will find him everywhere. Every work of love brings a person face to face with God.
... Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) (1910-1997), In the Silence of the Heart: Meditations by Mother Teresa, compiled by Kathryn Spink, SPCK Publishing, 1983, ISIS Large Print, 1985, p. 38
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:16; John 15:16; Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Child, Giving, Happiness, Kindness, Loneliness, Mercy, Poverty, Suffer)
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
He might have reared a palace at a word,Who sometimes had not where to lay his head:Time was, and He who nourished crowds with breadWould not one meal unto Himself afford:Twelve legions girded with angelic swordWere at his beck, the scorned and buffeted:He healed another’s scratch, his own side bled,Side, feet, and hands, with cruel piercings gored.Oh wonderful the wonders left undone!And scarce less wonderful than those He wrought;Oh self-restraint, passing all human thought,To have all power, and be as having none;Oh self-denying Love, which felt aloneFor needs of others, never for its own!
... Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886), Poems, London: Macmillan, 1874, p. 142
(see the book; see also Phil. 2:5-7; Matt. 8:20; 26:53; John 20:25-27; more at Bread, Crowd, Jesus, Love, Power, Self-sacrifice, Sleep)
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