Christ, our Light

Quotations for June, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012
Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165
Commemoration of Angela de Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540

This service—helping at the tables for the poor—has been clericalized into service at the liturgical altar.
... David Kirk (1935-2007), Quotations from Chairman Jesus, Springfield, Ill.: Templegate Publishers, 1969, p. 41 (see the book; see also Acts 6:1-5; Rom. 12:6-8; Gal. 2:10; more at Altar, Poverty, Service)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Christianity is not the sacrifice we make, but the sacrifice we trust; not the victory we win, but the victory we inherit. That is the evangelical principle.
... P. T. Forsyth (1848-1921), The Justification of God, Duckworth, 1916, London: Independent Press, 1957, p. 220 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:4-5; Col. 3:23-24; Rev. 13:8; more at Evangelization, Inheritance, Sacrifice, Trust, Victory)

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Trinity Sunday
Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910
Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978

I do not understand how a man can be a sincere believer unto whom sin is not the greatest burden and sorrow.
... John Owen (1616-1683), I.4 in The Grace and Duty of being Spiritually Minded [1681], in Works of John Owen, v. VII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 333 (see the book; see also Isa. 5:18; Deut. 7:26; Matt. 11:28-30; 2 Cor. 7:10-11; Eph. 2:1-2; Jas. 1:13-15; 4:17; more at Belief, Burden, Man, Sin, Sincerity, Sorrow)

Monday, June 4, 2012

A frequent intercession with God, earnestly beseeching Him to forgive the sins of all mankind, to bless them with His providence, enlighten them with His Spirit, and bring them to everlasting happiness, is the divinest exercise that the heart of man can be engaged in.
Be daily therefore on your knees, in a solemn, deliberate performance of this devotion, praying for others in such forms, with such length, importunity, and earnestness, as you use for yourself; and you will find all little, ill-natured passions die away, your heart grow great and generous, delighting in the common happiness of others, as you used only to delight in your own...
It was this holy intercession that raised Christians to such a state of mutual love, as far exceeded all that had been praised and admired in human friendship. And when the same spirit of intercession is again in the world, when Christianity has the same power over the hearts of people, that it then had, this holy friendship will be again in fashion, and Christians will be again the wonder of the world, for that exceeding love which they bear to one another.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 413 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 1:10-11; John 13:34-35; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 6:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-2; Philem. 1:4-6; Jas. 5:14-15; 1 John 5:16; more at Devotion, Enlighten, Everlasting, Forgiveness, Happiness, Holiness, Intercession, Love, Prayer, Providence, Sin)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Feast of Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754

But lo’ the snare is broke, the captive’s freed,
By faith on all the hostile powers we tread,
And crush through Jesus’ strength the Serpent’s head.
Jesus hath cast the cursed Accuser down,
Hath rooted up the tares by Satan sown:
All nature bows to His benign command,
And two are one in His almighty hand.
One in His hand, O may we still remain,
Fast bound with love’s indissoluble chain;
(That adamant which time and death defies,
That golden chain which draws us to the skies!)
His love the tie that binds us to His throne,
His love the bond that perfects us in one,
His only love constrains our hearts t’ agree,
And gives the rivet of Eternity.
... Charles Wesley (1707-1788), from “An Epistle to the Rev. Mr. G. Whitefield,” in The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley, v. VI, John Wesley, London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office, 1870, p. 70 (see the book; see also Gen. 3:14-15; Ps. 146:7-9; Matt. 13:24-30, 36-42; Luke 4:18-19; Eph. 4:1-3; Col. 1:13-14; more at Eternity, Faith, Gospel, Heart, Jesus, Love, Strength)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Commemoration of Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945

There is only one way to bring peace to the heart, joy to the mind, beauty to the life, and that is to accept and to do the will of God.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of Matthew, v. 2, Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1958, p. 97 (see the book; see also Matt. 13:45-46; Ps. 4:6-7; 39:6-7; Prov. 2:1-5; 3:13-16; Col. 2:2-3; Gal. 6:14; more at Beauty, Heart, Joy, Life, Mind, Peace, Way, Will of God)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Joy is peace for having done that which we ought to have done: and therefore it is well expressed... To have something to do, to do it, and then to rejoice in having done it, to embrace a calling, to perform the duties of that calling, to joy and rest in the peaceful testimony of having done so; this is christianly done, Christ did it; angelically done, angels do it; godly done, God does it.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. V, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CXXXI, p. 346 (see the book; see also Isa. 62:1; Zeph. 3:17; Matt. 7:24; Mark 3:35; Luke 10:21; 15:10; John 4:34; 6:38-40; Rom. 12:2; more at Angel, Call, Christ, Duty, God, Joy, Peace, Rest)

Friday, June 8, 2012
Feast of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Hymnographer, 1711
Commemoration of Roland Allen, Mission Strategist, 1947

The whole point of the story of Cornelius and of the admission of the Gentiles lies in the fact that these people had not accepted what up to that moment had been considered a necessary part of the Christian teaching. The question was whether they could be admitted without accepting the teaching and undergoing the rite [of circumcision]. It was that question which was settled by the acknowledgement that they had received the Holy Spirit... The difficulty today is that Christians acknowledge that others have the Spirit, and yet do not recognize that they ought to be, and must be—because spiritually they are—in communion with one another. Men who hold a theory of the Church which excludes from communion those whom they admit to have the Spirit of Christ simply proclaim that their theory is in flat contradiction to the spiritual fact.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Pentecost and the World, London: Oxford University Press, 1917, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 57 fn. (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Gen. 12:1-3; 22:16-18; Matt. 12:18-21; John 17:22-23; Acts 11:15-18; 15:28-29; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; more at Church, Communion, Holy Spirit, Preach, Question, Teach)

Saturday, June 9, 2012
Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373

O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God’s face, but art now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the lustre of His grace.
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), for Apr. 15, Morning by Morning, New York: Sheldon & Co., 1867, p. 106 (see the book; see also 2 Sam. 22:29; Deut. 31:6; Ps. 22:1; 38:12; Isa. 9:2; John 1:4; more at Darkness, God, Grace, Life, Soul)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The man who knows nothing of communion with God is a stranger to himself, and we find ourselves only as we find Him whom our hearts desire.
... R. J. Campbell (1867-1956), City Temple Sermons, New York: F. H. Revell company, 1903, p. 38 (see the book; see also Ps. 1:1-2; Ex. 33:11; Jer. 31:34; Lam. 3:25-26; Matt. 5:6; Rom. 7:22-23; Phil. 3:12-14; Heb. 11:6; more at Communion, God, Heart, Knowledge, Man)

Monday, June 11, 2012
Feast of Barnabas the Apostle

The music of the gospel must precede the words of the gospel and prepare the context in which there will be a hunger for those words. What is the music of the gospel? The music of the gospel is the beauty of the indwelling Christ as lived out in the everyday relationships of life.
... Joseph C. Aldrich (1941-2009), Lifestyle Evangelism, Multnomah Press, 1981, p. 20 (see the book; see also Eph. 3:4-6; Matt. 5:14-16; 1 Cor. 14:15; 2 Cor. 4:10; 13:5; Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27; 3:16; Rev. 3:20; more at Beauty, Christ, Gospel, Music)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Following the way of Jesus Christ and doing all we can for His cause and for our fellow men expresses something of our worship in action.
But how to give Him a present to express our love is a bit of a problem. How can you give God anything when He owns everything? But does He? How about that power to choose, that precious free will that He has given to every living personality and which He so greatly respects?
That is the only present we can give—ourselves, with all our powers of spirit, mind, and body—willingly, freely, given because we love Him.
That is the best and highest worship that you and I can offer, and I am sure that it is this above all that God most highly appreciates.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Plain Christianity, London: Macmillan, 1954, p. 63 (see the book; see also Phil. 2:12-13; Ps. 19:14; Hos. 6:6; Amos 5:23-24; Matt. 2:1-2,9-11; 5:16; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 2:10; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Appreciation, Christ, Free will, Giving, Jesus, Offering, Power, Way, Worship)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936

As the word “unreasonable” is open to misunderstanding, the matter may be more accurately put by saying that each one of these Christian or mystical virtues involves a paradox in its own nature, and that this is not true of any of the typically pagan or rationalist virtues. Justice consists in finding out a certain thing due to a certain man and giving it to him. Temperance consists in finding out the proper limit of a particular indulgence and adhering to that. But charity means pardoning what is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all. Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all. And faith means believing the incredible, or it is no virtue at all.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Heretics [1905], New York: John Lane Co., 1909, p. 158 (see the book; see also Heb. 11:1; Matt. 11:25; Luke 23:34; Rom. 5:5; 8:24-25; 1 Cor. 13:13; Gal. 5:5; Eph. 2:12; 1 Thess. 5:8; Tit. 1:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:21; 3:15; more at Charity, Faith, Hope, Justice, Temperance, Truth, Virtue)

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691

Use sin... as it will use you. Spare it not, for it will not spare you. It is your murderer, and the murderer of the world. Use it therefore as a murderer should be used. Kill it before it kills you; and then, though it kill your bodies, it shall not be able to kill your souls; and though it bring you to the grave, as it did your Head, it shall not be able to keep you there.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), “A Treatise of Death”, in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. IV, G. Virtue, 1838, p. 831 (see the book; see also Eph. 2:1-2,5; Rom. 6:21,23; 7:5; 1 Cor. 15:26; Col. 2:13; 1 Thess. 4:17; more at Christ, Murder, Sin, Soul, World)

Friday, June 15, 2012
Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941

A simple rule, to be followed whether one is in the light or not, gives backbone to one’s spiritual life, as nothing else can.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Letters of Evelyn Underhill, Charles Williams, ed., London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1991, p. 312 (see the book; see also Ps. 145:2; 1:2; 5:3; 119:164; Isa. 26:9; Luke 18:6-8; more at Prayer, Rule, Simplicity, Spiritual life)

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752

Our iniquity and depravity prevent us from enjoying that blessed life which is revealed to all men in the law. Hence the grace of God, which succours us without the assistance of the law, is rendered sweeter; and his mercy, which confers it on us, more amiable; from which we learn that he is never wearied with repeating his blessings and loading us with new favours.
... 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, II.vii.7, p.319 (see the book; see also 1 Tim. 1:13-14; Ps. 145:7; Rom. 3:20; 4:14-16; 5:17,20-21; 2 Cor. 3:7-8; more at Blessing, Depravity, God, Grace, Law, Life, Mercy)

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936

We must not measure by natural human fatherhood what it means that God is our Father. It is from God’s fatherhood that our natural human fatherhood acquires any meaning and dignity it has. God is the Father “from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), Church Dogmatics, v. I, part 1 [1936], Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, p. 389 (see the book; see also Eph. 3:13-15; Isa. 63:16; Matt. 23:9; more at Family, Father, God, Heaven, Nature)

Monday, June 18, 2012

I do not think I am fanciful in discerning among some of those who most earnestly plead against the Christian social movement a feeling that there is something fundamentally intractable, inscrutable, mysterious about the world, and that no more can be hoped for than an heroic protest in the name of Christ, made in obedience but with no sort of hope that anything can come of it. I hope I am not wrong in saying that there is nothing Christian in such an attitude. It savours of the Paganism that saw behind the world a kind of ironical malice; that made Polycrates throw his ring into the sea, and called the Furies the Kindly Ones, if haply they might be so appeased.
But we stand outside this world of darkness, for we have learnt that all things were created by the eternal Word, who is Christ Jesus. We know, in the Pauline phrase, that it is in Him that the whole universal order of things consists or holds together. Those who have come to know that, know in consequence that they are in their Father’s house. It is a big house, and they have begun to explore only a little of it. It has great reaches, and some of them are still shadowy. But it is His house, all of it.
... William Paton (see also Col. 1:15-17; John 1:1-3; 8:58; 14:2; 17:5; 1 Cor. 8:6; more at Christ, Father, Hope, Knowledge, Malice, Obedience, Social, World)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929

Prayer does not consist in an effort to obtain from God the things which are necessary for this life. Prayer is an effort to lay hold of God Himself, the Author of life, and when we have found Him who is the source of life and have entered into communion with Him, then the whole of life is ours and with Him all that will make life perfect.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), At the Master’s Feet, Fleming H. Revell, 1922, p. 41 (see the book; see also Heb. 2:10; Gen. 2:7; John 14:23; Acts 3:15; Gal. 4:6; Phil. 2:1-2; Heb. 5:8-10; 12:2; 1 John 1:3; more at Communion, God, Life, Perfection, Prayer, Providence)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The mistake of centuries of Christianity has been to regard sin as a moral fault. Biblically this is not the case. Sin is a break with God and all that this entails.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), Anarchy and Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991, p. 20 (see the book; see also Isa. 59:2; Deut. 7:26; Ps. 51:2; Luke 12:2-3; Rom. 8:6-7; Heb.12:14; more at God, Morality, Sin)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How many times in life have we been wrong when we put a kind construction on the conduct of others? We shall not need our fingers to count those mistakes upon. Moreover grace is really much more common than our querulousness is generally willing to allow. We may suspect its operations in the worst men we meet with. Thus, without any forced impossibility, we may call in supernatural considerations in order to make our criticisms more ingenious in their charity. When we grow a little holier, we shall summon also to our aid those supernatural motives in ourselves, which, by depressing our own ideas of ourselves, elevate our generous belief in others.
... Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), Spiritual Conferences, London: Thomas Richardson & Son, 1860, p. 27-28 (see the book; see also Rom. 12:3; Matt. 18:2-4; Gal. 6:3; Phil. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Belief, Charity, Grace, Holiness, Kindness, Pride)

Friday, June 22, 2012
Feast of Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.209

It is high time to ... shew in briefe what we proposed to ourselves, and what course we held in this our perusal and survey of the Bible. Truly (good Christian Reader) we never thought from the beginning, that we should neede to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath bene our indeavour, that our marke. To that purpose there were many chosen, that were greater in other mens eyes then in their owne, and that sought the truth rather then their own praise... If you aske what they had before them, truely it was the Hebrew text of the Olde Testament, the Greeke of the New. These are the two golden pipes, or rather conduits, where-through the olive branches emptie themselves into the golde.
... Miles Smith (1554-1624), in the preface to The Authorised Version of the English Bible [1611], Cambridge: The University Press, 1909, p. 25 (see the book; see also Luke 24:44-45; 4:16-21; 1 Cor. 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:21; more at Bible, Goodness, Purpose, Thought, Truth)

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678

The underlying questions are always: What is the Church? What is the Church for? If that is not kept in mind, the lay ministry, about which so much is being said at present, remains on the level of a many-sided activity in which the self-assertion of the laity threatens to be more evident than a new manifestation of the Church in modern society. The responsible participation of the laity in the discharge of the Church’s divine calling is not primarily a matter of idealism and enthusiasm or organizational efficiency, but a new grasp and commitment to the meaning of God’s redemptive purpose with mankind and with the world in the past, the present, and the future: a purpose which has its foundation and inexhaustible content in Christ.
... Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965), A Theology of the Laity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1958, p. 91 (see the book; see also Eph. 3:8-9; John 6:44-45; 1 Cor. 3:11; more at Attitudes, Call, Christ, Church, Commitment, Contentment, Minister, Purpose, Responsibility, Social)

Sunday, June 24, 2012
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

Lord, thus long I have offered my prayer dry unto thee, now, Lord, I offer it wet. Then wilt thou own some new addition therein, when, though the sacrifice be the same, yet the dressing of it is different, being steeped in his tears who bringeth it unto thee.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Good Thoughts in Bad Times [1645], Chicago: United Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston, 1898, “Scripture Observations,” XII (see the book; see also Heb. 5:7; Ps. 22:2; 42:1-3; 84:1-2; 126:5; Luke 7:37-38; Luke 22:44; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 3:18; more at Anguish, Offering, Prayers, Sacrifice, Tear)

Monday, June 25, 2012

I am, indeed, far from agreeing with those who think all religious fear barbarous and degrading and demand that it should be banished from the spiritual life. Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear. But so do several other things—ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity. It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The World’s Last Night [1960], Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 109 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:18-19; Rom. 8:15; 2 Tim. 1:7; Heb. 12:28-29; 1 John 4:12; more at Attitudes, Fear, Love, Perfection, Spiritual life)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification; and as without this, without holiness, no man shall see God, though he pore whole nights upon his Bible; so without that, without humility, no man shall hear God speak to his soul, though he hear three two-hours’ sermons every day.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. I, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon VII, p. 149 (see the book; see also Ps. 25:8-9; Matt. 11:15; John 10:10; Rom. 12:3; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:4; 5:5; more at Bible, Holiness, Humility, Knowing God, Sanctification, Sermon)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

There is a kind of contagion in all examples; men are very apt to do what they see others do, though it be very bad: every day’s experience furnisheth us with many and sad instances of the influence of bad examples; but there are peculiar charms in that which is good and excellent. A perfect pattern of goodness does strongly allure and invite to the imitation of it, and a great example of virtue to a well-disposed mind is a mighty temptation, and apt to inspirit us with good resolutions, to endeavour after that in ourselves, which we so much esteem and admire in others. And such is the example of our Lord, perfect as is possible, and yet obvious to common imitation, and as much fitted for the general direction of mankind in all sorts of virtue and goodness, as any one single example can be imagined to be.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VIII, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CXC, p. 282 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 2:21; Ps. 85:13; John 13:3-4,15; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1-2; 1 John 2:6; 3:16; more at Endeavor, Evil, Example, Goodness, Influence, Jesus, Man, Perfection, Virtue)

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Feast of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200

Now, that we may not suffer [heretical teaching], we must needs hold the rule of the faith without deviation, and do the commandments of God, believing in God and fearing Him as Lord and loving Him as Father. Now this doing is produced by faith: for Isaiah says: If ye believe not, neither shall ye understand. And faith is produced by the truth; for faith rests on things that truly are. For in things that are, as they are, we believe; and believing in things that are, as they ever are, we keep firm our confidence in them.
... Irenaeus (c.130-c.200), The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching [2nd c.], par. 3 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 3:3-4; Rom. 10:17; Gal. 1:6-7; 6:10; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 1:3-4; more at Belief, Commandment, Faith, Father, Fear, God, Love, Obedience, Truth, Understanding)

Friday, June 29, 2012
Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles

Faith hath cause to take courage from our very afflictions; the devil is but a whetstone to sharpen the faith and patience of the saints. I know that he but heweth and polisheth stones all this time for the New Jerusalem.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, March 9, 1637, p. 218 (see the book; see also Jas. 1:2-4; Ps. 37:7-9; Hab. 2:4; Luke 21:17-19; Rom. 5:3-4; 8:25; Gal. 6:9; Col. 1:10-12; 1 Pet. 2:21-23; more at Affliction, Courage, Devil, Faith, Jerusalem, Saint)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Because upon the first glad Easter day
The stone that sealed His tomb was rolled away,
So, through the deepening shadows of death’s night,
Men see an open door ... beyond it, light!
... Ida Norton Munson (1877-1968) (see also Rom. 13:12; Matt. 4:15-16; John 10:9; more at Death, Door, Easter, Gladness, Light, Night)


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