Christ, our Light

Quotations for March, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601

With his continual doctrine [Bishop Hooper] adjoined due and discreet correction, not so much severe to any as to them which for abundance of riches, and wealthy state, thought they might do what they listed. And doubtless he spared no kind of people, but was indifferent to all men, as well rich as poor, to the great shame of no small number of men now-a-days; whereof many we see so addicted to the pleasing of great and rich men, that in the mean time they have no regard to the meaner sort of poor people, whom Christ hath bought as dearly as the other.
... John Foxe (1516-1587), The Book of Martyrs, v. III, London: George Virtue, 1844, p. 41 (see the book; see also Matt. 19:23-24; Isa. 61:1-3; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 6:30; Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 2:10; Jas. 2:2-9; 1 John 3:17-20; more at Christ, Historical, Indifference, People, Poverty, Shame, Wealth)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672

To become Christian is in a real sense to become human because nothing dehumanizes more than rebellion against God or humanizes more than reconciliation to God and fellowship with God. But to assert joyfully that salvation includes humanization is not at all the same thing as saying that humanization (rescuing men from the dehumanizing process of modern society) equals salvation.
... John R. W. Stott (1921-2011), Christian Mission in the Modern World, London: Falcon; Downers Grove: IVP, 1975, p. 105 (see the book; see also Mark 7:15; Rom. 8:20-21; Gal. 6:8; 2 Pet. 1:4; 2:10-12; Jas. 3:5-6; more at Equality, Fellowship, God, Reconciliation, Salvation, Social)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We are, as God’s “ambassadors,” ... cheerfully and constantly to bear our share of the cost of that work of reconciliation. In all humility, we can say that ... God is in every true Christian “reconciling the world unto Himself.”
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole, London: Highway Press, 1952, p. 43 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Isa. 52:7; Luke 9:23; 24:46-47; Acts 13:38; 2 Cor. 3:6; Col. 1:19-20; more at Bearing, God, Reconciliation, Share, Work, World)

Friday, March 4, 2011
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647

Humanism is not wrong in its cry for sociological healing, but humanism is not producing it.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Pollution and the Death of Man [1970], reprint, Good News Publishers, 1992, p. 74 (see the book; see also Isa. 29:14; 57:15-19; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18,20-25; 1 Pet. 2:24; Rev. 21:23-24; 22:2; more at Philosophy, Social, Wrong)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Let all our chapels be built plain and decent; but not more expensively than is absolutely unavoidable: otherwise the necessity of raising money will make rich men necessary to us. But if so, we must be dependent upon them, yea, and governed by them. And then farewell to the Methodist-discipline, if not doctrine too.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), instructions to Methodists in the U.S. [1784], in A Constitutional History of American Episcopal Methodism, John James Tigert, Nashville: Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1908, p. 592 (see the book; see also Luke 12:15; 1 Tim. 6:10-11,17-19; Jas. 5:1-5; more at Belief, Church, Discipline, Money, Wealth)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jesus is God! The solid earth,
The ocean broad and bright,
The countless stars, like golden dust,
That strew the skies at night,
The wheeling storm, the dreadful fire,
The pleasant wholesome air,
The summer’s sun, the winter’s frost,
His own creations were.
Jesus is God! The glorious bands
Of golden angels sing
Songs of adoring praise to Him,
Their Maker and their King.
He was true God in Bethlehem’s crib,
On Calvary’s cross true God,
He who in heaven eternal reigned,
In time on earth abode.
Jesus is God! There never was
A time when He was not:
Boundless, eternal, merciful,
The Word the Sire begot!
Backward our thoughts through ages stretch,
Onward through endless bliss,—
For there are two eternities,
And both alike are His!
Jesus is God! Alas! they say
On earth the numbers grow,
Who His Divinity blaspheme
To their unfailing woe.
And yet what is the single end
Of this life’s mortal span,
Except to glorify the God
Who for our sakes was man?
... Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), Hymns, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1877, p. 38 (see the book; see also John 13:31-32; Ps. 33:6;90:2; Isa. 9:6; John 12:23; Rom. 1:21-23; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2-3; Rev. 4:11; more at Angel, Cross, Everlasting, Glory, God, Jesus, Man, Song, Truth)

Monday, March 7, 2011
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

One good man,—one man who does not put his religion on once a week with his Sunday coat, but wears it for his working dress, and lets the thought of God grow into him, and through and through him, till everything he says and does becomes religious, that man is worth a thousand sermons—he is a living Gospel—he comes in the spirit and power of Elias—he is the image of God. And men see his good works, and admire them in spite of themselves, and see that they are Godlike, and that God’s grace is no dream, but that the Holy Spirit is still among men, and that all nobleness and manliness is His gift, His stamp, His picture; and so they get a glimpse of God again in His saints and heroes, and glorify their Father who is in heaven.
... Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), Twenty-five Village Sermons, London: John W. Parker, 1858, p. 197-198 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:14-16; John 6:56; 14:16-17,23; Rom. 8:29-30; Col. 3:17; Tit. 2:9-14; more at Church, Father, God, Good works, Gospel, Grace, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Life, Man, Power, Religion, Saint, Spirit, Sunday)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929

We have forgotten that evil is infectious, as infectious as small-pox; and we do not perceive that if we allow whole departments of our life to become purely secular, and to create and maintain moral or immoral standards of their own, in time the whole of life is bound to become corrupt.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 225-226 (see the book; see also 2 Pet. 2:18-19; Ps. 14:1-3; Matt. 15:11; Mark 7:20-23; Rom. 1:18-23; 8:20-21; Gal. 6:8; 2 Pet. 1:4; more at Corruption, Evil, Forget, Ideal, Immorality, Life, Morality, Sin, Time)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Ash Wednesday

The ‘works’ done in virtue of, and in consequence of, the Christian ethic ought to appear in the light of Jesus Christ as veritable good works. Of itself the world is incapable of seeing these good works. It can only do so in this light, and we must see to it that our works proceed so directly from the action of Jesus Christ in us, that the world will see them in their true light.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Presence of the Kingdom, tr. Olive Wyon, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1951, p. 22 (see the book; see also John 3:20-21; Matt. 5:16; John 1:4,9; 12:46; Acts 10:38; 1 Tim. 5:25; more at Christ, Good works, Jesus, Light, Sight, World)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What are our lame praises in comparison with His love? Nothing, and less than nothing; but love will stammer rather than be dumb.
... Robert Leighton (1611-1684), A Practical Commentary Upon the First Epistle of St. Peter, London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1849, p. 45 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Ps. 34:1-3; Isa. 32:1-4; Col. 1:27; more at Dumbness, Love, Praise, Worship)

Friday, March 11, 2011

That God loves us in spite of our sin is the Gospel truth, but this truth can only be shared by words, since good deeds are easily [taken to show] the opposite—that we love God. Faith is not understood when [it is] only demonstrated by life. The more sanctified a life without the verbal witness, the greater the danger of the Christian’s goodness getting in the way. Should a person by the grace of God become easier to live with, he doesn’t need to call attention to it: it will speak for itself. He can instead seek to balance the reverse effect of the good image by occasionally speaking of the unfavorable realities within, those parts that are still changing. In this way, his external behavior by contrast can point to the power of God, rather than to the effort of man. When we decrease, He can increase, but not until.
... Paul G. Johnson 1931-2013, Buried Alive, Richmond: John Knox Press, 1968, p. 148 (see the book; see also John 3:30; Rom. 5:8; 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 1:12; Phil. 3:12-15; Col. 1:10-12; more at Apologetics, Faith, God, Grace, Life, Love, Power, Sanctification, Sin, Truth, Witness)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

True it is that every man willingly followeth his own bent, and is the more inclined to those who agree with him. But if Christ is amongst us, then it is necessary that we sometimes yield up our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise as to have a perfect knowledge of all things? Therefore trust not too much to thine own opinion, but be ready also to hear the opinions of others. Though thine own opinion be good, yet if for the love of God thou foregoest it, and followest that of another, thou shalt the more profit thereby.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.ix.2, p. 41 (see the book; see also Eph. 5:21; Rom. 12:3; 14:13-15; 1 Cor. 3:18-20; Jas. 1:19-20; 3:17-18; more at Attitudes, Christ, God, Knowledge, Love, Peace, Truth, Wisdom)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lord, often have I thought to myself, I will sin but this one sin more, and then I will repent of it, and of all the rest of my sins together. So foolish was I, and ignorant. As if I should be more able to pay my debts when I owe more: or as if I should say, I will wound my friend once again, and then I will lovingly shake hands with him; but what if my friend will not shake hands with me?
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Good Thoughts in Bad Times [1645], Chicago: United Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston, 1898, Personal Meditations, XXIII (see the book; see also 1 John 5:16-18; Isa. 30:1; Jer. 9:3; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; more at Debt, Folly, Friend, Prayers, Repentance, Sin)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The wonder of the life of Jesus is this—and you will find it so and you have found it so if you have ever taken your New Testament and tried to make it the rule of your daily life—that there is not a single action that you are called upon to do of which you need be, of which you will be, in any serious doubt for ten minutes as to what Jesus Christ, if He were here, Jesus Christ being here, would have you do under those circumstances and with the materials upon which you are called to act.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Addresses, Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1895, p. 126 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:6-9; 9:4-6; 18:21-22; Mark 6:34; 1 John 5:19-20; more at Action, Bible, Christ, Doubt, Jesus, Rule)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eleven marks of spiritual health [in] matters concerning ourselves: (1) Brokenness of spirit. (2) Spiritual battles. (3) Godly loathing for sin. (4) True self-denial. (5) Willingness to stay in hard and difficult service. (6) Spiritual contentment in God’s will. (7) Joy in sorrow. (8) Christians weaned from this world’s comforts. (9) God glorified in all earthly businesses. (10) The true watch of God’s people over their tongue. (11) God’s people shun the appearance of sin.
... Roger Williams (1603?-1683), Experiments of Spiritual Life & Health [1652], reprinted, Sidney S. Rider, Providence, 1863, p. 31-37 (see the book; see also Ps. 51:17; 42:5,11; 43:5; Matt. 16:24-26; more at Contentment, Joy, Service, Sin, Sorrow, Spiritual life, World)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To have faith is to rely upon Christ, the Person, with the whole heart. It is not the understanding of the mind, not the theological opinion, not creed, not organization, not ritual. It is the koinonia of the whole personality with God and Christ. This experience of communion with Christ is itself the continual attitude of dependence on the Saviour which we call faith.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 8 (see the book; see also Phil. 4:13; Matt. 8:5-10; John 14:23; Rom. 8:35-37; 2 Cor. 12:7-10; Gal. 2:20; more at Christ, Communion, Creed, Dependence, Faith, Theology, Understanding)

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460

In fulfilling these duties we are always sure of possessing the “better part” because this holy will is itself the better part, it only requires to be allowed to act and that we should abandon ourselves blindly to it with perfect confidence. It is infinitely wise, powerful and amiable to those who trust themselves unreservedly to it, who love and seek it alone, and who believe with an unshaken faith and confidence that what it arranges for each moment is best, without seeking elsewhere for more or less, and without pausing to consider the connexion of these exterior works with the plans of God.
... Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751), Abandonment to Divine Providence, I.i.5 (see the book; see also John 6:38-40; Matt. 26:39; Mark 3:32-35; John 4:34; Rom. 8:28; 12:1-2; more at Action, Belief, Confidence, Duty, Faith, Goodness, Perfection, Power, Spiritual life, Will of God, Wisdom)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The God Speeches remind us that the universe is essentially theocentric. Further, although much about divine justice had not been clear to Job, God had not left the world quite so destitute of moral implications as Job had alleged. The natural world with its beauty and orderly design presents man with an indicator of an ordered moral universe even though it be beyond man’s cognitive perception. By revealing transcendence in meticulous details, the Lord simultaneously revealed His immanence. So near is He to man that He appeared to Job personally. So near is He to His world that He causes the rain to fall on the subhuman creatures even though man knows nothing about His activity there.
... C. Hassell Bullock (b. 1939), Introduction to the Old Testament Poetic Books, Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1979, p. 108 (see the book; see also Job 38; 39; 40; 41; Matt. 5:45; Rom. 1:19; more at Beauty, God, Knowledge, Morality, Nature, Universe, World)

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth

The faint, far-off results of those energies which God’s creative rapture implanted in matter when He made the worlds are what we now call physical pleasures; and even thus filtered, they are too much for our present management. What would it be to taste at the fountain-head that stream of which even these lower reaches prove so intoxicating? Yet that, I believe, is what lies before us... As St. Augustine said, the rapture of the saved soul will “flow over” into the glorified body. In the light of our present specialized and depraved appetites, we cannot imagine this [torrent of pleasure], and I warn everyone most seriously not to try. But it must be mentioned, to drive out thoughts even more misleading—thoughts that what is saved is a mere ghost, or that the risen body lives in numb insensibility. The body was made for the Lord, and these dismal fancies are wide of the mark.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Weight of Glory, and other addresses, Macmillan Co., 1949, p. 14 (see the book; see also Rev. 22:1-5; Ps. 8:3-8; Isa. 60:1-3; Col. 3:4; Heb. 1:3; 2:10; more at Attitudes, God, Imagination, Pleasure, Salvation)

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687

We distrust the providence of God, when, after we have used all our best endeavours, and begged His blessing upon them, we torment ourselves about the issue and event of things.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. V, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon LXXXIX, p. 77 (see the book; see also Heb. 3:14; Luke 12:6-7,15; Rom. 8:28; more at Blessing, Endeavor, God, Providence, Will of God)

Monday, March 21, 2011

The death of Jesus Christ is for us nothing if we have not died with him; the resurrection of our Lord is for us nothing if we have not been raised with him.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), I Believe in the Living God: sermons on the Apostles’ Creed, Westminster Press, 1960, p. 103 (see the book; see also Rom. 6:3-10; Ps. 16:9-11; John 14:19; 2 Cor. 4:10-11; 2 Tim. 2:11-12; more at Christ, Death, Death & Resurrection, Jesus, Resurrection)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Man, here below, lives so entirely among sensible things, and meditates so little upon spiritual objects, that he comes to look upon that which is spiritual as unreal, and upon material things as the only realities. For most men, houses, and lands, and gold are more real than God and the soul. The former address the five senses, whereas “no man hath seen God at any time,” and the soul is not apprehensible by any sensuous organ. Yet the invisible God is more real than any other being, for he is the cause and ground of all other existence. It was an invisible Mind that made the material chaos from nothing, and brooded over it, and formed it into an orderly and beautiful cosmos. The invisible is more firmly substantial than the visible.
... W. G. T. Shedd (1820-1894), Sermons to the Spiritual Man, New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1884, p. 177-178 (see the book; see also John 1:18; Gen. 1:2; John 14:2; Rom. 1:20; Col. 1:15; 1 John 4:12; more at Beauty, Existence, God, Material things, Meditation, Mind)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[God’s] patience is infinite. Men, like small kettles, boil quickly with wrath at the least wrong. Not so God. If God were as wrathful, the world would have been a heap of ruins long ago.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), Reality and Religion: meditations on God, man, and nature, London: Macmillan, 1924, p. 24 (see the book; see also Ps. 86:15; Ex. 34:6-7; Ps. 103:8-10; Isa. 49:15; Luke 20:9-16; more at Desolation, God, Infinite, Patience, World)

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953

God, though present everywhere, has His special residence, as being a pure Spirit, in our minds. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” He is somewhere in the recesses of our soul, in the springs of our existence, in that mysterious, dark, cavernous region of our nature where the wishes, feelings, thoughts, emotions take their earliest rise... The mind is a sanctuary, in the center of which the Lord sits enthroned, the lamp of the consciousness burning before Him.
... Edward Meyrick Goulburn (1818-1897), Thoughts on personal religion, Rivingtons, 1871, p. 257-258 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:6-7; Job 12:10; John 11:25; Acts 17:24-28; Rev. 5:8; more at God, Knowing God, Mind, Sanctuary, Soul, Spirit, Thought)

Friday, March 25, 2011
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary

To make the improving of our own character our central aim is hardly the highest kind of goodness. True goodness forgets itself and goes out to do the right thing for no other reason than that it is right.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), Christian Freedom in the Modern World, London: SCM Press, 1937, p. 27 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:13-16; Lev. 19:2; Hos. 6:6; Rom. 12:20; Eph. 4:15-16; Heb. 12:14; 1 John 3:16-18; more at Forget, Goodness, Truth, Unselfish, Weakness)

Saturday, March 26, 2011
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883

Bountiful as is the hand of Providence, its gifts are not so bestowed as to seduce us into indolence, but to rouse us to exertion; and no one expects to attain to the height of learning, or arts, or power, or wealth, or military glory, without vigorous resolution, and strenuous diligence, and steady perseverance. Yet we expect to be Christians without labour, study or inquiry! This is the more preposterous, because Christianity, being a revelation from God, and not the invention of man, discovering to us new relations, with their correspondent duties; containing also doctrines, motives, and precepts, peculiar to itself; we cannot reasonably expect to become proficients in it by the accidental [encounters] of life, as one might learn insensibly the maxims of worldly policy, or a scheme of mere morals.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 79-80 (see the book; see also John 6:26-29; Deut. 6:5; 11:13-15; Ps. 119:60; 1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Tim. 4:2; Heb. 11:6; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; more at Art, Diligence, Gifts, Glory, Indolence, Labor, Life, Perseverance, Power, Providence, Revelation, Wealth, Worldly)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Love is [careful] of little things, of circumstances and measures, and of little accidents; not allowing to itself any infirmity which it strives not to master, aiming at what it cannot yet reach, desiring to be of an angelic purity, and of a perfect innocence and a seraphical fervour, and fears every image of offense; is as much afflicted at an idle word as some at an act of adultery, and will not allow to itself so much anger as will disturb a child, nor endure the impurity of a dream. And this is the curiosity and niceness of divine love: this is the fear of God, and is the daughter and production of love.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living [1650], in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 158 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 6:31; John 13:14-15; 15:12-13,17; more at Fear, God, Innocence, Love, Perfection, Purity)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Christians seeking social justice have a special responsibility. Much more is required than the bringing of aid to people who are homeless and in need, and contributing to their support.
There are real dangers to be faced. It must never be allowed to appear that charity is dispensed to the unfortunate by superior beings... Much greater care must be taken to identify the giver with those whom he comes to serve.
... A. C. MacInnes (1901-1977), “Social Justice,” included in Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. 70 (see the book; see also Isa. 59:14-15; 1:15-17; Amos 5:23-24; Zech. 8:16; Matt. 6:1-4; 12:7; Luke 12:33; Acts 2:44-45; Rom. 12:8; 1 John 3:17-18; more at Attitudes, Charity, Justice, Responsibility, Service, Social)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974

O the depth of the evil of sin! If ever you will see how great and horrid an evil sin is, measure it in your thoughts, either by the infinite holiness and excellency of God, who is wrong’d by it; or by the infinite sufferings of Christ, who died to satisfy for it; and then you will have deeper apprehensions of the evil of sin.
... John Flavel (1628-1691), Serm. XIV from The Fountain of Life [1671], in The Whole Works of the Reverend Mr. John Flavel, v. I, Paisley: A. Weir and A. McLean, 1770, p. 199 (see the book; see also Lev. 20:26; Song of Solomon 2:15; Ps. 99:9; John 3:20; Rom. 7:13; Heb. 12:1; 1 Pet. 1:10-11; 4:1; 1 John 3:6; more at Christ, Death, Evil, God, Holiness, Sin, Suffer)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prayer has everything to do with moulding the soul into the image of God, and has everything to do with enhancing and enlarging the measure of Divine grace. It has everything to do with enriching, broadening and maturing the soul’s experience of God. That man cannot possibly be called a Christian, who does not pray.
... E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), The Necessity of Prayer [1907], Lulu, 2007, p. 26 (see the book; see also Luke 22:41-42; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 18:1-7; Phil. 4:6; Heb. 4:16; Jas. 5:16; Jude 1:20; more at God, Man, Prayer, Sanctification, Soul)

Thursday, March 31, 2011
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631

Our critical day is not the very day of our death, but the whole course of our life; I thank him, that prays for me when my bell tolls; but I thank him much more, that catechizes me, or preaches to me, or instructs me how to live.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. VI, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CLVIII, p. 291 (see the book; see also 1 Thess. 2:3-4; Ps. 68:20; Isa. 40:11; John 6:26-27; Rom. 12:4-8; more at Attitudes, Day, Death, Instruction, Judgment, Life, Prayer, Preach)


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