Quotations for January, 2015
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Feast of the Naming & Circumcision of Jesus
Almighty God, who hast brought me to the beginning of another year, and by prolonging my life, invitest to repentance, forgive me that I have mispent the time past; enable me, from this instant, to amend my life according to thy holy word; grant me thy Holy Spirit, that I may so pass through things temporal, as not finally to lose the things eternal. O God, hear my prayer for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
... Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Prayers and Meditations, London: Vernor, Hood, and Sharpe, 1806, January 1, 1757, p. 22
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 5:23; Mark 10:15; John 17:17; Heb. 2:11; 2 Pet. 1:2-4; 1 John 1:9; more at Everlasting, Forgiveness, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, Prayers, Repentance, Scripture, Year)
Friday, January 2, 2015
Feast of Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Teachers, 379 & 389
Commemoration of Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Mystic, Staretz, 1833
Whose feet then will you wash? For whom will you perform the duties of care? In comparison with whom shall you be lower or even the last, if you live by yourself?
... St. Basil the Great (330?-379), The Rule of St Basil in Latin and English: A Revised Critical Edition, Anna Silvas, tr., Liturgical Press, 2013, Q. 3, p. 81
(see the book; see also Phil. 2:3; Matt. 20:16; John 13:3-5,12-15; more at Community, Duty, Life, Self-sacrifice, Submission)
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Commemoration of Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China, 1970
I believe no Christian has a right to take part in anything into which he or she cannot walk wholeheartedly with Jesus Christ. We can just toss out the two words “secular” and “sacred” from our vocabulary from now on and rejoice as we gladly call it all His!
... Eugenia Price (1916-1996), Discoveries: Made from Living My New Life, Zondervan, 1979, p. 105
(see the book; see also Acts 10:15; Num. 14:21; Hab. 2:14; Matt. 6:9-10; John 13:3; Rom. 1:20; more at Belief, Christ, Disciple, Jesus, Joy, Understanding)
Sunday, January 4, 2015
For what great difference is there, whether men renounce Christianity; or, professing to believe it, do in their works deny it? ... We ought to reflect with shame upon the purer ages of the church, and sadly to consider, how few among us would in those days have been accounted Christians; and upon this consideration to be provoked to an emulation of those better times, and to a reformation of those faults and miscarriages, which, in the best days of Christianity, were reckoned inconsistent with the Christian profession; and to remember, that though the discipline of the church be not now the same it was then, yet the judgment and severity of God is; and that those who live in any vicious course of life, though they continue in the communion of the church, yet they shall be shut out of the kingdom of God.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VI, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CXX, p. 88,90
(see the book; see also Luke 6:46; Matt. 21:28-32; 23:31-32; Mark 7:6-8; Gal. 6:7; Heb. 6:4-6; 10:29; more at Belief, Church, Communion, Discipline, God, Historical, Judgment, Kingdom, Shame)
Monday, January 5, 2015
For evil in the abstract, nothing can be done. It is eternally evil. But I may be saved from it by learning to loathe it, to hate it, to shrink from it with an eternal avoidance. The only vengeance worth having on sin is to make the sinner himself its executioner.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “Justice”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 124
(see the book; see also Heb. 1:8-9; Ps. 45:7; 97:10; 101:3; 119:104; Pr. 8:13; Amos 5:15; Rom. 12:9; more at Everlasting, Evil, Hatred, Salvation, Sin, Sinner)
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
God will answer all our questions in one way and one way only. Namely, by showing us more of his Son.
... Watchman Nee (1903-1972), The Normal Christian Life, Tyndale House Publishers, 1977, p. 12
(see the book; see also Luke 2:25-26; 1 Cor. 1:7; Eph. 3:4; 1 Pet. 1:20; more at God, Jesus, Knowledge, Revelation)
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The loneliness of God looking for his partners, Adam and Eve, in the Garden; the grief of God before the flood; the head-shaking exasperation of God at Babel—all these, God knows, he will have to continue to experience. And worse—there will be numerous further acts of judgment as well as mercy as the story unfolds. But unfold it will. The overarching picture is of the sovereign Creator God who will continue to work within his world until blessing replaces curse, homecoming replaces exile, olive branches appear after the flood and a new family is created in which the scattered languages can be reunited. That is the narrative which forms the outer frame for the canonical Old Testament.
... N. T. Wright (b. 1948), Evil and the Justice of God, InterVarsity Press, 2013, p. 53
(see the book; see also Isa. 51:11; Gen. 3:9; 6:6; 8:11; 11:5-8; Isa. 35:10; Acts 2:6; more at Blessing, Exile, Experience, God, Grief, Judgment, Knowledge, Loneliness, Mercy, Scripture)
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Commemoration of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming, martyrs, Ecuador, 1956
In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church. And Scripture is the best expounder of Scripture. The best way, therefore, to understand it is carefully to compare Scripture with Scripture, and thereby learn the true meaning of it.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, v. X, New York: J. & J. Harper, 1827, p. 52
(see the book; see also Luke 24:45; Ps. 119:18; Rom. 15:4; 2 Cor. 3:14-18; 4:4-6; Eph. 5:13-14; 2 Tim. 3:16; more at Church, Judgment, Meaning, Scripture, Truth)
Friday, January 9, 2015
All God needs to make a universe is nothing; all he needs to make a preacher is a nobody.
... Robert Farrar Capon (1925-2013), The Foolishness of Preaching, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1997, p. 26
(see the book; see also John 7:15-16; Gen. 1:2; Amos 7:14-15; Matt. 11:25; Acts 4:13; 1 Cor. 1:27; more at Creation, God, Preacher, Universe)
Saturday, January 10, 2015
The Work, which his Goodness began,The Arm of his Strength will complete;His Promise is Yea and Amen,And never was forfeited yet:Things future, nor things that are now,Not all things below nor above,Can make him his Purpose forego,Or sever my Soul from his Love.
... Augustus Toplady (1740-1778), Hymns and Sacred Poems, London: D. Sedgwick, 1860, p. 140
(see the book; see also Phil. 1:4-6; John 6:29; Rom. 8:28-30; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:11; Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 1:3; Tit. 3:4-6; more at Future, God, Love, Promise, Purpose, Strength)
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915
[Christ] is a jewel more worth than a thousand worlds, as all know who have him. Get him, and get all; miss him, and miss all.
... Thomas Brooks (1608-1680), The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, v. III, Ediburgh: James Nichol, 1866, p. 203
(see the book; see also Phil. 4:19; Ps. 31:9; Matt. 6:19-21; 13:44-46; 19:21; Luke 12:33; Eph. 3:8-9; Col. 1:27; 2:2-3; more at Christ, Treasure, World)
Monday, January 12, 2015
Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689
The discovery of warm, mutual Christian fellowship is especially difficult for the minister. For how can a minister break loose from the role of religious leader to which he is accustomed and which he is expected to assume, and become a member of a small group fellowship? And, unless he does, how can he guide others into something which he has not himself experienced? That is why many ministers find their initial participation in a group with other ministers, where the distinction between clergymen and laymen can be avoided.
... Howard B. Haines (1911-2000), “Fellowship Groups: ‘Intercessory Love’”, in Spiritual Renewal through Personal Groups, John L. Casteel, ed., NY: Association Press, 1957, p. 121
(see the book; see also Luke 22:32; Rom. 1:11-12; 14:17-19; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 10:24; Jas. 5:16; 1 John 1:3,7; more at Fellowship, Guidance, Leader, Minister)
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Feast of Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, Teacher, 367
Commemoration of Kentigern (Mungo), Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde & Cumbria, 603
It behoves us also to render unto God the things that are His, namely, body, soul, and will. For Caesar’s coin is in the gold, in which his image was portrayed; but God’s coin is man, on which the Divine image is stamped; give therefore your money to Caesar, but preserve a conscience void of offence for God.
... St. Hilary (ca. 300-367?), quoted in Catena aurea, v. II, Thomas Aquinas, Oxford & London: J. Parker, 1874, p. 752
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:17-21; Mark 12:14-17; Luke 20:21-25; 1 Tim. 1:18-19; 3:9; Heb. 9:14; 10:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:13-17; 3:15-16; 1 John 3:19-21; more at Conscience, Giving, God, Gold, Money)
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Commemoration of Richard Meux Benson, Founder of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1915
Paul says: “The love of Christ passeth knowledge.” It is like the blue sky into which you may see clearly, but the real vastness of which you cannot measure.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), The Works of the Late Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne, New York: R. Carter, 1847, p. 435
(see the book; see also Isa. 38:17; Rom. 8:35-39; 2 Cor. 5:14; Eph. 3:16-19; 1 John 4:9-10; more at Christ, Knowledge, Love)
Thursday, January 15, 2015
The knowledge of God without that of man’s misery causes pride. The knowledge of man’s misery without that of God causes despair. The knowledge of Jesus Christ constitutes the middle course, because in Him we find both God and our misery.
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) , P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #527, p. 173
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:56-57; John 16:33; Rom. 3:22-24; 8:37; Gal. 3:10-13; 1 John 5:3-5; ; more at Christ, Despair, Jesus, Knowing God, Pride, Suffer)
Friday, January 16, 2015
Our hope is not hung upon such an untwisted thread, as, “I imagine so,” or “it is likely;” but the cable, the strong tow of our fastened anchor, is the oath and the promise of Him, who is eternal verity; our salvation is fastened with God’s own hand, and with Christ’s own strength, to the strong stoup [i.e., blessing basin] of God’s unchangeable nature.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, 1637, p. 387
(see the book; see also Heb. 6:19-20; Ps. 33:11; Ps. 95:1; Isa. 14:24; 55:11; Mal. 3:6; Eph. 4:14; Jas. 1:17; 2 Pet. 1:16; more at Christ, Everlasting, God, Hope, Promise, Salvation, Strength)
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Feast of Antony of Egypt, Abbot, 356
Commemoration of Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932
Man had been offering all sorts of prayers, sacrifices, propitiations. That God mercifully regarded such ignorant worship we cannot doubt: but it was ignorant of God’s character and method. Now, so far as is good for us, our Lord has enlightened us [through the Lord’s Prayer] about the nature and method of God: and He has shown us that prayer should not be an attempt to impose our own whims and fancies on the wisdom of God, but a constant act of correspondence by which we bring our short-sighted wills and reasons into correspondence, the intelligent correspondence of sons, with the perfect reason and will of God, the all-wise Father of all human souls and of the great universe.
... Charles Gore (1853-1932), The Sermon on the Mount , London: John Murray, 1905, p. 139
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:9-10; Ps. 51:10; Eze. 36:26; Acts 17:29-30; Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:22-24; 1 Pet. 1:14; more at Enlighten, Father, God, Offering, Perfection, Prayer, Sacrifice, Will of God)
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle
Commemoration of Amy Carmichael, Founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, 1951
If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), If , London: SPCK, 1961, p. 32
(see the book; see also Luke 14:8-11; Pr. 25:6-7; Matt. 19:30; 24:12; Mark 9:35; Luke 13:30; Phil. 2:5-7; Jas. 4:6; more at Calvary, Humility, Love)
Monday, January 19, 2015
Commemoration of Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
I believe it to be a grave mistake to present Christianity as something charming and popular with no offence in it. Seeing that Christ went about the world giving the most violent offence to all kinds of people it would seem absurd to expect that the doctrine of His Person can be so presented as to offend nobody. We cannot blink [at] the fact that gentle Jesus meek and mild was so stiff in His opinions and so inflammatory in His language that He was thrown out of church, stoned, hunted from place to place, and finally gibbeted as a firebrand and a public danger. Whatever His peace was, it was not the peace of an amiable indifference; and He said in so many words that what He brought with Him was fire and sword.
... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), Creed Or Chaos?: and Other Essays in Popular Theology, Methuen, 1957, p. 36
(see the book; see also Luke 4:28-30; Matt. 10:22,34-35; Mark 13:13; John 7:43-44; 8:37-40,44,59; 14:27; more at Belief, Church, Fire, Gentleness, Jesus, Meekness, Peace, People, Sword)
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Commemoration of Richard Rolle of Hampole, Writer, Hermit, Mystic, 1349
Let us seek rather that the love of Christ burn within us than that we take heed to unprofitable disputation. Whiles truly we take heed to unmannerly seeking, we feel not the sweetness of the eternal savour. Wherefore many now so much savour in the burning of knowledge and not of love, that plainly they know not what love is, or of what savour; although the labour of all their study ought to spread unto this end, that they might burn in the love of God.
... Richard Rolle (1290?-1349), Fire of Love , tr. Richard Misyn, I.v
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 8:1; Matt. 24:12-13; John 5:39-40; Col. 3:16; Eph. 3:16-19; more at Christ, Everlasting, God, Knowledge, Love)
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304
Even though I am in the midst of danger, temptation, sin and sorrow of this world, through Him who gave His life I am saved. The sea is salty and the fish lives all its life in it. But it never gets salty, because it has life. Even so if we receive life from Him, though in the world, we are not of the world. Not only here, but also in Heaven we shall find ourselves in Him.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), The Message of Sadhu Sundar Singh, B. H. Streeter & A. J. Appasamy, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922, p. 42
(see the book; see also John 17:14-18; 1:4; Rom. 6:23; 8:1-2,35; 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 2:14; 5:17; more at Danger, Heaven, Life, Salvation, Sin, Sorrow, Temptation, World)
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Being in Christ, it is safe to forget the past, it is possible to be sure of the future, it is possible to be diligent in the present. Then how blessed such a life! For the past—“I was the chief of sinners, but I obtained mercy;” for the future—“We shall bear the image of the heavenly;” for the present—” I press toward the mark.”
... Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), Sermons preached in Manchester: Second series, New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1902, p. 57
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:49; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:13-14; 1 Tim. 1:13-15; 1 John 3:2; more at Blessing, Certainty, Diligence, Future, Life, Mercy, Past, Safety, Sinner)
Friday, January 23, 2015
Commemoration of Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, spiritual writer, 1893
No child of God sins to that degree as to make himself incapable of forgiveness.
... John Bunyan (1628-1688), “The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate”, in The Whole Works of John Bunyan, v. I, London: Blackie, 1862, p. 155
(see the book; see also 1 John 1:9; Lam. 3:22-23; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 10:23; 1 John 2:12; more at Child, Forgiveness, God, Sin)
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Feast of François de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher, 1622
Be at peace regarding what is said or done in conversations: for if good, you have something to praise God for, and if bad, something in which to serve God by turning your heart away from it.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Spiritual Maxims, Longmans, Green, 1954, p. 179
(see the book; see also Rom. 15:7; Matt. 10:40; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; 15:2; John 6:37; 13:34; Rom. 14:1; 1 Tim. 6:20-21; more at God, Peace, Praise, Renunciation, Service)
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Feast of the Conversion of Paul
For as [Paul] had previously compared the cross to a signal trophy or show of triumph, in which Christ led about his enemies, so he now [in Col. 2:15] also compares it to a triumphal car, in which he shewed himself conspicuously to view. For although in the cross there is nothing but curse, it was, nevertheless, swallowed up by the power of God in such a way, that it has put on, as it were, a new nature. For there is no tribunal so magnificent, no throne so stately, no show of triumph so distinguished, no chariot so elevated, as is the cross on which Christ has subdued death and the devil, the prince of death.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1851, p. 190-191
(see the book; see also Col. 2:15; John 12:32; Acts 2:23-24; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15; Gal. 3:13; Col. 1:16; more at Christ, Cross, Death, Devil, Power, Victory)
Monday, January 26, 2015
Feast of Timothy and Titus, Companions of Paul
Commemoration of Dorothy Kerin, Founder of the Burrswood Healing Community, 1963
Ah! our suffering is not worthy the name of suffering. When I consider my crosses, tribulations, and temptations, I shame myself almost to death, thinking what are they in comparison of the sufferings of my blessed Saviour Christ Jesus.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), Table-Talk , CXCVI
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:18; Matt. 5:11-12; Acts 20:24; 2 Cor. 4:17-18; Col. 1:24; Heb. 2:9; 12:1-2; 13:12; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; more at Christ, Cross, Jesus, Savior, Shame, Suffer, Temptation)
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
There is yet another, a more excellent way: it is to go forward with heart glad and thankful for progress in all that is good, and to look upon increased conviction of sin as a part of such progress. This path true and humble men of heart can alone tread, and neither Philistine, self-satisfied respectability, nor Nietzsche’s “superman” can walk thereon, but only such as gratefully acknowledge that the wiser and the better they become, they receive all from their heavenly Father.
... Heinrich Weinel (1874-1936), St. Paul, the Man and His Work, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1906, p. 93
(see the book; see also Isa. 35:8; Jer. 3:22; Rom. 8:34; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:5-6; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 1:9; 2:1; Rev. 7:15-17; more at Conviction, Father, Gladness, Gratitude, Heart, Humility, Progress, Sin, Thanksgiving)
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Feast of Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Teacher of the Faith, 1274
Christ wished so to show the reality of His body, as to manifest His Godhead at the same time. For this reason He mingled wondrous with lowly things. Wherefore, to show that His body was real, He was born of a woman. But in order to manifest His Godhead, He was born of a virgin, for “such a Birth befits a God,” as Ambrose says in the Christmas hymn.
... Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274), Summa Theologica , Benziger Bros. edition, 1947, p. III, q. xxviii, a. 2
(see the book; see also Isa. 7:14; Matt. 4:2; Luke 1:26-35; 24:39-43; John 1:14; Rom. 8:3-4; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 4:2-3; more at Christmas, God, Man, Woman)
Thursday, January 29, 2015
To curse grief is easier than to bless it, but to do so is to fall back into the point of view of the earthly, the carnal, the natural man. By what has Christianity subdued the world if not by the apotheosis of grief, by its marvellous transmutation of suffering into triumph, of the crown of thorns into the crown of glory, and of a gibbet into a symbol of salvation? What does the apotheosis of the Cross mean, if not the death of death, the defeat of sin, the beatification of martyrdom, the raising to the skies of voluntary sacrifice, the defiance of pain?
... Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel, tr. Mrs. Humphry Ward, New York: Macmillan, 1885, p. 262
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:54-57; Ps. 30:11; Isa. 25:7-8; Matt. 5:4; Luke 20:36; John 11:35; 16:33; Rom. 8:35-37; 1 John 5:4; Rev. 21:4; more at Blessing, Cross, Death, Glory, Grief, Man, Pain, Sacrifice, Salvation, Sin)
Friday, January 30, 2015
Commemoration of Lesslie Newbigin, Bishop, Missionary, Teacher, 1998
Jesus is understood in the light of the assumptions which control our culture. When reason is invoked as a parallel or supplementary authority to “Scripture” and “tradition,” what is happening is that Jesus is being co-opted into the reigning plausibility structure. But the business of the missionary, and the business of the Christian Church in any situation, is to challenge the plausibility structure in the light of God’s revelation of the real meaning of history.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1989, p. 96
(see the book; see also John 15:18-19; 1:10; 16:33; Acts 2:36; 17:30; Rom. 3:25-26; 2 Cor. 7:10; Tit. 2:11-12; 1 Pet. 1:14-15; more at Challenge, Church, Culture, God, Historical, Jesus, Missionary, Reason, Revelation, Scripture, Tradition)
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Commemoration of John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888
Wealth and riches; that is, an estate above what sufficeth our real occasions and necessities, is in no other sense a blessing than as it is an opportunity put into our hands, by the providence of God, of doing more good.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VI, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CXLII, p. 551
(see the book; see also 1 John 3:17; Luke 12:15; Gal. 6:9-10; Jas. 2:6-7; more at Blessing, God, Goodness, Opportunity, Providence, Wealth)
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