Christ, our Light

Quotations for October, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Commemoration of Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, 533
Commemoration of Thérèse of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Spiritual Writer, 1897

Make me what Thou wouldst have me. I bargain for nothing. I make no terms. I seek for no previous information whither Thou art taking me. I will be what Thou wilt make me, and all that Thou wilt make me. I say not, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest, for I am weak, but I give myself to Thee, to lead me anywhither.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Parochial Sermons, v. V, London: Francis & John Rivington, 1842, p. 283 (see the book; see also Matt. 26:31-32; Ps. 23; 51:10; John 10:27; more at Leader, Prayers, Self-sacrifice, Weakness)

Monday, October 2, 2017

This means that we do not know what are the limits of human history, but it does not mean that there are no real limits. It is important to assert this, because if we do not do so, the limit which we know apart from Christ becomes determinative of our outlook. That limit is death—the death of the individual, and the death of the social structure in which his corporate personality is embodied. When these are the only limits that men know, then they are left in a hopeless alternation between hope for an individual survival of death, which evacuates their corporate life of ultimate significance, and hope for the eternity of some social or political or cultural achievement, which evacuates personal existence of ultimate significance. This false alternation is overcome in Christ in whom we are brought into relation with the true limit—a consummation of all things in which both the significance of each personal life and the significance of history as a whole are to be gathered up.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Household of God, London, SCM Press, 1953, New York: Friendship Press, 1954, p. 155-156 (see the book; see also Matt. 24:35-36; 19:29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30; John 3:14-17; 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 1:22-23; more at Christ, Death, Eternity, Existence, Historical, Hope, Hopelessness, Knowledge, Life)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896
Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958

Thus was the Cross of Christ, in St. Paul’s day, the glory of Christians; not as it signified their not being ashamed to own a master that was crucified, but as it signified their glorying in a religion, which was nothing else but a doctrine of the Cross, that called them to the same suffering spirit, the same sacrifice of themselves, the same renunciation of the world, the same humility and meekness, the same patient bearing of injuries, reproaches and contempts, and the same dying to all the greatness, honours and happiness of this world, which Christ showed on the Cross.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 316 (see the book; see also Gal. 6:12-14; Isa. 53:9-10; 57:15; Phil. 2:5-8; more at Christ, Cross, Crucifixion, Glory, Gospel, Happiness, Honor, Humility, Meekness, Patience, Renunciation, Sacrifice, Suffer, World)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226

The gaps in [St. Francis’] education were of marvellous service to him. More learned, the formal logic of the schools would have robbed him of that flower of simplicity which is the great charm of his life; he would have seen the whole extent of the sore of the Church, and would no doubt have despaired of healing it. If he had known ecclesiastical discipline, he would have felt obliged to observe it; but thanks to his ignorance he could often violate it without knowing it, and be a heretic quite unawares.
... Paul Sabatier (1858-1928), Francis of Assisi [1894], tr. Louise Seymour Houghton, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1922, p. xxi (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 1:12; 1 Cor. 2:4; 15:10; 2 Cor. 4:2; 10:2-4; Jas. 3:17-18; more at Church, Discipline, Education, Holy Spirit, Ignorance, Simplicity)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The labor of self-love is a heavy one indeed. Think for yourself whether much of your sorrow has not arisen from someone speaking slightingly of you. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal, there will be those who delight to offer affront to your idol. How can you hope to find inward peace?
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 105 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:5-6; Matt. 5:11-12; Rom. 16:17-18; Phil. 3:18-19; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 1 Pet. 2:23; more at Idol, Loyalty, Pride, Self, Self-righteousness, Sin)

Friday, October 6, 2017
Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536

Let us go and wake up the universe... and sing His praises.
... Mariam Baouardy (1846-1878) (see the book; see also Rev. 5:11-14; 4:11; 14:7; more at Praise, Universe, Worship)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Most men dislike a teaching which lays upon them strict moral requirements that check their natural desires. Yet they like to be considered as Christians, and listen willingly to the hypocrites who preach that our righteousness is only that God holds us to be righteous, even if we are bad people, and that our righteousness is without us and not in us, for, according to such teaching, they can be counted as holy people. Woe to those who preach that men of sinful walk can not be considered pious; most are furious when they hear this, as we see and experience, and would like all such preachers to be driven away or even killed; but where that cannot be done, they strengthen their hypocrite preachers with praise, comfort, presents and protection, so that they may go on happily and give no place to the truth, however clear it may be.
... Andreas Osiander (1498-1552), [1551] quoted in The Pilgrim Church, E. H. Broadbent, London: Pickering & Inglis, 1931, p. 158-159 (see the book; see also 2 Tim. 4:2-4; Zech. 7:11; Matt. 7:15-21; Rom. 3:9; 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:9-11; more at Holiness, Hypocrisy, Legalism, Morality, Preacher, Righteousness, Sin, Teach)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Some people are reluctant to consider the future, arguing that it must be left to solve its own problems and to shape its own beliefs. In all right efforts for the future, religion must be given first place. No provision to secure peace or just social principles can be worth much unless the foremost aim be to establish the Kingdom of God. It is not the minds and bodies only of generations to come that have to be remembered, but their immortal souls.
... John Oxenham (1852-1941), Winds of the Dawn, London, New York: Longmans, Green, 1930 (see also Mark 1:14-15; Ps. 22:30-31; 78:5-6; 102:18; Matt. 4:17; 10:7; Luke 10:9; more at Belief, Church, Future, Kingdom, Peace, Religion, Soul)

Monday, October 9, 2017
Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258
Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253

There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual walk with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive.
... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, Fifth Letter, p. 31 (see the book; see also Gal. 5:16-18; Ps. 119:103-104; Matt. 11:28-29; Rom. 8:12-14; Gal. 5:25; 6:8; 1 Pet. 4:6; 1 John 5:3-4; Jude 1:20; more at Experience, God, Life, Prayer, World)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Feast of Paulinus, Bishop of York, Missionary, 644

People make mistakes when they believe. They may even want something so badly that passion creates its own evidences. Reprehensible though these habits are, they nonetheless fall within the pale of man’s general effort to conform the self to things as they are. But when a person acknowledges the deficiency of evidences and yet goes right on believing, he defends a position that is large with the elements of its own destruction. Any brand of inanity can be defended on such a principle.
... Edward John Carnell (1919-1967), The Case for Orthodox Theology, Philadelphia: Westminister, 1959, p. 24 (see the book; see also Matt. 24:23-24; 24:5,11; 26:41; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 17:23-24; 21:8; 2 Pet. 2:1; 3:17; more at Apologetics, Belief, Man, Self)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Commemoration of Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking, 675

It was an unhappy division that has been made between faith and works; though in my Intellect I may divide them; just as in the candle I know there is both light and heat: but yet put out the candle, and they are both gone.
... John Selden (1584-1654), Table-Talk [1689], Whitefriars: Davidson, 1821, p. 56 (see the book; see also Jas. 2:14,17-18,26; Rom. 14:23; Gal. 5:6; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Pet. 1:5-9; more at Faith, Light, Work)

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709
Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845

No nation, and few individuals, are really brought into [God’s] camp by the historical study of the biography of Jesus, simply as biography. Indeed, materials for a full biography have been withheld from men. The earliest converts were converted by a single historical fact (the Resurrection) and a single theological doctrine (the Redemption) operating on a sense of sin which they already had... The “Gospels” come later and were written not to make Christians but to edify Christians already made.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Screwtape Letters, Macmillan, 1944, p. 119 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:12-14,17; Luke 1:1-4; Acts 17:31; Gal. 2:2; Jas. 2:20; more at Church, Conversion, Historical, Jesus, Redemption, Resurrection, Sin, Theology)

Friday, October 13, 2017
Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066

The Lord afflicts us at times; but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve, and much less than many of our fellow-creatures are suffering around us. Let us therefore pray for grace to be humble, thankful, and patient.
... John Newton (1725-1807), in a letter, 1770, The Works of the Rev. John Newton, v. II, New York: Williams and Whiting, 1810, p. 151 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 11:31-32; Pr. 3:11-12; Rom. 8:16-18; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; Heb. 12:5-7; more at Affliction, Grace, Humility, Patience, Prayer, Suffer, Weakness)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

When in hand-to-hand conflict with the world and the devil, neat little Biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter; one needs a man who will let go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, in the power of the Holy Ghost... Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count.
... C. T. Studd (1860-1931), quoted in C. T. Studd—Cricketer and Pioneer [1933], Norman P. Grubb, World-Wide Revival Prayer Movement, 1947, p. 163 (see the book; see also Acts 10:37-38; Mic. 3:8; Zech. 4:6; Luke 10:18-20; Acts 1:8; Jude 1:3; more at Devil, Fight, Fire, Holy Spirit, Mission, Power)

Sunday, October 15, 2017
Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582

God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Complete Works of Saint Teresa of Jesus, v. I, Sheed & Ward, 1944, p. 310 (see the book; see also Matt. 18:21-35; Isa. 55;7; Mic. 7:19; Matt. 5:44; 6:12,14-15; Mark 11:25; Rom. 12:21; Col. 3:13; more at God, Goodness, Historical, People, Remembrance, Virtue, Wrong)

Monday, October 16, 2017
Commemoration of the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicolas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, bishops and martyrs, 1555

Sinners’ follies are the just sport of God’s infinite wisdom and power; and those attempts of the kingdom of Satan, which in our eyes are formidable, in his are despicable.
... Matthew Henry (1662-1714), An Exposition of the Old and New Testaments [1828], Ps. 2, in loc. v. 1-6, II.1 (see the book; see also Ps. 2:1-6; 37:12-13; 59:8; Isa. 37:22; more at Folly, God, Infinite, Power, Satan, Sin, Wisdom)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107

Having made man in His own image, a rational being, He meant him to be lord only over irrational beings: not man set over man, but man set over beasts... The first cause of servitude is sin, by which man is subjected to man by the bonds of his condition... But by that nature in which God formerly created man, nobody is slave either to man or to sin.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), The City of God, v. II, Marcus Dods, ed., as vol. 2 of The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Edinbugh: T & T Clark, 1871, XIX.xv, p. 324-325 (see the book; see also Philemon 1:15-16; Dan. 9:5-19; John 8:34; Rom. 6:19-23; 7:14,25; 2 Pet. 2:19; more at Creation, God, Man, Reason, Sin, Slave)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Feast of Luke the Evangelist

It is to be feared that the most of us know not how much of glory may be in present grace, nor how much of heaven may be obtained in holiness on the earth.
... John Owen (1616-1683), V.1 in A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V [1674], in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 583 (see the book; see also Luke 17:20-21; Ps. 17:15; Luke 20:36; 2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; 1 John 3:2; more at Attitudes, Earth, Glory, Grace, Heaven, Holiness, Knowledge)

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Feast of Henry Martyn, Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India & Persia, 1812

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), in a letter, Calvin: his life, his labours, and his writings, Laurence Louis Felix Bungener, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1863, p. 205 (see the book; see also Ps. 40:9-10; 119:171-172; Luke 2:30-32; 3:6; Acts 20:20-21,27; 1 Thess. 1:8; more at Apologetics, Cowardice, God, Master, Silence, Truth)

Friday, October 20, 2017

“He cannot deny Himself,” means at the same time He cannot deny His grace to the sinful, and He cannot deny the moral order in which alone He can live in fellowship with men; and we see the inviolableness of both asserted in the death of Jesus. Nothing else in the world demonstrates how real is God’s love to the sinful, and how real the sin of the world is to God. And the love which comes to us through such an expression, bearing sin in all its reality, yet loving us through and beyond it, is the only love which at once forgives and regenerates the soul.
... James Denney (1856-1917), The Atonement and the Modern Mind, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903, p. 86 (see the book; see also 2 Tim. 2:13; John 3:16-17; Rom. 3:3; 1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Thess. 5:24; 2 Thess. 3:3; Heb. 9:27-28; more at Death, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Jesus, Love, Morality, Regeneration, Sin)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

[Magic] is not mere superstition. It can corrupt people who otherwise carry on their daily duties with apparent reasonableness and common sense... It exploits man’s urgent desire for all the material good things of life—health, prosperity, success, “good luck”—and at times, it may even descend to aggressive acts against one’s competitors and supposed enemies and rivals. It rests upon an assumption, not always explicit, that divine power can be manipulated and used for human ends. And it is the more dangerous among people who assume that since God is love, He will do whatever they ask, provided they use the right formula in asking.
Magic mocks God’s freedom no less than His purpose. For it binds men more and more in a prison of fear and selfishness. Far from liberating divine power, it shuts out the free and creative forces of love and self-sacrifice that alone ennoble life and remove the alienation of men one from another. Love, not compulsion, casts out fear.
... Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. (1913-1990), Far and Near (see also Deut. 18:9-13; Isa. 8:19-20; Acts 19:19; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 5:19-22; 2 Tim. 1:7; Heb. 12:28-29; 1 John 4:18; more at Authenticity, Danger, Fear, Freedom, God, Health, Love, Prosperity, Self-sacrifice, Success)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Local churches which are respected and even attended by “the public”—interpreted as people who under different circumstances would not feel obliged to attend church at all—are often found to be those where, on a Christian judgment, the gospel seems to be most faithfully preached. Such churches may invite and suffer temporary periods of unpopularity—by standing up for West Indian immigrants, say, or refusing indiscriminate baptism. But on the whole, the storms are weathered by churches, and ministers, whose interest in the community and presentation of the faith [are] alert and genuine. Even so, the Church has every excuse for getting itself disliked: none at all for escaping notice.
... Christopher Driver (1932-1997), A Future for the Free Churches?, London: SCM Press, 1962, p. 19-20 (see the book; see also Acts 4:19-20; Jer. 1:17-19; Mic. 3:8; Luke 2:10; Acts 7:52-54; 17:16-17; 18:5; 1 Cor. 9:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:4-10; more at Church, Faith, Gospel, Preach, Suffer)

Monday, October 23, 2017

If the mercy of God is so great that He can instruct us, to our salvation, even when He hides Himself, what a brilliance of light we must expect when He reveals Himself!
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #848, p. 301 (see the book; see also John 6:46-47; 1:1-5; 3:18; Rom. 5:10; Col. 3:3-4; 1 John 5:11-12; more at God, Greatness, Instruction, Knowing God, Light, Mercy, Salvation)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

[The Creeds] were formulated gradually, as a result of a series of desperate controversies—controversies which are now named sometimes after the supposed leaders and representatives of a particular interpretation of the Christian religion, and sometimes after the particular interpretation itself.
I need not now attempt to make precise these heresies, as they came to be called. It is necessary only to point out that in various ways all these heresies were simplifications. By means of them the revelation of God to men was made, or appeared to be made, less scandalous. On the other hand, the various clauses of the Creed were not formulated as a new simplification, or as an alternative -ism. They were nothing more than emphatic statements of the Biblical scandal, statements which brought into sharp antagonism the new simplification and the old, Scriptural, many-sided and vigorous truth.
... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), We are the Pharisees, London: SPCK, 1960, p. 62-63 (see the book; see also Mark 3:1-6; Matt. 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11; 1 Cor. 1:22-24; 1 Tim. 3:14-16; more at Bible, Creed, Heresy, Revelation, Scripture, Truth)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Commemoration of Crispin & Crispinian, Martyrs at Rome, c.285

The word “sinner” often proves a great obstacle to understanding, but let us use other words. Let us say that man is the kind of creature who naturally sees the world from a very limited perspective, that he tends to be self-centered and to prefer the interests that are closest to himself and to his own social group. Let us say that man is naturally unwilling to accept his limited or finite status, that he is always seeking to extend his control over others, that he seeks to maintain his own security by means of power over all who may threaten it, that he likes to be in a position to compare himself with others to their disadvantage, that he seeks to be self-sufficient and to deny in effect his dependence upon God and to set up his own group or system or ideal in the place of God.
... John C. Bennett (1902-1995), Christianity and communism today, Association Press, 1960, p. 117 (see the book; see also Ps. 5:4-5; Rom. 3:10-18; Gal. 5:19-24; Phil. 2:3; 3:18-19; ; more at Dependence, God, Man, Power, Security, Selfish, Sin, Social)

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Feast of Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, Scholar, 899
Commemoration of Cedd, Founding Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of the East Saxons, 664

Remember, a small light will do a great deal when it is in a very dark place. You put one little tallow candle in the middle of a large hall, and it will give a good deal of light.
... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), “To the work! To the work!”: Exhortations to Christians, Chicago: F. H. Revell, 1884, p. 139 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:14-15; Pr. 4:18; John 5:35; 12:36; Eph. 5:8-10; Phil. 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:5; more at Darkness, Gospel, Light)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Your heart is not the compass which Christ saileth by.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, June 16, 1637, p. 349 (see the book; see also Ps. 86:6-8; Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Eze. 24:14; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 6:18; more at Christ, Heart, Prayer)

Saturday, October 28, 2017
Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles

From time immemorial men have quenched their thirst with water without knowing anything about its chemical constituents. In like manner we do not need to be instructed in all the mysteries of doctrine, but we do need to receive the Living Water which Jesus Christ will give us and which alone can satisfy our souls.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), quoted in The Gospel of Sadhu Sundar Singh, Friedrich Heiler & Olive Wyon, G. Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1927, p. 239 (see the book; see also John 4:7-14; Ex. 17:6; Ps. 36:8-9; 46:4; Isa. 12:3; 44:3; Jer. 2:13; Zech. 14:8; John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 10:1-4; Rev. 7:17; 21:6; more at Christ, Instruction, Jesus, Knowledge, Need, Satisfaction, Water)

Sunday, October 29, 2017
Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885

I fear that many people seek to hear God solely as a device for securing their own safety, comfort and righteousness. For those who busy themselves to know the will of God, however, it is still true that “those who want to save their life will lose it.” My extreme preoccupation with knowing God’s will for me may only indicate, contrary to what is often thought, that I am overconcerned with myself, not a Christlike interest in the well-being of others or in the glory of God.
... Dallas Willard (1935-2013), Hearing God, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1999, p. 28 (see the book; see also Mark 8:35; Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Luke 17:33; John 12:25; Acts 20:23-24; more at Christlikeness, Comfort, Glory of God, Religion, Safety, Security, Will of God)

Monday, October 30, 2017
Commemoration of Martin Luther, Teacher, Reformer, 1546

Christ is the master; the Scriptures are only the servant.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), quoted in The Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit, Auguste Sabatier, London: Williams & Norgate, 1904, p. 158 (see the book; see also 1 Thess. 2:13; Matt. 17:1-5; Mark 9:2-7; Luke 9:28-32; John 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:16-21; 1 John 1:1-3; 4:14; more at Christ, Master, Scripture, Service)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
500th Anniversary of the 95 Theses
Reformation Day

We cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture either by study or by the intellect. Your first duty is to begin by prayer. Entreat the Lord to grant you, of His great mercy, the true understanding of His Word. There is no other interpreter of the Word of God than the Author of this Word, as He Himself has said, “They shall be all taught of God.” (John 6:45) Hope for nothing from your own labors, from your own understanding: trust solely in God, and in the influence of His Spirit. Believe this on the word of a man who has experience.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), in a letter (see What Luther Says: An Anthology, #233), quoted in History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century in Germany, Jean Henri Merle d’Aubigné, London: Walther, 1838, p. 320 (see the book; see also John 6:45; Isa. 54:13; John 3:9,10; Rom. 8:16; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:21; Rev. 2:7; 19:10; more at Bible, Duty, God, Holy Spirit, Hope, Labor, Mercy, Prayer, Trust, Understanding)


Christ, our Light

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