Christ, our Light

Quotations for October, 2021

Friday, October 1, 2021
Commemoration of Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, 533
Commemoration of Thérèse of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Spiritual Writer, 1897

To live of love, ’tis without stint to give,
And never count the cost, nor ask reward;
So, counting not the cost, I long to live
And show my dauntless love for Thee, dear Lord!
O Heart Divine, o’erflowing with tenderness,
How swift I run, who all to Thee has given!
Naught but Thy love I need, my life to bless.
That love is heaven!
... Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, Boston, Angel Guardian Press, 1907, “To Live of Love”, n. 5 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:4; John 12:3-8; 14:23-27; 15:12; 1 Cor. 13:13; more at Blessing, Heaven, Life, Longing, Love)

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Our Lord takes the ground that there can be no merit, in the absolute meaning of the word, in the creature before the Creator. No man can perform a service in such an independent, unassisted style and manner, as to make God his debtor... The creature is an absolute debtor to his Creator, and his Creator comes under no obligations to him by anything that he can do.
... W. G. T. Shedd (1820-1894), Sermons to the Spiritual Man, New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1884, p. 129, 131 (see the book; see also Luke 17:10; Job 22:2-3; John 6:44-45; Rom. 4:4-5; 11:5-6; Eph. 2:8,9; Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 5:10; 1 John 4:19; more at Debt, God, Man, Service)

Sunday, October 3, 2021
Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896
Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958

He knoweth nothing as he ought to know [it], who thinks he knoweth anything without seeing its place and the manner how it relateth to God, angels, and men, and to all the creatures in earth, heaven and hell, time and eternity.
... Thomas Traherne (1637?-1674), Christian Ethicks, Cornell University Press, 1968, p. 69 (see the book; see also Ps. 90:1-2; 1 Cor. 8:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:2-7; more at Angel, Creation, Eternity, God, Knowledge, Man, Religion, Time)

Monday, October 4, 2021
Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226

The Lord called me by the way of simplicity and humility, and this way He hath shown me in truth for me and those who will believe and imitate me. And therefore I would that ye name not to me any rule, neither of St. Augustine, nor St. Benedict, nor of Bernard, nor any way or form of living, but that which was mercifully shown and given me by the Lord.
... St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), The Mirror of Perfection [c. 1280], tr. Robert Steele, London: J.M. Dent, 1903, p. 97 (see the book; see also Matt. 18:2-4; Ps. 19:7; 116:6; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 11:25; Luke 14:11; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at God, Historical, Humility, Life, Mercy, Rule, Simplicity, Truth, Way)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

... God is always speaking; He is never still. Just as in prayer it is not we who momentarily catch His attention but He ours, so when we fail to hear His voice it is not because He is not speaking so much as that we are not listening.
... Charles H. Brent (1862-1929), With God in the World [1899], London: Longmans Green, 1914, p. 34 (see the book; see also Matt. 13:9; 1 Kings 19:11-13; Ps. 85:8; Matt. 13:14-15; John 12:40; Rom. 10:17-18; more at Failure, God, Listening, Prayer)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536

He only is truly great, who hath great charity. He is truly great who deemeth himself small, and counteth all height of honour as nothing. He is the truly wise man, who counteth all earthly things as dung that he may win Christ. And he is the truly learned man, who doeth the will of God, and forsaketh his own will.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.iii,. p. 35 (see the book; see also Luke 9:48; 14:9-10; Rom. 1:21; Phil. 3:8; more at Charity, Christ, Greatness, Honor, Humility, Love, Will of God, Wisdom)

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Unbelief is as much an enemy to the Christian as it is to the unconverted. It will keep back the blessing now as much as it did in the days of Christ. We read that in one place Christ could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. If Christ could not do this, how can we expect to accomplish anything if the people of God are unbelieving?
... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), “To the work! To the work!”: Exhortations to Christians, Chicago: F. H. Revell, 1884, p. 41 (see the book; see also Mark 9:23-24; Matt. 9:22; 13:57-58; 14:31; Mark 6:4-5; John 20:24-28; 2 Thess. 3:2; Tit. 1:15-16; Heb. 3:12; Jas. 1:5-8; 1 John 5:10; more at Blessing, Christ, Enemy, Miracle, People, Unbelief)

Friday, October 8, 2021

To the extent that we want power we are in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit has no part in us. Christ put a towel around himself and washed his disciple’s feet. We should ask ourselves from time to time, “Whose feet am I washing?”
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), No Little People, Downer Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1974, reprint, Crossway, 2003, p. 68 (see the book; see also John 13:4-14; Luke 12:35-36; Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16; more at Christ, Holy Spirit, Power, Service, Sin)

Saturday, October 9, 2021
Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258
Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253

Eternal God! O thou that only art
The sacred fountain of eternal light,
And blessed loadstone of my better part,
O thou, my heart’s desire, my soul’s delight!
Reflect upon my soul, and touch my heart,
And then my heart shall prize no good above thee;
And then my soul shall know thee; knowing, love thee;
And then my trembling thoughts shall never start
From thy commands, or swerve the least degree,
Or once presume to move, but as they move in thee.
... Francis Quarles (1592-1644), Quarles’ Emblems, London: James Nisbet and Co., 1861, p. 272 (see the book; see also Song of Solomon 7:10; John 14:15; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:8; more at Commandment, Everlasting, God, Goodness, Heart, Knowing God, Light, Love, Soul)

Sunday, October 10, 2021
Feast of Paulinus, Bishop of York, Missionary, 644

Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 9 (see the book; see also Luke 1:76-79; Mal. 2:7; Phil. 3:8; more at Bible, Church, Experience, God, Heart, Satisfaction, Teach, Truth)

Monday, October 11, 2021
Commemoration of Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking, 675

The only way for a Christian to be loyal to his central commitment is to be as honest as he knows how to be. It is important to survive, but it is even more important to tell the truth, and we can never tell the truth if we are seeking, primarily, to prove a point.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), The Future of the Christian, Harper & Row, 1971, p. 9 (see the book; see also John 17:17; Lev. 19:35-36; John 1:14; 8:31-32; 18:37-38; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; 2 John 1:1-2; more at Commitment, Knowledge, Loyalty, Proof, Truth)

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709
Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845

Do we want to learn holiness with terrible struggles, and sore affliction, and the plague of much remaining evil? Then wait before you turn to God.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons Preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton, v. III, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1859, p. 331 (see the book; see also Isa. 55:6; Ps. 95:7-11; 119:60; Pr. 27:1; Jer. 13:16; Amos 4:6-11; Matt. 5:25; Luke 9:59-62; more at Affliction, Evil, God, Holiness, Procrastination, Struggle)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066

Human nature is like a stable inhabited by the ox of passion and the ass of prejudice; animals which take up a lot of room and which I suppose most of us are feeding on the quiet. And it is there between them, pushing them out, that Christ must be born and in their very manger he must be laid—and they will be the first to fall on their knees before him. Sometimes Christians seem far nearer to those animals than to Christ in his simple poverty, self-abandoned to God.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Light of Christ, New York: Longmans, Green, 1949, p. 41 (see the book; see also Gal. 5:24; Luke 2:6-7; Rom. 7:5; Col. 3:5; more at Animal, Christ, God, Nature, Poverty, Prejudice, Self-sacrifice, Simplicity)

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Our first priority is to listen to God’s voice. It is our exposure to His compassion that will cause us to reach out to the oppressed, the frustrated, the angry. And it is only by listening to His voice that we will have wisdom to know how to provide workable solutions for the different groups that demand our attention.
... Ted W. Engstrom (1916-2006), former president, World Vision US, in a private communication from World Vision (see also Luke 6:36; Ps. 85:8; Matt. 12:49-50; John 12:35-36; more at Compassion, God, Holy Spirit, Knowledge, Listening, Wisdom)

Friday, October 15, 2021
Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582

Our souls may lose their peace and even disturb other people’s, if we are always criticizing trivial actions which often are not real defects at all, but we construe them wrongly through our ignorance of their motives.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Interior Castle [1577], tr., E. Allison Peers, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, p. 51 (see the book; see also Jas. 4:11-12; Luke 6:37-38; John 8:7; more at Attitudes, Ignorance, Judgment, Peace, Soul, Wrong)

Saturday, October 16, 2021
Commemoration of the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicolas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, bishops and martyrs, 1555

What then is impossible to Him? Not that which is difficult to His Power, but what is contrary to His Nature. It is impossible, it is said, for Him to lie. This impossibility comes not of infirmity, but of Power and Majesty, for truth admits not of falsehood, nor God’s Power of the weakness of error.
... St. Ambrose of Milan (Aurelius Ambrosius) (339-397), The Letters of S. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Oxford, J. Parker, 1881, p. 319 (see the book; see also Heb. 6:17-18; John 17:17; Rom. 3:4; more at Error, God, Nature, Power, Truth, Weakness)

Sunday, October 17, 2021
Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107

Many men’s scruples lie almost wholly about obedience to authority and compliance with indifferent customs, but very seldom about the dangers of disobedience and unpeaceableness, and rending in pieces the Church of Christ, by needless separations and endless divisions.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VIII, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CLXXXVIII, p. 247 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:12-13; Matt. 22:21; John 14:27; 17:20-23; Rom. 15:5-7; 1 Pet. 2:21; more at Christ, Church, Custom, Danger, Disobedience, Indifference)

Monday, October 18, 2021
Feast of Luke the Evangelist

God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners [i.e. morals].
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), diary entry for Sunday, October 28, 1787, William Wilberforce: Greatest Works, Bridge Logos Foundation, 2007, p. 10 (see the book; see also Amos 5:11; Ps. 9:9; 72:4; Isa. 1:15-17; Jas. 5:4; more at Call, God, Morality, Reformation, Slave)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Feast of Henry Martyn, Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India & Persia, 1812

Look well whence the trial comes, for we are often ourselves the cause of our own dryness and barrenness. A mother refuses sugar to her sickly child, and so God deprives us of consolations when they do but feed self-complacency or presumption.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life [1609], London: Rivingtons, 1876, IV.xiv, p. 333 (see the book; see also Ps. 119:67,71-72; 1 Cor. 10:13; Jas. 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:6; more at Adversity, Affliction, Attitudes, Complacency, God, Trial, Will of God)

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Right reception of the Lord’s Supper has a humbling effect on the soul. The sight of the emblems of Christ’s body and blood, reminds us how sinful sin must be, if nothing less than the death of God’s own Son could make satisfaction for it, or redeem us from its guilt. Never, surely, ought we to be so “clothed with humility,” as when we kneel at the Communion rail.
... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Principles for Churchmen, London: William Hunt, 1884, p. 269 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 11:23-29; Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; Col. 1:19-20; Heb. 10:29; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; more at Christ, Communion, Death, God, Guilt, Humility, Redemption, Sin)

Thursday, October 21, 2021

A natural heart is offended every day at the preaching of the Cross... The preaching of another’s righteousness—that you must have it or perish—many, I have no doubt, are often enraged at this in their hearts. Many, I doubt not, have left this church on account of it, and many more, I doubt not, will follow. All the offence of the Cross is not ceased. But a broken heart cannot be offended. Ministers cannot speak too plainly for a broken heart. A broken heart would sit for ever to hear of the righteousness without works.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Dundee: W. Middleton, 1845, p. 395 (see the book; see also Gal. 5:11; Ps. 51:17; Rom. 8:6-7; Jude 1:17-19; more at Church, Cross, Doubt, Heart, Penitence, Preach, Righteousness)

Friday, October 22, 2021

Christ did not throw about that great word Salvation. But once, in the heart of an angry crowd, their enthusiasm soured suddenly into a growling muttering. He applied it confidently to a man who, under the inspiration of His friendship, had broken with his sorry past and his old selfish, unclean ways, and was doing what he could to put things right. Now that, He said, is what I call a saved man. Very solemnly He tells us that on the Day of Judgment we shall not be asked the questions we are expecting, but others that will puzzle and startle us. Those folk on the left hand were, as far as we hear, respectable folk; their business books were straight, their home life was kindly, they themselves were clean-living men and women: nothing whatever is laid to their charge excepting this, that they lived in a world needing their help and were too absorbed in something—what it was, we are not told; it may have been their souls—to give what aid they could.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924, p. 23-24 (see the book; see also Luke 19:2-10; Matt. 11:15; 25:31-46; more at Christ, Judgment, Question, Regeneration, Repentance, Salvation)

Saturday, October 23, 2021

I believe God is moving to reveal to all Christians what the true center of the Christian faith is, and that the inevitable spiritual unity which will surely result will be one of the major steps toward the fulfillment of God’s full purpose—His “eternal purpose.” All Christians are one Body in Christ—we cannot create this, but only recognize it. However, we must recognize it and then fearlessly practice it, disregarding our differences in doctrine, forms and interpretations of the Bible. We must receive one another on the ground of a mutual fellowship with God in living union with Christ in the Spirit.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 5 (see the book; see also Matt. 18:20; John 17:22-23; Rom. 12:4-5; 14:5-6; 15:5-7; 1 Cor. 1:10; 10:17; 12:12-13; 2 Cor. 3:5-6; Eph. 1:22-23; 1 Tim. 3:14-15; 1 Pet. 3:8; more at Bible, Body of Christ, Christ, Everlasting, Fellowship, Fulfillment, God, Holy Spirit, Life, Purpose, Unity)

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The more highly valued a word of prophecy is by the church, the more open is that church to deception, the more liable is it to be led astray by false prophecy. Failure to recognize the role of discerning of spirits means failure to recognize the character of prophecy and prevents the gift of prophecy functioning properly. As in the worshipping assembly tongues without interpretation is in fact only half a gift, so prophecy without evaluation is in effect only half a gift.
... James D. G. Dunn (1939-2020), from “According to the Spirit of Jesus” in Theological Renewal, Bramcote, Nottingham [England] : Grove Books, 1975-1983, #5, 1977, p. 17 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 14:29-32; Matt. 7:21-23; 1 Cor. 14:26; 1 Thess. 5:19-21; 2 Pet. 1:21; 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1-3; Rev. 2:2; more at Church, Failure, Gifts, Prophecy, Spirit, Worship)

Monday, October 25, 2021
Commemoration of Crispin & Crispinian, Martyrs at Rome, c.285

Drop, drop, slow tears, and bathe those beauteous feet
Which brought from Heaven the news and Prince of Peace.
Cease not, wet eyes, His mercies to entreat;
To cry for vengeance sin doth never cease;
In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears,
Nor let His eye see sin, but through my tears.
... Phineas Fletcher (1582-1650), The Spenser of his Age, J. R. Totin, 1905, p. 46 (see the book; see also Luke 7:37-38; Isa. 9:6; Luke 18:10-13; 19:1-10; more at Fear, Heaven, Jesus, Mercy, Sin, Tear, Vengeance)

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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

When Jesus says that his kingdom is not of this world, he says clearly what he intends to say. He does not validate any worldly kingdom (even if the ruler be Christian). He puts us on guard against seeking any authority other than that of the Holy Spirit.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Subversion of Christianity, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1986, p. 21 (see the book; see also John 18:36; Hos. 13:11; Mark 12:17; Rom. 13:1; 1 Cor. 1:26-29; 1 Tim.2:1-3; more at Authenticity, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Kingdom, Worldly)

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Evangelism and social action: one is not synonymous with the other. They are the twin mandates of the New Testament, and to neglect one is not only to cripple the Church and make its message less credible but to do violence to the New Testament teachings.
... Stan Mooneyham (1926-1991), former president, World Vision US, in a private communication from World Vision (see also Gal. 2:9-10; Acts 3:4-8; 6:1-4; more at Action, Bible, Church, Evangelization, Neglect, Social)

Thursday, October 28, 2021
Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles

The best way to prepare for the coming of Christ is never to forget the presence of Christ.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Letters of John and Jude, Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1960, p. 84 (see the book; see also 1 John 2:24-29; John 15:7; Col. 3:16; Rev. 3:3,11; more at Christ, Forget, Presence of God)

Friday, October 29, 2021
Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885

In the widest sense of the word, sin, as a disturbance of the personal relations between God and man, is a violence done to the constitution under which God and man form one moral community—share, as we may reverently express it, one life, have in view the same moral ends...
No matter how sin originated, in the moral consciousness in which it has its being it is recognised as a derangement of the vital relations of man, a violation of that universal order outside of which he has no true good.
... James Denney (1856-1917), The Atonement and the Modern Mind, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903, p. 54-57 (see the book; see also Jas. 4:17; Rom. 14:23; 2 Tim. 3:13; Jas. 1:14-15; 1 John 3:4; more at Community, God, Goodness, Man, Morality, Sin)

Saturday, October 30, 2021
Commemoration of Martin Luther, Teacher, Reformer, 1546

Faith is a living, unshakeable confidence in God’s grace; it is so certain, that someone would die a thousand times for it. This kind of trust in and knowledge of God’s grace makes a person joyful, confident, and happy with regard to God and all creatures. This is what the Holy Spirit does by faith. Through faith, a person will do good to everyone without coercion, willingly and happily; he will serve everyone, suffer everything for the love and praise of God, who has shown him such grace. It is as impossible to separate works from faith as burning and shining from fire.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans”, par. 15 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:9-10; John 3:3; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:21-22; Eph. 2:8-9; more at Certainty, Confidence, Death, Faith, God, Grace, Holy Spirit, Love, Praise, Suffer)

Sunday, October 31, 2021
Reformation Day

It must have been a most blessed discovery, that of an old Latin Bible which he found in the Erfurt Library about this time. He had never seen the Book before. It taught him another lesson than that of fasts and vigils... Luther learned now that a man was saved not by singing masses, but by the infinite grace of God: a more credible hypothesis. He gradually got himself founded, as on the rock. No wonder he should venerate the Bible, which had brought this blessed help to him. He prized it as the Word of the Highest must be prized by such a man. He determined to hold by that, as through life and to death he firmly did.
... Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), On Heroes, Hero-worship and the Heroic in History, New York: Wiley, 1859, p. 116 (see the book; see also Matt. 7:24-27; Rom. 3:21-22; Eph. 2:8-9; more at Bible, Death, Discovery, Grace, Historical, Life, Salvation)


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