Quotations for March, 2022
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601
Following the way of Jesus Christ and doing all we can for His cause and for our fellow men expresses something of our worship in action.But how to give Him a present to express our love is a bit of a problem. How can you give God anything when He owns everything? But does He? How about that power to choose, that precious free will that He has given to every living personality and which He so greatly respects?That is the only present we can give—ourselves, with all our powers of spirit, mind, and body—willingly, freely, given because we love Him.That is the best and highest worship that you and I can offer, and I am sure that it is this above all that God most highly appreciates.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Plain Christianity, London: Macmillan, 1954, p. 63
(see the book; see also Phil. 2:12-13; Ps. 19:14; Hos. 6:6; Amos 5:23-24; Matt. 2:1-2,9-11; 5:16; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 2:10; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Appreciation, Christ, Free will, Giving, Jesus, Offering, Power, Way, Worship)
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
It is not possible to say, “I shall pray” or “I shall not pray,” as if it were an act according to our own good pleasure. To be a Christian and to pray are one and the same thing; it is a matter that cannot be left to our caprice. It is a need, a kind of breathing necessary to life.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), Prayer, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, p. 15
(see the book; see also Ps. 42:1-2; Job 42:5-6; Matt. 26:39; Mark 1:35; Rom. 12:12; more at Action, Life, Need, Pleasure, Prayer)
Thursday, March 3, 2022
Thou didst call, and cry aloud, and break through my deafness. Thou didst blaze forth, and shine, and scatter my blindness. Thou wert fragrant, and I drew in my breath, and pant for Thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions , Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, X.xxvii, p. 263-264
(see the book; see also Ps. 34:8; 42:1-2; Isa. 6:9-10; Matt. 11:4-6; John 9:25; more at Blindness, Call, Deafness, Knowing God, Love, Peace)
Friday, March 4, 2022
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647
Christ [is] the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the congregation or meeting-place of all the waters in the world: so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.
... John Flavel (1628-1691), Serm. XII from The Method of Grace, in The Whole Works of the Reverend Mr. John Flavel, v. II, London: J. Mathews, 1799, p. 215
(see the book; see also Song of Solomon 5:16; Ps. 45:2; Matt. 12:18; more at Christ, Congregation, Pleasure, World)
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Forgiveness can spring only from a self-forgetfulness that is more concerned about another’s well being than about its own, and that longs for the renewal of fellowship even when fellowship has been flouted and destroyed by the willful aggression of another.
... Stephen Neill (1900-1984), A Genuinely Human Existence: Towards a Christian Psychology, Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1959, p. 211
(see the book; see also Eph. 4:32; Matt. 6:14-15; 18:21-35; Mark 11:25; Jas. 2:12-13; more at Fellowship, Forgiveness, Renewal)
Sunday, March 6, 2022
When [Moses] relates that Rachel stole her father’s idols, he speaks as of a common corruption. Whence we may infer, that the mind of man is, if I may be allowed the expression, a perpetual manufactory of idols. After the deluge, there was, as it were, a regeneration of the world; but not many years elapsed before men fabricated gods according to their own fancy.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.xi.8, p. 104
(see the book; see also Col. 3:5; Gen. 31:34-35; Acts 17:29-30; 1 Cor. 12:2-3; Phil. 3:18-19; more at Corruption, Idol, Man, Regeneration)
Monday, March 7, 2022
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
The man who knows nothing of communion with God is a stranger to himself, and we find ourselves only as we find Him whom our hearts desire.
... R. J. Campbell (1867-1956), City Temple Sermons, New York: F. H. Revell company, 1903, p. 38
(see the book; see also Ps. 1:1-2; Ex. 33:11; Jer. 31:34; Lam. 3:25-26; Matt. 5:6; Rom. 7:22-23; Phil. 3:12-14; Heb. 11:6; more at Communion, God, Heart, Knowledge, Man)
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
Prayer in Christ’s name means prayer in Christ’s spirit. The greatest of all prayers does not contain the Name, but is drenched with the spirit. What is Christ’s spirit? In a word, “heroism.” God and my duty first—a long way first. God’s will above and beyond all other things. My pals and other people second. Myself and my own desires last, and a long way last, almost nowhere. That is Christ... There is no such thing as selfish prayer. There is no such thing as prayer which does not put God first. That is the essence of it. That is the spirit. The name without the spirit is as futile as the mumbo-jumbo of a conjuror.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Hardest Part, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919, p. 102-103
(see the book; see also John 14:13-14,26; 15:16; 16:23-24; Eph. 6:18; more at Christ, Duty, Futility, God, Heroism, Prayer, Selfish, Spirit)
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
We sometimes come to God, not because we love Him best, but because we love our possessions best; we ask Christ to “save Western civilization,” without asking ourselves whether it is entirely a civilization that Christ could want to save. We pray, too often, not to do God’s will, but to enlist God’s assistance in maintaining our “continually increasing consumption.” And yet, though Christ promised that God would feed us, he never promised that God would stuff us to bursting.
... Joy Davidman (1915-1960), Smoke on the Mountain, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1955, reprint, Westminster John Knox Press, 1985, p. 126
(see the book; see also Amos 3:13-15; Luke 12:16-21; Jas. 4:14; more at Christ, God, Love, Possession, Promise, Providence, Salvation, Will of God)
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Lord, enlighten us to see the beam that is in our own eye, and blind us to the mote that is in our brother’s. Let us feel our offences with our hands, make them great and bright before us like the sun, make us eat them and drink them for our diet. Blind us to the offences of our beloved, cleanse them from our memories, take them out of our mouths for ever. Let all here before Thee carry and measure with the false balances of love, and be in their own eyes and in all conjunctures the most guilty. Help us at the same time with the grace of courage, that we be none of us cast down when we sit lamenting amid the ruins of our happiness or our integrity: touch us with fire from the altar, that we may be up and doing to rebuild our city: in the name and by the method of him in whose words of prayer we now conclude.
... Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), from “Prayers Written for Family Use at Vailima”, in The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, v. IV, London: T. & A. Constable for Longmans Green & Co., 1896, p. 387
(see the book; see also Luke 6:41-42; Ps. 127:1; Mark 9:35; Luke 9:48; 14:8-11; more at Abasement, Affection, Altar, Blindness, Cleanse, Courage, Fire, Grace, Memory, Prayers)
Friday, March 11, 2022
Earth breaks up, time drops away,In flows heaven, with its new dayOf endless life, when He who trod,Very man and very God,This earth in weakness, shame and pain,Dying the death whose signs remainUp yonder on the accursed tree,—Shall come again, no more to beOf captivity the thrall,But the one God, All in all,King of kings, Lord of lords,As His servant John received the words,“I died, and live for evermore!”
... Robert Browning (1812-1889), The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Browning, Macmillan, 1912, p. 420
(see the book; see also Rev. 1:17-18; Isa. 65:17; 66:22; Heb. 7:23-24; more at Cross, Death, Earth, Eternal life, God, Heaven, King, Man, Shame)
Saturday, March 12, 2022
We need to set our compass with three markers: (1) the Word of God; (2) a true analysis of the facts of our experience; and (3) the sensing of the mind of the Spirit by... this council.
... Thomas Houston, former president, World Vision International, in a private communication from World Vision
(see also 1 Thess. 1:4-5; Luke 10:21; Acts 15:28; more at Authenticity, Bible, Experience, Holy Spirit, Mind, Truth)
Sunday, March 13, 2022
There is only one way to bring peace to the heart, joy to the mind, beauty to the life, and that is to accept and to do the will of God.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of Matthew, v. 2, Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1958, p. 97
(see the book; see also Matt. 13:45-46; Ps. 4:6-7; 39:6-7; Prov. 2:1-5; 3:13-16; Col. 2:2-3; Gal. 6:14; more at Beauty, Heart, Joy, Life, Mind, Peace, Way, Will of God)
Monday, March 14, 2022
Christian history looks glorious in retrospect; but it is made up of constant hard choices and unattractive tasks, accepted under the pressure of the Will [of God].
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), Abba, New York: Longmans, Green, 1940, p. 44-45
(see the book; see also Matt. 26:39; Ps. 40:7-8; John 6:38; 14:31; Phil. 2:8; more at Choices, Glory, Historical, Task, Will of God)
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Nothing riles the natural man more and brings to the surface his innate, inveterate enmity against God than to press upon him the eternality, the freeness, and the absolute sovereignty of divine grace. That God should have formed His purpose from everlasting, without in anywise consulting the creature, is too abasing for the unbroken heart. That grace cannot be earned or won by any efforts of man is too self-emptying for self-righteousness. That grace singles out whom it pleases to be its favored objects arouses hot protests from haughty rebels.
... A. W. Pink (1886-1952), The Nature of God, Moody Publishers, 1999, p. 81
(see the book; see also Isa. 64:8; Rom. 9:12-16; 1 Cor. 2:14; more at Abasement, Everlasting, God, Grace, Self-righteousness)
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
If what was reigned over by death was not that which was assumed by the Lord, death would not have ceased working his own ends, nor would the sufferings of the God-bearing flesh have been made our gain; He would not have killed sin in the flesh; we who had died in Adam should not have been made alive in Christ; the fallen to pieces would not have been framed again; the shattered would not have been set up again; that which by the serpent’s trick had been estranged from God would never have been made once more His own.
... St. Basil the Great (330?-379), letter 261.2, A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, v. VIII, Philip Schaff & Henry Wace, ed., New York: Christian Literature Company, 1895, p. 300
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:53-57; Isa. 25:7-8; Hos. 13:14; Luke 20:35-36; 1 Cor. 15:22-26; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 20:14; 21:4; more at Christ, Death, God, Sin)
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460
Grace is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the axe of justice—so corrupt that they cannot change their own natures—so averse to God that they cannot turn to Him—so blind that they cannot see Him—so deaf that they cannot hear Him and so dead that He Himself must open their graves and then lift them into resurrection.
... G. S. Bishop (1836-1914), The Doctrines of Grace, Gospel Publishing House, 1910, p. 156
(see the book; see also Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 11:5-6; Eph. 2:1-2; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 2:13-14; more at Abasement, Blindness, Corruption, Deafness, Death, God, Grace, Man, Resurrection)
Friday, March 18, 2022
Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered. God is made to wait patiently, even respectfully, on the whims of men. The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Saviour of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarrassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Man: The Dwelling Place of God, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1966, p. 27
(see the book; see also Isa. 45:9; 1 Chr. 29:11; Isa. 29:16; 64:8; Mic. 6:8; Rom. 9:19-21; more at Father, God, Man, Patience, People, Savior, Struggle)
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth
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 Rom. 11:25; Deut. 29:18-19; Hos. 6:6; Matt. 23:2-3,8-12; Luke 20:46-47; Rom. 7:24; 12:3; 1 Cor. 8:1-3; Phil. 3:8; more at Despair, God, Jesus, Knowledge, Man, Pride)
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687
When Jesus Christ speaks of the mystery of the Kingdom of God, the whole conception of merit and reward, so dear to the natural man, sinks into nothingness; I mean that book-keeping conception of religion to which a nation of shopkeepers is all too prone.
... John S. Whale (1896-1997), Christian Doctrine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966, p. 80
(see the book; see also Matt. 21:31-32; 13:44-48; 20:3-16; Mark 1:15; 4:11-12; Rom. 3:22-24; 4:4-5; 5:1-2; 11:5-6; Tit. 3:4-7; Eph. 2:8-9; Col. 1:10-12; 1 Pet. 2:1-3; more at God, Jesus, Kingdom, Man, Nature, Religion)
Monday, March 21, 2022
There are few signs in a soul’s state more alarming than that of religious indifference, that is, the spirit of thinking all religions equally true,—the real meaning of which is, that all religions are equally false.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons, v. IV, Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1866, p. 178
(see the book; see also 2 Thess. 2:11-12; Job 12:7-25; Ps. 14:1; Rom. 1:18-20; 1 Cor. 1:22-23; 2:14; 2 Cor. 6:14-16; 1 John 2:22-23; Jude 1:5; more at Indifference, Religion, Spirit, Truth)
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
[There] is a base, man-pleasing disposition that is in us. We are so loth to displease men, and so desirous to keep in credit and favour with them, that it makes us most unconscionably neglect our known duty. A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, than we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them. If they did but fall in a swoon, we would rub them and pinch them, and never stick at hurting them. If they were distracted we would bind them with chains, and we would please them in nothing that tended to their hurt; and yet, when they are beside themselves in point of salvation, and in their madness posting on to damnation we will not stop them, for fear of displeasing them.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Saint’s Everlasting Rest, in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. XXII, ed. William Orme, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 222
(see the book; see also John 5:39-44; Dan. 11:32; John 12:42-43; Rom. 1:16-17; 1 Thess. 2:6-7; more at Death, Duty, Fear, Folly, Friend, Hell, Man, Neglect, Physician, Salvation, Sickness, Suffer)
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Obey Him, love Him, and nothing is too great, nothing is too little; for love knows no struggle of great or little. No impulse is too splendid for the simplest task; no task is too simple for the most splendid impulse.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Light of the World, and Other Sermons, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1904, p. 120
(see the book; see also Mark 4:30-32; Amos 4:13; Matt. 17:20; Mark 12:41-44; Rev. 11:16-18; more at Greatness, Love, Obedience, Simplicity, Struggle, Task)
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953
Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief. Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty arms. Cry after divine knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding. Seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasure.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Dundee: W. Middleton, 1845, p. 254
(see the book; see also Luke 12:33-34; Ps. 42:1-2; Prov. 2:4; John 1:29; 6:40; 8:56; Heb. 12:1-2; 1 John 1:1-3; more at Christ, God, Grace, Jesus, Knowledge, Love, Meekness, Search, Treasure, Understanding)
Friday, March 25, 2022
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary
The life of faith is a happy life, and if attended with conflicts, there is an assurance of victory; if we sometimes get a wound, there is healing balm near at hand; if we seem to fall, we are raised again; and if tribulations abound, consolations shall abound likewise.
... John Newton (1725-1807), from a letter, 1773, Letters by The Rev. John Newton of Olney and St. Mary Woolnoth, Josiah Bull, ed., London: Religious Tract Society, ca. 1860, p. 134
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:10-12; Ps. 36:7-8; 2 Cor. 12:10; Phil. 1:29-30; 1 Thess. 2:1-2; Heb. 10:32-33; 1 Pet. 3:14; 4:12-13; more at Assurance, Faith, Happiness, Life, Victory)
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883
God, unto whom all hearts be open, and unto whom all will speaketh, and unto whom no privy thing is hid. I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee, and worthily praise Thee.
... The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th century, ed. Evelyn Underhill, prologue
(see the book; see also Ps. 38:9; 1:6; 7:9; 33:13-15; 51:7; 121:3-4; Matt. 6:32; Acts 15:8; Rom. 8:27; 1 Thess. 2:4; 1 John 4:18; more at Cleanse, Gifts, God, Grace, Heart, Love, Praise, Prayers)
Sunday, March 27, 2022
The immediate person thinks and imagines that when he prays, the important thing, the thing he must concentrate upon, is that God should hear what HE is praying for. And yet in the true, eternal sense it is just the reverse: the true relation in prayer is not when God hears what is prayed for, but when the person praying continues to pray until he is the one who hears, who hears what God wills. The immediate person, therefore, uses many words and, therefore, makes demands in his prayer; the true man of prayer only attends.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Journals, ed. Alexander Dru, Oxford University Press, 1959, #572, p. 153-154
(see the book; see also Luke 6:47-49; 1 Sam. 3:10; Matt. 12:50; John 4:34; 6:40; Rom. 8:26; 12:2; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at God, Imagination, Prayer, Thought, Truth)
Monday, March 28, 2022
You have Him exclaiming in the midst of His passion: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Either, then, the Son suffered, being “forsaken” by the Father, and the Father consequently suffered nothing, inasmuch as He forsook the Son; or else, if it was the Father who suffered, then to what God was it that He addressed His cry? But this was the voice of flesh and soul, that is to say, of man—not of the Word and Spirit, that is to say, not of God; and it was uttered so as to prove the impassibility of God, who “forsook” His Son, so far as He handed over His human substance to the suffering of death. This verity the apostle also perceived, when he writes to this effect: “If the Father spared not His own Son.”
... Tertullian (Quintus S. Florens Tertullianus) (160?-230?), Adversus Praxean, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, v. III, Alexander Roberts, ed., Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887, ch. xxx, p. 626
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:32; Ps. 22:1; Isa. 53:5-6; Matt. 27:46; more at Death, Father, God, Man, Son, Spirit, Suffer)
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974
How do we conceive the human quest for reliable truth? If our quest is that of Descartes—for a final certitude that admits of no possibility of doubt, for “eternal truths of reason” that are independent of contingent happenings in history—then the Bible is not the place to look. To look for this kind of certitude in the Bible is to impose upon the Bible a concept of truth that is foreign to it and is therefore a misuse of the Bible. If we take the Bible itself as our guide to the question ”What is truth?” we will find the answer in a long record of struggle between the patient love and wisdom of God and the stubborn, impatient, idolatrous wills of men and women. The story culminates in the coming of the One who is himself the truth—not a timeless proposition but a living Lord who undertakes to lead us into the fullness of the truth as it is present in him.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), Truth and Authority in Modernity, Gracewing Publishing, 1996, p. 70
(see the book; see also John 14:6; Num. 23:19; Ps. 145:18; John 1:14,17; 8:31-32; 17:17; 1 Cor. 13:6; Eph. 6:14-15; Phil. 4:8; more at Apologetics, Bible, Everlasting, Fullness, God, Guidance, Idol, Independence, Love, Patience, Quest, Reason, Struggle, Truth, Wisdom)
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Obedience to Christ in his world demands that we take the Church seriously; to talk of being a Christian and a member of his body without a vital relationship to its expression in our local community is to talk theological nonsense and to lay oneself open to the dangers of heresy and schism.
... Ian P. M. Cundy (1945-2009), “The Church as Community”, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 38
(see the book; see also Heb. 10:25; Rom. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 11:18-19; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 4:3; 1 Pet. 1:22; 3:8; 1 John 3:14; Jude 1:19; more at Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Community, Danger, Heresy, Obedience, Theology)
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
No man hath any such righteousness of his own, as can save him, for howsoever it be made his, by that application, or imputation, yet the righteousness that saves him, is the very righteousness of Christ himself. St. Hilary’s question then, hath a full answer, ... Were there any that needed not Christ’s coming? No; there were none.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. V, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CXXXIX, p. 501
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:29-30; Lev. 18:5; Matt. 9:13; Rom. 3:22-24; 10:3-4; Rev. 3:17; more at Christ, Man, Righteousness, Salvation)
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