Christ, our Light

Quotations for February, 2024

Thursday, February 1, 2024
Commemoration of Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, c.525

Our Lord was not in the habit of explaining away his hard words. He let them stand in all the glory of the burning fire wherewith they would purge us. Where their simplicity finds corresponding simplicity, they are understood.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Hardness of the Way”, in Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1886, p. 31 (see the book; see also Mark 10:24-25; Matt. 5:20,28,32,44; 6:5,16; 10:34-38; Luke 4:18-21,24-27; John 8:44; more at Fire, Glory, Simplicity)

Friday, February 2, 2024

Scripture will ultimately suffice for a saving knowledge of God only when its certainty is founded upon the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, these human testimonies which exist to confirm it will not be vain if, as secondary aids to our feebleness, they follow that chief and highest testimony. But those who wish to prove to unbelievers that Scripture is the Word of God are acting foolishly, for only by faith can this be known.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.viii.13, p. 90-91 (see the book; see also Acts 5:32; Ps. 143:10; Jer. 6:10; Matt. 22:43; Luke 16:31; 24:45; Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:13-16; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Gal. 4:6; 5:25; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:13; more at Faith, Holy Spirit, Knowing God, Proof, Salvation, Scripture)

Saturday, February 3, 2024
Feast of Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865

I love, my God, but with no love of mine
For I have none to give;
I love Thee, Lord, but all that love is Thine,
For by Thy life I live.
I am as nothing, and rejoice to be
Emptied and lost and swallowed up in Thee.
... Mme. Guyon (1648-1717), included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 100 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:8; Acts 20:24; Rom. 7:18; 1 Cor. 2:2; 2 Cor. 12:11; Gal. 6:3; Phil. 2:5-7; 3:8-9; 1 John 4:19; more at Giving, God, Joy, Life, Love)

Sunday, February 4, 2024
Commemoration of Gilbert of Sempringham, Founder of the Gilbertine Order, 1189

It is all too easy to understand the requirements contained in God’s Word (“Give all your goods to the poor.” “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the left.” “Count it sheer joy when you meet various temptations” etc.)... The most limited poor creature cannot truthfully deny being able to understand the requirements—but it is tough for flesh and blood to will to understand it and to have to act accordingly.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), For Self-examination: and, Judge for Yourselves! And Three Discourses [1851], Oxford University Press, 1941, p. 34 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:39; 11:30; 18:21; Rom. 7:18-19; 8:3; 1 Cor. 9:27; Gal. 5:16-17; Jas. 1:2-3; 1 John 5:3-4; more at Action, Commandment, God, Joy, Temptation)

Monday, February 5, 2024
Commemoration of Martyrs of Japan, 1597

I have no remedy for those who wish to walk by sight because they find the way of faith too unnerving, or for those who wish to freeze theological development at some arbitrary point in past history. I have no comfort for those who, afraid of missing eternal truth, choose to identify it with some previous theological work and try to impose it unchanged on the present generation or desire to speak out of the past and not to come into contact with the modern situation. I have no answer for those who are frightened to think God may have more light to break forth from his holy Word.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), The Grace of God and the Will of Man, Zondervan, 1989, p. 28 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 8:24-25; 1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 4:18; Gal. 2:20; Heb. 10:38; 11:1; 1 Pet. 1:8-9; 2 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Faith, God, Historical, Light, Past, Sight, Theology, Way)

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Can we reasonably expect happiness from an insatiable appetite which, no matter how it stuffs its belly, is still psychologically like Oliver Twist in the poorhouse, holding up an empty bowl and begging, “I want some more”? Isn’t it possible that our dream of the good society contained, from the beginning, a hidden violation of the Tenth Commandment—“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods”?
... Joy Davidman (1915-1960), Smoke on the Mountain, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1955, reprint, Westminster John Knox Press, 1985, p. 119 (see the book; see also Ex. 20:17; Ps. 119:36; Luke 12:15; Rom. 7:7; Phil. 3:18-19; Col. 3:5; 1 Tim. 6:6-10; Heb. 13:5; more at Commandment, Dream, Emptiness, Happiness, Law, Neighbor, Social)

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ and the brightest evidences that he is indeed our master.
... John Newton (1725-1807), in a letter, 1757, The Works of the Rev. John Newton, v. II, New York: Williams and Whiting, 1810, p. 62 (see the book; see also Ps. 69:32-33; 25:9; Isa. 61:1-3; Matt. 5:5; John 13:34-35; 1 John 2:10; 4:20-21; more at Achievement, Christ, Humility, Jesus, Love, Master, School)

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Jonah teaches us that this storm, whose physical causes are the same as those of all other storms, is there only for Jonah and because of Jonah. It has other effects. It sweeps the coasts, disperses fish, causes ships to founder. But its purpose is to smash inflexible Jonah. Thus the elements and many men, especially the sailors, are engaged in the adventure of Jonah with him and because of him. One sees here the weight and seriousness of vocation. God thinks his choice is so important, and takes the one elected so seriously, that he brings nature into play to see that this man fulfills his vocation.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Judgment of Jonah, tr. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1971, p. 25 (see the book; see also Jon. 1:1-4; Amos 7:14-15; Matt. 8:23-27; John 6:44; Acts 9:1-6; 13:2-3; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 7:20; Eph. 4:4; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Heb. 11:8; more at Call, Choices, Fulfillment, Nature, Teach)

Friday, February 9, 2024

It is a safe rule of interpreting Scripture, that in places mentioning the love and grace of God to us, the words are to be taken in their utmost significancy.
... John Owen (1616-1683), from Vindiclae Evangelicae, Works of John Owen, v. XII, R. Carter, 1853, p. 144 (see the book; see also Rom. 5:17; Joel 2:28; John 7:37-39; 10:10; Rom. 5:20-21; 2 Cor. 4:15; 1 Tim. 1:14; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 1 John 4:8; more at God, Grace, Love, Rule, Scripture)

Saturday, February 10, 2024
Commemoration of Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola, c.543

The relation of Jesus to His heavenly Father was not a relation to a vague and impersonal goodness, it was not a relation which merely clothed itself in symbolic, personal form. On the contrary, it was a relation to a real Person, whose existence was just as definite and just as much a subject of theoretic knowledge as the existence of the lilies of the field that God had clothed. The very basis of the religion of Jesus was a triumphant belief in the real existence of a personal God.
... J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), Christianity and Liberalism, The Macmillan Company, 1923, p. 57 (see the book; see also Matt. 6:28-30; Deut. 32:6; Ps. 89:26; Isa. 63:16; 64:8; Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:27-28; Rom. 8:15; more at Belief, Existence, Father, God, Goodness, Jesus, Knowledge)

Sunday, February 11, 2024

As Christ is our life, so He is also our light. And surely the light means, among other things, the open mind towards Divine things. We need not be afraid of losing our faith by facing all problems honestly, while our lives are on the right lines. But while our minds are shut we cannot help others in their difficulties. We are more likely to turn them away from Christianity.
... William R. Inge (1860-1954), Personal Religion and the Life of Devotion, London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1924, p. 75 (see the book; see also Isa. 9:2; Ps. 107:10-14; Matt. 4:16; Mark 3:4-5; 16:14; John 8:12; 1 Pet. 2:9; more at Blindness, Christ, Faith, Life, Light, Mind)

Monday, February 12, 2024
Commemoration of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (Nicolas Herman), spiritual writer, 1691

The wisdom of God is seen in this, that the sins of men shall carry on God’s work; yet that he should have no hand in their sin. The Lord permits sin, but doth not approve it. He hath a hand in the action in which sin is, but not in the sin of the action.
... Thomas Watson (c.1620-1686), A Body of Practical Divinity [before 1741], T. Wardle, 1833, p. 54 (see the book; see also John 13:26-28; Gen. 50:20; Pr. 21:30; Isa. 7:17-20; 10:5-6,12; 53:10; Matt. 26:53-54; Mark 14:21; Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:27-28; 13:27-29; Rom. 8:28; Jas. 1:13-15; 1 Pet. 2:6-8; more at Action, God, Sin, Wisdom, Work)

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Prayer is the expression of a good desire. The human heart is full of restless desires, and the prayers of men consist for the most part of the unsifted petitions which are urged by their varying passions... To desire what is right, and to desire it consistently, and passionately, is the first condition of true living. The desires can be corrected only by truth, the mind must apprehend God, and then it will say, “There is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.”
... James Hastings (1852-1922), The Christian Doctrine of Prayer, Edinbugh: T. & T. Clark, 1915, p. 25 (see the book; see also Ps. 73:25; 42:1-2; 143:6; Isa. 26:8-9; Acts 20:24; Rom. 8:18,26; Phil. 3:8-9; 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 5:20; more at Apprehension, God, Goodness, Heart, Mind, Prayer, Truth)

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Ash Wednesday
Feast of Cyril & Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 & 885
Commemoration of Valentine, Martyr at Rome, c.269

The usual biblical word describing the “no” we say to the world’s lies and the yes we say to God’s truth is repentance...
Repentance is not an emotion. It is not feeling sorry for your sins. It is a decision. It is deciding that you have been wrong in supposing that you could manage your own life and be your own god; it is deciding that you were wrong in thinking that you had, or could get, the strength, education and training to make it on your own; it is deciding that you have been told a pack of lies about yourself and your neighbor and your world. And it is deciding that God in Jesus Christ is telling you the truth.
... Eugene H. Peterson (1932-2018), A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, InterVarsity Press, 2000, p. 29-30 (see the book; see also Acts 2:38; Isa. 45:22; Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 6:19-21; Acts 20:21; 2 Cor. 5:17; 7:10; Col. 3:2; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; Heb. 12:1-2; Rev. 3:19; more at Jesus, Life, Repentance, Self, Sin, Wrong)

Thursday, February 15, 2024
Commemoration of Thomas Bray, Priest, Founder of SPCK, 1730

The enthronement of Christ in the heart secures the dethronement of self, for two cannot occupy the throne at the same time.
... J. Oswald Sanders (1902-1992), The Pursuit of the Holy, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House, 1972, p. 30 (see the book; see also Rom. 6:16; 1 Kings 18:21; 2 Kings 17:33; Matt. 3:2; 4:10; 6:10,24; Luke 16:13; Gal. 1:10; Jas. 1:6-8; 4:4,8; 1 John 2:16-17; Rev. 3:20; more at Christ, Heart, Self)

Friday, February 16, 2024

We all know that too much introspection can be unhealthy, unhelpful and even damaging. But some is not only salutary, but necessary. Our Bible reading will often sober and abase us in this way. The word of God ruthlessly exposes our sin, selfishness, vanity and greed, and then challenges us to repent and to confess. One of the safest ways to do this is to take on our lips one of the penitential psalms, especially perhaps Psalm 51 (“Have mercy on me, O God”) or Psalm 130 (“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord”). It is a healthy discipline each evening to review the day briefly and call to mind our failures. Not to do so tends to make us slapdash about sin and encourages us to presume on God’s mercy, whereas to make a habit of doing so humbles and shames us, and increases our longing for greater holiness. There is nothing morbid about the confession of sins, so long as we go on to give thanks for the forgiveness of sins. It is fine to look inwards, so long as it leads us immediately to look outwards and upwards again.
... John R. W. Stott (1921-2011), Basic Christianity, Nottingham, U.K.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2008, third edition, p. 120-122 (see the book; see also Ps. 51; 38:1-4; 102:12; 130; 143:1-2; Pr. 20:9; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eze. 11:19; 36:25-27; Acts 15:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; more at Abasement, Bible, Discipline, Forgiveness, Greed, Repentance, Self-examination, Selfish, Sin, Thanksgiving, Vanity)

Saturday, February 17, 2024
Feast of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977

The Christian discipline of fighting temptation is not about self-hatred, or rejecting parts of our God-given humanity. It is about celebrating God’s gift of full humanity and, like someone learning a musical instrument, discovering how to tune it and play it to its best possibility. At the heart of our resistance to temptation is love and loyalty to the God who has already called us his beloved children in Christ, and who holds out before us the calling to follow him in the path which leads to the true glory. In that glory lies the true happiness, the true fulfilment, which neither world, nor flesh, nor devil can begin to imitate.
... N. T. Wright (b. 1948), Luke for Everyone, Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p. 44-45 (see the book; see also Luke 4:1-13; Matt. 6:13; 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 11:4; 22:40,46; 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Pet. 4:7; more at Discipline, Glory, God, Love, Loyalty, Self, Temptation)

Sunday, February 18, 2024

The secret prayer chamber is a bloody battleground. Here violent and decisive battles are fought out. Here the fate of souls for time and eternity is determined, in quietude and solitude.
To pray is to open one’s heart to Jesus.
... O. Hallesby (1879-1961), Prayer, London: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1943, reprint, Augsburg Fortress Books, 1975, 1994, p. 98 (see the book; see also Ps. 6:9; Luke 18:1-8; Acts 1:14; Rom. 8:26-27; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; Jude 1:20; more at Battle, Blood, Eternity, Fight, Heart, Jesus, Prayer, Solitude)

Monday, February 19, 2024

[In prayer] we want to move closer to God, the source and goal of our existence, but at the same time we realize that the closer we come to God the stronger will be his demand to let go of the many ‘safe’ structures we have built around ourselves. Prayer is such a radical act because it requires us to criticize our whole way of being in the world, to lay down our old selves and accept our new self, which is Christ... Prayer therefore is the act of dying to all that we consider to be our own and of being born to a new existence which is not of this world.
... Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996), originally in “Letting go of all things” in Sojourners8, May 1979, p. 5-6, The Only Necessary Thing, p. 39 (see also 1 Pet. 2:24; Ps. 69:16-18; Matt. 19:21-22,27-29; Mark 10:21-22; Luke 18:22-23; Acts 20:24; Rom. 6:2,11; Gal. 6:14; Phil. 3:7-8; Col. 3:3-5; more at Christ, Death, Existence, God, Prayer, Safety, Self)

Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Commemoration of Cecile Isherwood, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906

The Gospel is not presented to mankind as an argument about religious principles. Nor is it offered as a philosophy of life. Christianity is a witness to certain facts—to events that have happened, to hopes that have been fulfilled, to realities that have been experienced, to a Person who has lived and died and been raised from the dead to reign for ever.
... Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. (1913-1990), Far and Near (see also 1 Cor. 15:14-17; Luke 19:10; Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 1:19-24; Col. 2:8; 1 John 4:2-3; 2 John 1:7; more at Argument, Death, Experience, Gospel, Hope, Life, Philosophy, Resurrection, Witness)

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

We are very shy nowadays of even mentioning Heaven. We are afraid of the jeer about “pie in the sky,” and of being told that we are trying to “escape” from the duty of making a happy world here and now, into dreams of a happy world elsewhere. But either there is “pie in the sky” or there is not. If there is not, then Christianity is false, for this doctrine is woven into its whole fabric. If there is, then this truth, like any other, must be faced, whether it is useful at political meetings or no.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Problem of Pain, New York: Macmillan, 1944, p. 132-133 (see the book; see also Heb. 9:15; Matt. 5:11-12; 6:1,9-10,20; Mark 10:21; 12:25; Luke 6:22-23; 11:2; 18:22; John 3:13; 14:2-3; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 1:7; Phil. 3:20; Col. 1:5-6; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; more at Duty, Happiness, Heaven and Hell, Truth, World)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest:
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,
And drove Thee from my breast.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.
... William Cowper (1731-1800), included in The Works of William Cowper: his life, letters, and poems, New York: R. Carter & Brothers, 1851, p. 670 (see the book; see also Luke 24:32; Gen. 5:24; Deut. 28:9; John 1:29,32; 2 Cor. 5:7; Col. 2:6-7; Rev. 5:12; more at Calm, God, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Idol, Knowing God, Lamb, Light, Road, Sin)

Friday, February 23, 2024
Feast of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr, c.155

To confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything he doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.
... Frederick Buechner (1926-2022), Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC, Harper & Row, 1973, revised, HarperCollins, 1993, p. 15 (see the book; see also Ps. 69:5; 2 Sam. 24:10; Ps. 32:5; 41:4; 51:2-5; Isa. 59:12-13; Jer. 14:7; Matt. 6:8; Luke 15:17-21; Jas. 5:16; 1 John 1:9; more at Communion, Confession, God, Knowledge, Sin)

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Sorrow for sin and sorrow for suffering are ofttimes so twisted and interwoven in the same person—yea, in the same sigh and groan—that sometimes it is impossible for the party himself so to separate and divide them in his own sense and feeling, as to know which proceeds from the one and which from the other. Only the all-seeing eye of an infinite God is able to discern and distinguish them.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Conscience [1655], Dialogue I. (see the book; see also Rom. 8:26; Ps. 6:3; 42:1-4; 69:3; 77:1-3; 119:81; 143:4-7; Isa. 35:10; 53:11; 2 Cor. 5:1-4; 7:10-11; more at God, Guilt, Knowledge, People, Sin, Sorrow, Suffer)

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The way to begin a Christian life is not to study theology. Piety before theology. Right living will produce right thinking. Yet many men, when their consciences are aroused, run for catechisms, and commentaries, and systems. They do not mean to be shallow Christians. They intend to be thorough, if they enter upon the Christian life at all. Now, theologies are well in their place; but repentance and love must come before all other experiences. First a cure for your sin-sick soul, and then theologies.
... Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), Life Thoughts: gathered from the extemporaneous discourses of Henry Ward Beecher, Edna Dean Proctor, ed., Sheldon, 1860, p. 2 (see the book; see also Heb. 5:12-14; Pr. 9:10; Matt. 4:17; 11:29-30; Mark 1:15; 10:15; John 5:39-40; 13:15; Acts 3:19-20; 20:21; 1 Cor. 3:1-3; Phil. 2:5; 1 Pet. 2:1-3; 1 John 2:6; more at Conscience, Life, Love, Sin, Soul, Theology)

Monday, February 26, 2024

You, too, are called to be an open letter, as Paul puts it, written by Christ’s own hand, showing those round about you what things Christ can do. We are to go into the world and so to live our ordinary lives that, all unconsciously to us, those among whom we move will look at us again, and will begin to say, You know I used to doubt if there was much in Christianity save talk. But I have revised my opinion. There’s So-and-so (that’s you, you understand), that is a man in whom the thing is obviously working out. He used to be so touchy, so opinionative, so mean and shabby in his views, so dully ordinary. Yet now, undoubtedly, the man has won to self-control and a large generous mind, and—yea, I know it’s a queer thing to say—but he has won to something more, something that somehow—though he never speaks about those things—makes you remember Jesus Christ!
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 28 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 3:3,18; Isa. 42:6-7; Matt. 5:14-16; Rom. 1:8; Eph. 1:4; 4:15; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 1:16; more at Authenticity, Call, Doubt, Generosity, Jesus, Remembrance, Salvation, Self-control)

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Feast of George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633

Thou that hast giv’n so much to me,
Give one thing more, a gratefull heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
By art.
He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And sayes, if he in this be crost,
All thou hast giv’n him heretofore
Is lost.
But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
To save.
Perpetuall knockings at thy doore,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more,
And comes.
This notwithstanding, thou wentst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay, thou hast made a sigh and grone
Thy joyes.
Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than grones can make;
But that these countrey-aires thy love
Did take.
Wherefore I crie, and crie again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankfull heart obtain
Of thee:
Not thankfull, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare dayes:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.
... George Herbert (1593-1633), The Poetical Works of George Herbert, New York: D. Appleton, 1857, p. 157-158 (see the book; see also Rev. 11:16-17; Ps. 35:18; 107:1; 136:1-3; Matt. 6:9; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 15:57; Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 3:17; Heb. 13:15; Rev. 4:9; more at Blessing, Gifts, Gratitude, Heart, Praise)

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Let us not mind what is past. Perhaps it is all failure, and useless struggle, and broken resolves. What then? Settle this first, brethren, Are you in earnest? If so, though your faith be weak and your struggles unsatisfactory, you may begin the hymn of triumph now, for victory is pledged. “Thanks be to God, which”—not shall give, but “giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons Preached at Trinity Chapel, Brighton, v. III, Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1859, p. 289 (see the book; see also Acts 17:29-30; John 16:33; Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 15:55-57; 1 John 5:3-5; Rev. 12:10-11; more at Failure, Faith, Jesus, Past, Resolve, Struggle, Victory, Weakness)

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Christianity is not a voice in the wilderness, but a life in the world. It is not an idea in the air but feet on the ground, going God’s way. It is not an exotic to be kept under glass, but a hardy plant to bear twelve manner of fruit in all kinds of weather. Fidelity to duty is its root and branch. Nothing we can say to the Lord, no calling Him by great or dear names, can take the place of the plain doing of His will. We may cry out about the beauty of eating bread with Him in His kingdom, but it is wasted breath and a rootless hope, unless we plow and plant in His kingdom here and now. To remember Him at His table and to forget Him at ours, is to have invested in bad securities. There is no substitute for plain, every-day goodness.
... Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901), Thoughts for Every-day Living, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1901, p. 48 (see the book; see also John 15:4-6; Matt. 15:36; 26:26-27; Mark 6:41; 14:22-23; John 6:11; Acts 27:35; Rom. 14:6; 1 Tim. 4:3-5; more at Duty, God, Goodness, Kingdom, Life, Obedience, Way, Will of God, World)


Christ, our Light

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