Christ, our Light

Quotations for February, 2025

Saturday, February 1, 2025
Commemoration of Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, c.525

We practice patent-medicine religion: we know that God created the universe and has accomplished our eternal salvation. But we can’t believe that he condescends to watch the soap opera of our daily trials and tribulations; so we purchase our own remedies for that. To ask him to deal with what troubles us each day is like asking a famous surgeon to put iodine on a scratch. But Psalm 121 says that the same faith that works in the big things works in the little things.
... Eugene H. Peterson (1932-2018), A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, InterVarsity Press, 2000, p. 40 (see the book; see also Ps. 121; Deut. 28:6; Ps. 91:9-10; Pr. 2:7-8; 3:23; Isa. 49:10; Matt. 6:13; Rom. 8:28; 2 Tim. 4:18; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; more at Belief, Faith, God, Religion, Salvation, Trial, Trouble, Universe)

Sunday, February 2, 2025

Paul says: “The love of Christ passeth knowledge.” It is like the blue sky into which you may see clearly, but the real vastness of which you cannot measure.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), The Works of the Late Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne, New York: R. Carter, 1847, p. 435 (see the book; see also Isa. 38:17; Rom. 8:35-39; 2 Cor. 5:14; Eph. 3:16-19; 1 John 4:9-10; more at Christ, Knowledge, Love)

Monday, February 3, 2025
Feast of Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865

The loneliness of God looking for his partners, Adam and Eve, in the Garden; the grief of God before the flood; the head-shaking exasperation of God at Babel—all these, God knows, he will have to continue to experience. And worse—there will be numerous further acts of judgment as well as mercy as the story unfolds. But unfold it will. The overarching picture is of the sovereign Creator God who will continue to work within his world until blessing replaces curse, homecoming replaces exile, olive branches appear after the flood and a new family is created in which the scattered languages can be reunited. That is the narrative which forms the outer frame for the canonical Old Testament.
... N. T. Wright (b. 1948), Evil and the Justice of God, InterVarsity Press, 2013, p. 53 (see the book; see also Isa. 51:11; Gen. 3:9; 6:6; 8:11; 11:5-8; Isa. 35:10; Acts 2:6; more at Blessing, Exile, Experience, God, Grief, Judgment, Knowledge, Loneliness, Mercy, Scripture)

Tuesday, February 4, 2025
Commemoration of Gilbert of Sempringham, Founder of the Gilbertine Order, 1189

How much more wonderful the work of redemption is in comparison with creation. It is more marvelous that God was made man than that He created the angels. That He wailed in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes, rather than that He reigns in the heavens He created... The creation of the world was a work of power, but the redemption of the world was a work of mercy.
... Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536), The Essential Erasmus, J. P. Dolan, ed., New York: New American Library, 1964, p. 231-232 (see the book; see also Luke 5:23-24; Job 38:4-7; Matt. 9:5; 16:13-17; Mark 2:9; Luke 2:6-7; 21:28; John 5:27; Rom. 3:22-24; 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Heb. 1:14; more at Creation, God, Mercy, Redemption, Work, World)

Wednesday, February 5, 2025
Commemoration of Martyrs of Japan, 1597

Over all the world there reigns a night so dark that hope seems quite impossible. This is the prophets’, the Bible’s picture of the world.
And here, against that background, we are given the news, no, not only the “news,” it is actually demonstrated to us in the fact of “Jesus,” that this hope nevertheless is there, miraculously and incomprehensibly there—and that the heart of a Father is beating for us.
Everything that this Jesus says, and what is more, everything he does is the reflection, the reverberation of that heart. Every one of his sayings is a pastoral, brotherly address.
... Helmut Thielicke (1908-1986), Our Heavenly Father, tr. John W. Doberstein, New York: Harper & Row, 1960, p. 22-23 (see the book; see also Matt. 6:6-15; 2 Sam. 22:29; Ps. 112:4; Isa. 9:2; John 1:4-5; 3:19; 12:46; Eph. 2:11-13; 6:12; 1 Pet. 2:9; more at Bible, Darkness, Father, Heart, Hope, Jesus, Minister, Tidings, World)

Thursday, February 6, 2025

These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter, though they are written in the letter; but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate Spirit and power, as did the Holy men of God, by whom the Holy Scriptures were written. Yet I had no slight esteem of the Holy Scriptures; they were very precious to me, for I was in that Spirit by which they were given forth; and what the Lord opened in me, I afterwards found was agreeable to them.
... George Fox (1624-1691), Journal, v. I, Philadelphia: B. & T. Kite, 1808, [1648] p. 111 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:16; John 14:16-17; 15:26; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 5:6-7; more at Bible, Christ, God, Jesus, Light, Revelation, Scripture, Sight, Spirit)

Friday, February 7, 2025

The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word. The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God’s continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us to put into our familiar human words.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 72 (see the book; see also 2 Pet. 1:21; Matt. 3:17; 10:19-20; 17:5; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11-12; John 1:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; more at Bible, God, Jesus, Silence, Trinity)

Saturday, February 8, 2025

[The theology of divine love] frees us from the dusty, dirty, smelly little dungeon of a universe that “Enlightenment” thought gave us: a universe in which love and beauty and praise and value are mere subjective fictions invented by the human mind, a universe in which the only things that are objectively real are blind bits of energy randomly bumping into each other. [Continued tomorrow]
... Peter Kreeft (b. 1937), The God Who Loves You, Ignatius Press, 2004, p. 105 (see the book; see also Deut. 10:14; Ex. 19:5-6; 1 Chr. 29:11; Job 38:4-7; Ps. 19:1; 24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26; more at Beauty, Imagination, Love, Philosophy, Praise, Theology, Universe)

Sunday, February 9, 2025

[Continued from yesterday]
Our own deepest instincts are to see love as the highest wisdom and ultimate meaning of life. The theology of divine love, which anchors this instinct in the nature of ultimate reality itself, tells us that our deepest values “go all the way up”. It also extends this instinctive wisdom, that sees love as the ultimate meaning of things, into the entire creation. The arms of the Savior on the cross reach up to the Absolute and down to the depths of the human heart and across the whole universe from atoms to archangels. When Jesus threw open his arms on the Cross, he said, in effect: “See? That’s how much I love you.”
... Peter Kreeft (b. 1937), The God Who Loves You, Ignatius Press, 2004, p. 105 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:9-10; Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6-7,24; John 3:16-17; 12:27; Rom. 3:25-26; Eph. 5:1-2; 1 John 2:2; more at Cross, Heart, Jesus, Life, Love, Meaning, Savior, Theology, Wisdom)

Monday, February 10, 2025
Commemoration of Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola, c.543

To bear witness to the Kingship of Christ is to pick a fight with the prince of death, who wishes to keep this world in bondage to decay.
... Vishal Mangalwadi (b. 1949), in Nailing India to the Cross, Albinus Minz, M. Kiran & Company, 2000, p. 198 (see the book; see also John 12:31; Rom. 8:20-21; Eph. 2:1-2; 6:12; Col. 2:15; 2 Pet. 1:4; more at Bearing, Bondage, Christ, Death, King, Satan, Witness, World)

Tuesday, February 11, 2025

In a world ruled by law, grace stands as a sign of contradiction. We want fairness; the gospel gives us an innocent man nailed to a cross who cries out, “Father, forgive them.” We want respectability; the gospel elevates tax collectors, prodigals, and Samaritans. We want success; the gospel revises the terms, moving the poor and downtrodden to the head of the line and the wealthy and famous to the rear.
... Philip Yancey (b. 1949), Soul Survivor, New York: Doubleday, 2001, p. 139 (see the book; see also Jas.1:9-10; Matt. 9:10-13; 11:19; 19:30; Mark 2:15-17; 9:35; 10:31; Luke 5:30-32; 13:30; 23:34; more at Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Law, Poverty, Success, Wealth)

Wednesday, February 12, 2025
Commemoration of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (Nicolas Herman), spiritual writer, 1691

However difficult the idea of a power of evil may be theologically or philosophically, it is an idea which experience understands only too well. Those who cannot believe in and accept the good news of Christ are those who have so given themselves over to the evil of the world that they can no longer hear God’s invitation. It is not that God has shut them out or abandoned them; they by their own conduct have shut themselves off from him.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Letters to the Corinthians, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 2nd ed., 1956, p. 219 (see the book; see also John 8:44-45; Isa. 30:9-12; John 3:19; 10:25-27; 12:42-43; Rom. 2:7-8; Heb. 3:12-13; more at Call, Christ, Evil, God, Gospel, Theology)

Thursday, February 13, 2025

Wealth and riches; that is, an estate above what sufficeth our real occasions and necessities, is in no other sense a blessing than as it is an opportunity put into our hands, by the providence of God, of doing more good.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VI, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CXLII, p. 551 (see the book; see also 1 John 3:17; Luke 12:15; Gal. 6:9-10; Jas. 2:6-7; more at Blessing, God, Goodness, Opportunity, Providence, Wealth)

Friday, February 14, 2025
Feast of Cyril & Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 & 885
Commemoration of Valentine, Martyr at Rome, c.269

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up save in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 121 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Pr. 10:12; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:8; more at Giving, Heart, Heaven, Hell, Love, Safety, Selfish)

Saturday, February 15, 2025
Commemoration of Thomas Bray, Priest, Founder of SPCK, 1730

Gentleness and patience, humility and thankfulness, compassion and kindness, love—these are totally irrelevant in the culture that surrounds us. But they are the language of grace, the culture of faith, the characteristics of the kingdom.
We are formed with such virtues when... the Word of Christ dwells in us richly.
... Marva J. Dawn (b. 1948), A Royal “Waste” of Time: The Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church For The World, Eerdmans Publishing, 1999, p. 14 (see the book; see also Col. 3:12-17; Job 23:12; Ps. 119:11; John 15:7; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:2; Jas. 3:17; 1 John 2:14; 2 John 1:1-2; more at Christ, Compassion, Culture, Faith, Gentleness, Grace, Humility, Kindness, Kingdom, Love, Patience)

Sunday, February 16, 2025

We never find a presbyter in the singular in the New Testament. He is always a member of a team. In the modern church, the ordained man is almost always on his own in the community, unless he is lucky enough to have a colleague, or to be a member of a team ministry. We expect the ordained man to be almost omnicompetent, and complain at his deficiencies. This is an extremely serious error. It is very bad for the man himself to be made to feel that he is the sole minister: it may lead to despair, arrogance, blindness to the true situation, and inhibiting the gifts of others. It is bad for the parish: they become critical and lazy. When the different limbs in Christ’s body are not allowed their special ministry, they are harmed and their gifts atrophy. The ordained man too is harmed, for he has to attempt to do various ministries for which he has no charisma from God, and the church cannot be adequately cared for.
... Michael Green (1930-2019), “Mission and Ministry”, E. M. B. Green, 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. 75-76 (see the book; see also Acts 14:23; 20:28; Phil. 1:1; Tit. 1:5; 1 Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:17; more at Arrogance, Bible, Blindness, Body of Christ, Church, Despair, Gifts, Minister, Mission, Ordination)

Monday, February 17, 2025
Feast of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977

We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at his unspeakable love.
... John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. III-V, in Works of John Owen, v. XXI, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1854, p. 528 (see the book; see also Heb. 5:8-10; John 4:34; 6:38; Heb. 3:6; 10:5-7; Phil. 2:8; Rev. 5:12; more at Attitudes, Christ, Love)

Tuesday, February 18, 2025

It seems to me that the only way out is for the Christian movement to renounce party allegiance as primary and make the Kingdom of God primary. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God...and all these things shall be added unto you.” But if we seek first the party, then all these things shall be subtracted from us—as now. After making the Kingdom first we could say to the parties: “We will stand with you to the degree that you stand for the Kingdom. When you break with that Kingdom, we break with you. For to us the Kingdom loyalty is first, last, and always.”
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), The Christ of the American Road, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1944, p. 186-187 (see the book; see also Matt. 6:33; Isa. 29:13-14; Matt. 5:6; 15:7-9; Luke 12:31; John 6:27; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; more at Confidence, God, Kingdom, Loyalty)

Wednesday, February 19, 2025

Most Christians are affected far more than they know by the standards and methods of the surrounding world. In these days when power and size and speed are almost universally admired, it seems to me particularly important to study afresh the “weakness,” the “smallness of entry,” and the “slowness” of God as He begins His vast work of reconstructing His disordered world. We are all tempted to take short cuts, to work for quick results, and to evade painful sacrifice. It is therefore essential that we should look again at love incarnate in a human being, to see God Himself at work within the limitations of human personality, and to base our methods on what we see Him do.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole, London: Highway Press, 1952, p. 7-8 (see the book; see also Matt. 26:42; Isa. 42:1-4; 52:14; 53:2-7; Matt. 7:13; 18:2-3; 27:26-32; Luke 13:24; 14:33; John 10;9; 14:6; 19:1-3; 1 Cor. 1:27; Gal. 5:24; Phil. 3:7-9; more at Incarnation, Knowing God, Love, Patience, Temptation, Will of God, Work)

Thursday, February 20, 2025
Commemoration of Cecile Isherwood, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906

If our common life is not a common course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we don’t live the lives of Christians.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 10-11 (see the book; see also Luke 9:23; Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; John 13:34-35; Acts 2:40; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Gal. 6:14; Jas. 4:4; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:11; more at Affection, Humility, Life, Poverty, Renunciation, Self-sacrifice, World)

Friday, February 21, 2025

Any lights shining on the wrong subject will mislead you. I focus on my Lord Jesus, the true light that enlightens every man. He does not blind me, dazzle me, or confuse me. He shines on my path to show me the way, shines on my thoughts to show me the truth, and shines on my life to lead me to Life, because He is the way, the truth, and the life. His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot resist it.
... Luis Fernando Aragón, Pilgrim: One Thousand Days on the Road, Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publishing, 2010, p. 98 (see the book; see also John 1:4-5; Ps. 16:11; 18:28; 119:105; John 14:6; Heb. 12:2; more at Blindness, Confusion, Darkness, Jesus, Life, Light, Truth, Way)

Saturday, February 22, 2025

The very first word that falls from His lips is a revelation of the will of God for man. “Blessed.” “Happy.” That is the Divine thought and intention for us. Sorrow, tears, pain, disappointment, all these may be, and are, of inestimable value in the Father’s discipline; but they are means to an end, made necessary by man’s sin. The end, in the purpose of God is blessedness. Happiness is that after which all men in every age seek, and the first note in the Saviour’s teaching reveals it, as what God is seeking also.
... G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945), Discipleship, New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1897, p. 24 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:3-12; Ps. 1:1; 32:1-2; 84:12; Luke 6:20-26; 11:28; more at Blessing, Discipline, Happiness, Revelation, Sin, Teach, Will of God)

Sunday, February 23, 2025
Feast of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr, c.155

Let us therefore without ceasing hold fast by our hope and by the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ who took up our sins in His own body upon the tree, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, but for our sakes He endured all things, that we might live in Him. Let us therefore become imitators of His endurance; and if we should suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. For He gave this example to us in His own person, and we believed this.
... Polycarp (69?-155?), Letter to the Philippians A.D. 110-140, 8:1-2 (see the book; see also 1 Chr. 16:11; Job 17:9; Ps. 37:23-24; 138:8; Hos. 12:6; Matt. 10:22; 24:12-13; Mark 13:13; John 13:15; Rom. 2:7; Eph. 5:1-2; Col. 2:6-7; 1 John 2:6; 1 Pet. 2:21-24; more at Crucifixion, Example, Hope, Jesus, Righteousness, Sin, Suffer)

Monday, February 24, 2025

The pious community permits no one to be a sinner. Hence all have to conceal their sins from themselves and from the community. We are not allowed to be sinners. Many Christians would be unimaginably horrified if a real sinner were suddenly to turn up among the pious. So we remain alone with our sin, trapped in lies and hypocrisy, for we are in fact sinners.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 108 (see the book; see also Ps. 101:7; Isa. 7:12; Matt. 23:5-6; 27:24; Luke 20:21-25; John 15:6; 18:28; Acts 5:1-10; Rom. 16:17-18; Gal. 6:3; 1 Pet. 5:8; more at Community, Hypocrisy, Sinner)

Tuesday, February 25, 2025

When we as Christians say that only by an intervention of God, by His creating a new situation, can communion with God be established, we recognize that a breach between God and man does exist.
That is why historical revelation is the great scandal or stumbling block for natural men. Man, filled with his self-love and self-pride, does not want to be uncovered, because he does not want his pride to be infringed upon. To acknowledge historical revelation means to acknowledge that the truth is not in us, that the right relation to God cannot be established from our side; that the breach between God and us is of such a nature that we can do nothing about it.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Scandal of Christianity, London: SCM Press, 1951, reprint, John Knox Press, 1965, p. 22 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:2-3; Pr. 16:18; Isa. 2:11-17; Obad. 1:3-4; Matt. 9:35-36; 20:25-28; 23:5-12; Mark 10:42-45; Rom. 3:10-11; 8:7-9; 12:3,16; Eph. 2:1-3; more at Communion, God, Historical, Man, Pride, Revelation, Self)

Wednesday, February 26, 2025

“The just shall live by faith.” St. Paul is not speaking here of our dogmatic faith, but of that which is purely personal, and which specially concerns God’s Providence over the souls He leads. Such souls He inspires with perfect trust in His Word and promise, and then He tries the strength of that trust, by various searching tests, through which it is their part to remain steadfast, undoubting.
... Jean Nicolas Grou (1731-1803), The Hidden Life of the Soul, London: Rivingtons, 1870, p. 149 (see the book; see also Rom. 1:17; Job 13:15; Hab. 2:4; Acts 7:59; Rom. 4:18; Phil. 3:20-21; 2 Tim. 1:12; more at Faith, God, Inspiration, Promise, Providence, Steadfast, Trust)

Thursday, February 27, 2025
Feast of George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633

What Adam had, and forfeited for all,
Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall.
... George Herbert (1593-1633), The Poetical Works of George Herbert, New York: D. Appleton, 1857, p. 182 (see the book; see also Col. 3:3; Matt. 11:25; Rom. 5:12-14; 1 Cor. 2:14-15; 15:22,45-49; Col. 2:2-3; 1 John 3:2; more at Christ, Failure, Fall, Victory)

Friday, February 28, 2025

Grace is not looking for good men whom it may approve, for it is not grace but mere justice to approve goodness. But it is looking for condemned, guilty, speechless and helpless men whom it may save through faith, then sanctify and glorify.
... C. I. Scofield (1843-1921), “The Grace of God”, in The Fundamentals: The Famous Sourcebook of Foundational Biblical Truths, ed. R. A. Torrey, Kregel Academic, 1990, p. 402 (see the book; see also Ps. 41:4; 147:3; Matt. 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 19:10; Rom. 4:4-5; 7:12; 11:5-6; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rev. 3:17; more at Condemnation, Faith, Goodness, Grace, Guilt, Helplessness, Justice, Salvation, Sanctification)


Christ, our Light

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