Friday, November 24, 2017

Ryle: from the Reformation

Friday, November 24, 2017
Meditation:
    [David:] “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”
    —2 Samuel 22:31 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Let men say what they will, or pick holes where they may, they will never succeed in disproving these facts. To the Reformation, Englishmen owe an English Bible, and liberty for every man to read it.—To the Reformation, they owe the knowledge of the way of peace with God, and of the right of every sinner to go straight to Christ by faith, without bishop, priest, or minister standing in his way.—To the Reformation, they owe a Scriptural standard of morality and holiness such as our ancestors never dreamed of.—For ever let us be thankful for these inestimable mercies!
    ... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Facts and men, pages from English Church history, between 1553 and 1683, London: William Hunt, 1882, p. 57 (see the book)
    See also 2 Sam. 22:31; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 12:6; 18:30; 119:140; Pr. 30:5; Matt. 5:48; Rom. 3:2; Jas. 1:17; Rev. 15:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I thank You for Your Word written and the Living Word who gives it all its meaning.
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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Towne: Lord, I am glad

Thursday, November 23, 2017
    Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
    Thanksgiving (U.S.)
Meditation:
    Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    —Ephesians 5:19-20 (NIV)
Quotation:
Lord, I am glad for the great gift of living,
Glad for Thy days of sun and of rain;
Grateful for joy, with an endless thanksgiving,
Grateful for laughter—and grateful for pain.

Lord, I am glad for the young April’s wonder,
Glad for the fulness of long summer days;
And now when the spring and my heart are asunder,
Lord, I give thanks for the dark autumn ways.

Sun, bloom, and blossom, O Lord, I remember,
The dream of the spring and its joy I recall;
But now in the silence and pain of November,
Lord, I give thanks to Thee, Giver of all!
    ... Charles Hanson Towne (1877-1949), The Speaker: a quarterly magazine v. IV, n. 13-16, Pearson Brothers, 1910, p. 200 (see the book)
    See also Eph. 5:19-20; Ps. 19:1; Isa. 34:1; 63:7; Phil. 4:6; Col. 1:11-12; 3:17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, compose my heart in thanksgiving.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lewis: the unwritten confession

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
    Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
    Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963
Meditation:
    As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.
    —Romans 2:24,25 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The sort of love I have been describing... can also be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection: for a Church or (alas) a party in a Church, or for a religious order. This terrible subject would require a book to itself. Here it will be enough to say that the Heavenly Society is also an earthly society. Our (merely natural) patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and use them to justify the most abominable actions. If ever the book which I am not going to write is written, it must be the full confession by Christendom of Christendom’s specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of “the World” will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the service of Moloch.
    ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 30 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 2:23-25; Jer. 8:8-9; Luke 10:26-29; 18:10-14; John 5:45-47; Rom. 3:23; Jas. 1:22-27; 4:16-17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, forgive us the wrongs we have done in Your name.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thomas a Kempis: the requirement of faith

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Meditation:
    [Jesus] said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’”
    —Luke 8:10 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Faith is required of thee, and a sincere life, not loftiness of intellect, nor deepness in the mysteries of God. If thou understandest not... the things which are beneath thee, how shalt thou comprehend those which are above thee? Submit thyself unto God, and humble thy sense to faith, and the light of knowledge shall be given thee, as shall be profitable and necessary unto thee.
    ... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, IV.xviii.2, p. 286 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 5:8,9; Mic. 6:8; Luke 8:10; 1 Cor. 2:7-10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, show me the ways in which I must walk that I may have knowledge of You.
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Tozer: the means and the end

Monday, November 20, 2017
    Feast of Edmund of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
    Commemoration of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876
Meditation:
    Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
    —Romans 11:34-36 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The sacred page is not meant to be the end, but only the means toward the end, which is knowing God himself.
    ... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) (see the book)
    See also Rom. 11:33-36; Prov. 2:3-5; Jer. 24:7; 31:34; Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 17:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may I know You all my days!
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Phillips: Judgment and the modern mind

Sunday, November 19, 2017
    Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
    Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
    Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280
Meditation:
    I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
    —Romans 16:17-18 (ESV)
Quotation:
    Much of today’s Christianity is almost completely earthbound, and the words of Jesus about what follows this life are scarcely studied at all. This, I believe, is partly due to man’s enormous technical successes, which make him feel master of the human situation. But it is also partly due to our scholars and experts. By the time they have finished with their dissection of the New Testament and with their explaining away as “myth” all that they find disquieting or unacceptable to the modern mind, the Christian way of life is little more than humanism with a slight tinge of religion.
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Ring of Truth, London: Hodder & Stoughton; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967, p. 102 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 1:19-23; 3:18-19; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 4:3-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I need Your miracles, Your power and strength, for I am weak. Grant that I will never depart from Your word.
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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Bonhoeffer: no belief without obedience

Saturday, November 18, 2017
Meditation:
    “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
    “Come,” he said.
    Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
    But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
    Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
    “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
    —Matthew 14:28-31 (NIV)
Quotation:
    But when once Christ has called him, Peter has no alternative—he must leave the ship and come to Him. In the end, the first step of obedience proves to be an act of faith in the word of Christ. But we should completely misunderstand the nature of grace if we were to suppose that there was no need to take the first step, because faith was already there. Against that, we must boldly assert that the step of obedience must be taken before faith can be possible. Unless he obeys, a man cannot believe.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 66 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 14:28-31; Mark 1:16-18; Luke 17:6; 2 Cor. 9:13; 2 John 1:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I hear Your call. Grant me faith to follow you.
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