Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Barclay: little is much

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Meditation:
    Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten.
    —John 6:11-13 (ESV)
Quotation:
    It may well be that the world is denied miracle after miracle and triumph after triumph because we will not bring to Christ what we have and what we are. If, just as we are, we would lay ourselves on the altar of the service of Jesus Christ, there is no saying what Christ could do with us and through us. We may be sorry and embarrassed that we have not more to bring—and rightly so; but that is not reason for failing or refusing to bring what we have and what we are. Little is always much in the hands of Christ.
    ... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of John, v. 1, Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1965, p. 207-208 (see the book)
    See also John 6:11-14; Matt. 14:19-21; 15:36-38; 16:8-12; Mark 6:41-44; 8:5-9,17-21; Luke 9:13-17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, take my little and make what You will of it.
CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
    search    script    mobile
sub    fb    twt    Jonah    Ruth

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bell: the evil of riches

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
    —Luke 12:31 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The evil of riches, then, for institutions, for nations, for individuals, is that those who possess or seek to possess almost invariably overvalue possessions and so cease to live creatively. They stop loving God with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength and all the mind. They stop loving their neighbors, too. When you find a person of means who is not either a self-centered bore or a low creature, you may know that God has worked a miracle.
    ... Bernard Iddings Bell (1886-1958), God is Not Dead, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945, p. 89 (see the book)
    See also Luke 12:27-34; Lev. 19:18,34; Deut. 6:5; Matt. 19:23-24; Mark 10:24-25; 12:30-31; Luke 12:15; 16:13; 18:24-25; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; Jas. 1:9-11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, work a miracle of love within me.
CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
    search    script    mobile
sub    fb    twt    Jonah    Ruth

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pinnock: all doubt

Monday, February 20, 2017
    Commemoration of Cecile Isherwood, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906
Meditation:
    Be merciful to those who doubt—
    —Jude 1:22 (NIV)
Quotation:
    I know what it is to doubt and question. And I suspect that every Christian who takes the time to think seriously about his faith, does so too.
    ... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Reason Enough, Exeter: Paternoster, 1980, p. 107 (see the book)
    See also Jude 1:22-23; Matt. 14:28-31; Luke 14:28-30; John 10:24-27; 20:24-29; 1 John 4:1-3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are always the answer to my doubts.
CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
    search    script    mobile
sub    fb    twt    Jonah    Ruth

Sunday, February 19, 2017

MacDonald: love before justice

Sunday, February 19, 2017
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
    —Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)
Quotation:
    The pure eye for the true vision of another’s claims can only go with the loving heart. The man who hates can hardly be delicate in doing justice, say to his neighbor’s love, to his neighbor’s predilections and peculiarities. It is hard enough to be just to our friends; and how shall our enemies fare with us?
    ... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “Love Thine Enemy”, in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], London: A. Strahan, 1867, p. 224-225 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 5:43-45; Ex. 23:4-5; Ps. 35:11-14; Luke 6:27-28,34-35; 23:34; Rom. 12:14,20-21; 1 Pet. 2:23; 3:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, show me how to do this harder love.
CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
    search    script    mobile
sub    fb    twt    Jonah    Ruth

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dodd: Paul's meaning for freedom (IV)

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Meditation:
    I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
    —Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
Quotation:
    [Continued from yesterday]
    This is Paul’s meaning. The state of slavery described in Romans 7 is a slavery to wrong desires; not merely to “flesh” in the abstract, as implying our material nature and environment, but to the “mind of the flesh”—the lower nature and environment made a part of one’s conscious self. What the Law could not do, God has done by the gift of the Spirit of Christ: He has given the victory to the higher self. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (II Cor. 3:17) “The Law of the Spirit—the law of a life in communion with Christ Jesus—has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2) Whereas life was a hopeless struggle, ... it now becomes a struggle in which the handicap is removed, and victory already secured in principle, because God has come into the life. The Law was external; it was a taskmaster set over against the troubled and fettered will of man. The Spirit is within, the mind of the Spirit is the mind of the man himself, and from within works out a growing perfection of life which satisfies the real longing of the soul. In the full sense freedom is still an object of hope; but the liberty already attained makes possible the building up of a Christian morality.
    ... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 136-137 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 8:2; 2 Cor. 3:17; Phil. 4:13
Quiet time reflection:
    Spirit of God, rest on me.
CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
    search    script    mobile
sub    fb    twt    Jonah    Ruth

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dodd: Paul's meaning for freedom (III)

Friday, February 17, 2017
    Feast of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977
Meditation:
    For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
    —Romans 7:5-6 (ESV)
Quotation:
    [Continued from yesterday]
    He, then, whose action is governed by mere desire is not free to attain the satisfaction which alone gives meaning to that desire. There is no breaking through this law of our being. Every attempt to do so proves itself in experience to be futile. Hence we are in a more hopeless state of bondage than that which materialistic determinism holds; for the tyrant is established within our own consciousness. One way, and one way only, out of this bondage remains. If we can discover how to make our own immediate desire, and the act of will springing out of it, accord with the supreme law of our being, then to “do as we like” will no longer be to run our heads against the stone wall of necessity which shuts us out from the heaven of satisfaction. For we shall only “like” doing what we “ought.” This introduces a new sense of the word “freedom.” It does not now mean freedom from restrains to follow our desires, but freedom from the tyranny of futile desires to follow what is really good. [Continued tomorrow]
    ... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 135-136 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 7:5-6; Isa. 48:16-17; Rom. 8:13-14; Gal. 5:16,22-25; Eph. 5:8-9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I praise You for my deliverance.
CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
    search    script    mobile
sub    fb    twt    Jonah    Ruth

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dodd: Paul's meaning for freedom (II)

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Meditation:
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
    —2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Quotation:
    [Continued from yesterday]
    The result of all this is that the Christian is a free man. It is here to be observed that the term “freedom” is ambiguous in common usage. It is sometimes used to imply that a man can do just as he likes, undetermined by any external force. To this the determinist replies that as a matter of fact this freedom is so limited by the laws which condition man’s empirical existence as to be illusory. The rejoinder from the advocates of free will is that no external force can determine a man’s moral conduct (and with mere automatism we are not concerned), unless it is presented in consciousness, and that in being so presented it becomes a desire, a temptation, or a motive. In suffering himself to be determined by these, the man is not submitting to external control, but to something which he has already made a part of himself, for good or ill. When, however, we have said that, we are faced with a further problem. Not all that is desired is desirable, and in being moved by my immediate desire I may be balking myself of that ultimate satisfaction which is the real object of all effort. If that is so, then to “do as I like” may well be no freedom at all. There is a law of our being which forbids satisfaction to be found along that line, as it is written, “He gave them their desire, and sent leanness into their souls.” (Ps. 106:15) [Continued tomorrow]
    ... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 135 (see the book)
    See also 2 Cor. 5:17; Ps. 106:15; Isa. 43:18-19; John 8:32-36; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:1,13
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may I know the freedom that is in Christ.
CQOD    Blog    email    RSS
    search    script    mobile
sub    fb    twt    Jonah    Ruth