Monday, January 23, 2017

Brooks: orthodoxy

Monday, January 23, 2017
    Commemoration of Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, spiritual writer, 1893
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “So for the sake of your tradition you [scribes and Pharisees] have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
    —Matthew 15:6b-9 (ESV)
Quotation:
    Orthodoxy is, in the Church, very much what prejudice is in the single mind. It is the premature conceit of certainty. It is the treatment of the imperfect as if it were the perfect.
    ... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Life and letters of Phillips Brooks, v. III, Alexander V. G. Allen, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1901, p. 74 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 15:1-9; Isa. 60:19-20; 1 Cor. 13:8-10; 2 Cor. 5:7; Rev. 21:22-23; 22:4-5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have sole authority in all things.
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dale: happiness from God

Sunday, January 22, 2017
Meditation:
    Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
    —Romans 5:12-15 (ESV)
Quotation:
    It was not the pleasant things in the world that came from the devil, and the dreary things from God! It was “sin brought death into the world and all our woe;” * as the sin vanishes, the woe will vanish too. God Himself is the ever-blessed God. He dwells in the light of joy as well as of purity, and instead of becoming more like Him as we become more miserable, and as all the brightness and glory of life are extinguished, we become more like God as our blessedness becomes more complete. The great Christian graces are radiant with happiness. Faith, hope, charity—there is no sadness in them:—and if penitence makes the heart sad, penitence belongs to the sinner, not to the saint.
* from Paradise Lost, book 1, line 3, by John Milton
    ... Robert W. Dale (1829-1895), Week-day Sermons [1876], London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1888, p. 117-118 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 5:12-15; Gen. 3:6; Jonah 4:11; Rom. 5:19; 8:22; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Pet. 1:7-8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, drive sin from my life!
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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Moody: Jesus is the light

Saturday, January 21, 2017
    Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304
Meditation:
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    —Psalm 23:4 (KJV)
Quotation:
    The valley of the shadow of death holds no darkness for the child of God. There must be light, else there could be no shadow. Jesus is the light. He has overcome death.
    ... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899)
    See also Ps. 23:4; Isa. 25:8; Hos. 13:14; Matt. 4:15-16; Luke 20:36; John 1:9-14; 8:12; 16:33; 1 Cor. 15:26,55; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 21:4
Quiet time reflection:
    Jesus, my light!
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Drummond: the urgency of loving

Friday, January 20, 2017
    Commemoration of Richard Rolle of Hampole, Writer, Hermit, Mystic, 1349
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
    “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
    “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!”
    —Matthew 18:4-7 (ESV)
Quotation:
    Some of us have not much time to lose [to begin loving]. Remember, once more, that this is a matter of life or death. I cannot help speaking urgently, for myself, for yourselves. “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” That is to say, it is the deliberate verdict of the Lord Jesus that it is better not to have lived than not to love.
    ... Henry Drummond (1851-1897), “The Greatest Thing in the World”, in Addresses, H. Altemus, 1891, p. 46-47 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 18:4-7; Mark 9:41; Luke 9:48; 17:1-2; 1 Cor. 13:13
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me a heart of love, a heart like Yours.
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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thomas a Kempis: temporal vs. eternal

Thursday, January 19, 2017
    Commemoration of Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
Meditation:
    Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
    —Matthew 19:21-22 (ESV)
Quotation:
    For a small reward, a man will hurry away on a long journey; while for eternal life, many will hardly take a single step.
    ... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, III.iii.3, p.118 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 19:16-26; Ps. 49:16-19; Matt. 6:5-6; 13:22; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 12:15-21; 18:18-27; 1 Tim. 6:9-10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You admonish my sloth. Grant that I may be energetic in the causes of the Kingdom.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Carmichael: love and giving

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
    Commemoration of Amy Carmichael, Founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, 1951
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
    —Luke 12:33-34 (ESV)
Quotation:
    One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving.
    ... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), attributed (see the book)
    See also Luke 12:33-34; Matt. 6:1-4; 1 Cor. 13; 2 Cor. 8:7-15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, create a heart in me like Christ’s.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gore: praying in His name

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
    Feast of Antony of Egypt, Abbot, 356
    Commemoration of Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932
Meditation:
    Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
    —John 14:13 (ESV)
Quotation:
    Many people have a very strangely childish notion, that “praying in the name of Christ” means simply the addition of the words “through Jesus Christ our Lord” at the end of their prayers. But depend upon it, they do not by adding these words, or any words, bring it about that their prayers should be in the name of Christ. To pray in the name of Christ means to pray in such a way as represents Christ. The representative always must speak in the spirit and meaning of those for whom he speaks. If Christ is our representative, that must be because He speaks our wishes, or what we ought to make our wishes; and if we are to pray in the name of Christ, that means that we are, however far off, expressing His wishes and intentions.
    ... Charles Gore (1853-1932), The Sermon on the Mount [1910], London: John Murray, 1905, p. 132-133 (see the book)
    See also John 14:13; Matt. 7:5; 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9; John 15:16; 16:23,26-27; 1 John 5:14
Quiet time reflection:
    Help me, Lord, never to speak Your Name in vain as I pray.
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