Friday, November 15, 2019

Hoskyns: the tension within us

Friday, November 15, 2019
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
    —John 15:19 (NIV)
Quotation:
    This coherence of the Bible itself, and of the Bible and the Church, is a coherence and a unity set in opposition to the world existing beyond its borders, and outside its influence, so that there comes into being a tension between the world as it actually is and the Church, in so far as the Church rests upon the Biblical revelation of God.
    But this tension is not something which concerns the Church and the world as though they are things which exist outside us and apart from us, which we can consider and observe and discuss and have theories about. The tension between the Church and the world exists within us and is the very fibre of our being, and neither the one nor the other is superficial or trivial. For we are, all of us, of the earth, earthy, and we are also baptized members of Christ and His Church. It is precisely because we belong to two worlds that our lives consist in insecurity—that we are, in fact, a drama, the final act of which, the judgment of reward or punishment, heaven or hell, is hidden from us.
    ... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), We are the Pharisees, London: SPCK, 1960, p. 96-97 (see the book)
    See also John 15:19; Acts 10:39-41; Gal. 4:3; 1 John 4:4-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, the life of this world is passing away, but the life of Your kingdom lasts forever.
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Jukes: bondage and darkness

Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796
Meditation:
    ... everything that does not come from faith is sin.
    —Romans 14:23b (NIV)
Quotation:
    The fall was simply this, that some creature, that is, something which is not God, took His place with man; and man, trusting the creature more than God, walked in its light or darkness rather than in fellowship with God. Righteousness comes back when man by faith is brought to walk with God again, and to give Him His true place by acting or being acted upon in all things according to His will. Anything therefore not of faith is sin. And all such sin is bondage. Self-will is bondage, for ... self-will or independence of God means dependence on a creature; and we cannot be dependent on a creature, be it what it may, without more or less becoming subject to it. What has not been given up for money, or for some creature’s love? But who has ever thus served the creature more than the Creator without awaking at last to feel he is a bondman? I say nothing of the worse bondage which comes from our self-will, in the indulgence of our own thoughts, or passions, or affections. Even the very energies of faith, while, as yet unchastened, it acts from self, ... may only bring forth more bondage... Who but God can set men free? And He sets them free as they walk with Him. All independence of Him is only darkness.
    ... Andrew Jukes (1815-1901), The New Man and the Eternal Life, London: Longmans, Green, 1881, p. 121 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 14:23; Gen. 3:1-7; Gal. 4:3-9; 1 John 3:4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your gift of faith liberates me from bondage to self-will.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Simeon: a broken heart

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
    Feast of Charles Simeon, Pastor, Teacher, 1836
Meditation:
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    —Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Quotation:
    By constantly meditating on the goodness of God and on our great deliverance from that punishment which our sins have deserved, we are brought to feel our vileness and utter unworthiness; and while we continue in this spirit of self-degradation, everything else will go on easily. We shall find ourselves advancing in our course; we shall feel the presence of God; we shall experience His love; we shall live in the enjoyment of His favour and in the hope of His glory... You often feel that your prayers scarcely reach the ceiling; but, oh, get into this humble spirit by considering how good the Lord is, and how evil you all are, and then prayer will mount on wings of faith to heaven. The sigh, the groan of a broken heart, will soon go through the ceiling up to heaven, aye, into the very bosom of God.
    ... Charles Simeon (1759-1836), Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, Pittsburgh: R. Carter, 1847, p. 382 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 8:26-28; Gen. 6:5; Job 14:4; Ps. 16:2; 51:1-5; Isa. 64:6; Matt. 15:18-20; Mark 7:20-23; Rom. 7:18; Eph. 2:1-5; 1 Pet. 4:1-2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, teach me not to hold onto the things of this world.
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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pascal: what a pity!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Meditation:
    And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
    —2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NIV)
Quotation:
    What use is it to us to hear it said of a man that he has thrown off the yoke, that he does not believe there is a God to watch over his actions, that he reckons himself the sole master of his behavior, and that he does not intend to give an account of it to anyone but himself? Does he think that in that way he will have straightway persuaded us to have complete confidence in him, to look to him for consolation, for advice, and for help, in the vicissitudes of life? Do such men think that they have delighted us by telling us that they hold our souls to be nothing but a little wind and smoke—and by saying it in conceited and complacent tones? Is that a thing to say blithely? Is it not rather a thing to say sadly—as if it were the saddest thing in the world?
    ... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #194, p. 74 (see the book)
    See also 2 Cor. 4:3-6; Ps. 14:1; Matt. 11:15; Heb. 6:4-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, in Your mercy, grant belief to _____ and _____.
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Monday, November 11, 2019

Denney: the common thread

Monday, November 11, 2019
    Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.”
    —John 14:11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    No one can deny that the New Testament has variety as well as unity. It is the variety which gives interest to the unity... What is it in which these people, differing as widely as they do, are vitally and fundamentally at one, so that through all their differences they form a brotherhood and are conscious of an indissoluable spiritual bond? There can be no doubt that that which unites them is a common relation to Christ—a common faith in Him, involving religious convictions about Him.
    ... James Denney (1856-1917), Jesus and the Gospel: Christianity justified in the mind of Christ, New York: Hodder & Stoughton, 1908, p. 11 (see the book)
    See also John 14:11; Eze. 37:22; Zech. 14:9; John 10:16; 17:20-23; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 1:10; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 4:3-6; Col. 3;14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your Spirit binds all Your people together.
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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Leo: within our grasp

Sunday, November 10, 2019
    Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
Meditation:
    The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
    —1 Corinthians 15:46-49 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Invisible in His own nature [God] became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, He chose to come within our grasp.
    ... Leo I “the Great” (390?-461), from St. Leo’s epistle to Flavian, in On Faith and the Creed, Charles Abel Heurtley, Parker and Co., 1886, p. 200 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 15:46-49; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Rom. 8:3-4; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-7; Heb. 2:14-15; 4:15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have made us part of Your family.
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Saturday, November 09, 2019

Banning: a Christian vocabulary

Saturday, November 9, 2019
    Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
    —Luke 17:7-10 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Too many of us have a Christian vocabulary rather than a Christian experience. We think we are doing our duty when we’re only talking about it.
    ... Charles F. Banning
    See also Luke 17:7-10; Matt. 7:21-22; 9:13; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 5:8-9; 5:14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, stop my tongue, that I might work profitably in Your Kingdom.
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