Sunday, July 12, 2020

Beza: complete the work

Sunday, July 12, 2020
Meditation:
    We proclaim [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
    —Colossians 1:28-29 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Cover, Lord, what has been: govern what shall be. Oh, perfect that which Thou hast begun, that I suffer not shipwreck in the haven.
    ... Theodore Beza (1519-1605), his last words, quoted in The Last Hours of Eminent Christians, Henry Clissold, London: Rivingtons, 1829, p. 169 (see the book)
    See also Eze. 27:25-27; 2 Cor. 12:8-9; Phil. 3:10-12; Col. 1:27-29; 1 Tim. 1:18-19
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, even when I am discouraged, Your Spirit is working through the Gospel to complete me.
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Saturday, July 11, 2020

St. John Chrysostom: comprehension of God

Saturday, July 11, 2020
    Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550
Meditation:
God thunders wondrously with his voice;
    he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
    —Job 37:5 (ESV)
Quotation:
    A comprehended god is no god.
    ... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407) (see the book)
    See also Job 37:5; Ps. 106:2; 119:130; Pr. 3:5; 1 Cor. 1:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, keep me from the worship of the works of men’s hands or minds, but to save my worship for You alone.
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Friday, July 10, 2020

Irvine: the characteristics of the Kingdom

Friday, July 10, 2020
Meditation:
    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
    —Romans 14:17-18 (NIV)
Quotation:
    When Christians join together to accomplish certain things, one may expect the organizations they form to reflect the characteristics of the Kingdom, but that will only happen as a consequence of the way people live and relate to each other in Christ. It will not necessarily follow from structures, policies, or documents.
    ... Graeme Irvine, former president, World Vision International, in a private communication from World Vision
    See also Rom. 14:17-18; Matt. 12:3-5,46-50; John 4:23; 15:12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your Spirit is the organizing principle of Your church.
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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Luther: faith a work of God

Thursday, July 9, 2020
Meditation:
    For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    —Romans 8:13-14 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God. It kills the old Adam, makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers, and brings the Holy Spirit with it.
    ... Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans”, par. 14 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 8:13-14; John 3:3; Rom. 7:14-25; 12:1-2; Eph. 4:22-24
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I hear Your Spirit’s voice.
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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Kraemer: informal Church?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Meditation:
    Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness...
    —Colossians 1:24-25 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The way of the Church as a body that has the mandate to express the ministry of the great Diakonos [Servanthood] is not spectacular. The “first fruits” of fraternities, house-churches, para-parochial congregations, retreats (not for retreat’s sake, but for the sake of going out into the world) etc. should not continue to exist alongside the Church. They should be acknowledged as really doing the business of the Church.
    ... Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965), A Theology of the Laity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1958, p. 179 (see the book)
    See also Acts 16:14-15; Rom. 16:3-5; Col. 1:24-25; 4:15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are calling me to the true work of the church.
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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Taylor: prayer for acknowledging the Presence

Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Meditation:
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    —Psalm 139:4-5 (NIV)
Quotation:
    This Prayer is especially to be used in temptation to private sin.
    O almighty God, infinite and eternal, Thou fillest all things with Thy presence; Thou art every where by thy essence and by Thy power; in heaven by glory, in holy places by Thy grace and favour, in the hearts of Thy servants by Thy Spirit, in the consciences of all men by Thy testimony and observation of us. Teach me to walk always as in Thy presence, to fear Thy majesty, to reverence Thy wisdom and omniscience; that I may never dare to commit any indecency in the eye of my Lord and my Judge; but that I may with so much care and reverence demean myself that my Judge may not be my accuser, but my advocate; that I, expressing the belief of Thy presence here by careful walking, may feel the effects of it in the participation of eternal glory, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
    ... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living [1650], in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 43 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 139:1-16; 128:1; Deut. 10:12; Hos. 6:6; 14:9; John 15:26-27; Rom. 9:23-24
Quiet time reflection:
    You have placed eternity in my heart, Lord.
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Monday, July 06, 2020

Leighton: despise it not

Monday, July 6, 2020
    Feast of John Huss, Reformer, Martyr, 1415
    Feast of Thomas More, Scholar & Martyr, &
    John Fisher, Bishop & Martyr, 1535
Meditation:
    [Gamaliel’s] speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
    —Acts 5:40-41 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The Jews would not willingly tread upon the smallest piece of paper in their way, but took it up; for possibly, they say, the name of God may be on it. Though there was a little superstition in this, yet truly there is nothing but good religion in it, if we apply it to men. Trample not on any; there may be some work of grace there, that thou knowest not of. The name of God may be written upon that soul thou treadest on; it may be a soul that Christ thought so much of, as to give His precious blood for it; therefore despise it not.
    ... Robert Leighton (1611-1684), A Practical Commentary Upon the First Epistle of St. Peter, London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1849, p. 368 (see the book)
    See also Acts 5:41; Jer. 14:9; Rom. 14:4; Phil. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 2:17; Jas. 2:7
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, make me honor each heart that belongs to You.
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