Friday, August 17, 2018

Edwards: the last hour

Friday, August 17, 2018
Meditation:
On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
    —Psalm 63:6 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
    ... Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), in the introductory essay for The Works of Jonathan Edwards, A.M., v. I, London: William Ball., 1839, p. xviii (see the book)
    See also Ps. 63:6; 119:147-148; Lam. 2:19; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Rev. 10:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are present in my thoughts.
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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rutherford: rejoice in God alone

Thursday, August 16, 2018
Meditation:
    Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
    —Exodus 34:14 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Think [it] not hard if ye get not your will, nor your delights in this life; God will have you to rejoice in nothing but himself.
    ... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb 1, 1630, p. 17 (see the book)
    See also Ex. 34:14; Deut. 5:7; Ps. 43:4; Rom. 7:21; Rev. 4:10-11; 22:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have driven all the other gods of my life away.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Arnold: access to Christ

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Meditation:
    Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
    —Hebrews 10:19-22 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Of the access for us, at any rate, to the spirit of life, us who were born in Christendom, and are in touch, conscious or unconscious, with Christianity, this is the true account. Questions over which the churches spend so much labour and time—questions about the Trinity, about the godhead of Christ, about the procession of the Holy Ghost—are not vital; what is vital is the doctrine of access to the spirit of life through Jesus.
    ... Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), (first printed in Fortnightly Review, 1887) Works of Matthew Arnold, v. IV, London: Macmillan, 1903, p. 210 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 10:19-22; John 14:6,16-17; 15:26; 16:13; 20:22; Rom. 8:26
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You alone are the source of life, and You have breathed it upon me.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Zinzendorf: one passion

Tuesday, August 14, 2018
    Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
Meditation:
    [Jesus] told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
    —Luke 24:46-48 (NIV)
Quotation:
    I have but one passion—it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field, and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.
    ... Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), quoted in Living Abundantly, Kirby Page, Farrar & Rinehart, Incorporated, 1944, p. 322 (see the book)
    See also Luke 24:46-48; Acts 4:18-20; 13:47; 1 Cor. 9:22; 12:3; 16:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Send me, Lord, with Your word for dying sinners.
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Monday, August 13, 2018

Taylor: endurance for His sake

Monday, August 13, 2018
    Feast of Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor, Priest, Teacher, 1667
    Commemoration of Florence Nightingale, Social Reformer, 1910
    Commemoration of Octavia Hill, Worker for the Poor, 1912
Meditation:
    Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
    —James 5:10-11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    [From an old Jewish story] When Abraham sat at his tent door, according to his custom, waiting to entertain strangers, he espied an old man stooping and leaning on his staff, weary with age and travail, coming towards him, who was a hundred years of age; he received him kindly, washed his feet, provided supper, caused him to sit down; but observing that the old man ate and prayed not, nor begged a blessing on his meat, he asked him why he did not worship the God of heaven. The old man told him that he worshipped the fire only, and acknowledged no other God. At which answer Abraham grew so zealously angry, that he thrust the old man out of his tent, and exposed him to all the evils of the night, and an unguarded condition. When the old man was gone, God called to Abraham, and asked him where the stranger was. He replied, “I thrust him away, because he did not worship thee.” God answered him, “I have suffered him these hundred years , though he dishonoured me; and wouldst thou not endure him one night?”
    ... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), The Liberty of Prophesying [1647], in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. VIII, London: C. & J Rivington, 1828, p. 232 (see the book)
    See also Jas. 5:10-11; Job 1:22; 13:15; Matt. 5:11-12; 23:34-37; Luke 13:34-35; Acts 7:52; Heb. 11:32-38
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, cast out my self-righteousness.
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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Richardson: religion and ideology

Sunday, August 12, 2018
Meditation:
    Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
    —John 18:36 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Ideological notions are strongest amongst people who have lost their traditional religious faith, and they provide a kind of pseudo-religion to take its place. Ideology may well be defined as religion-substitute. The fact that religious faith always expresses itself in the particular ideological forms current in any given period is no reason why we should confuse religion with ideology; and, even though it requires a penetrating and candid investigation to distinguish between the genuinely religious and the merely ideological elements in the outlook of a particular period or individual, this does not mean that religion itself is an aspect of ideology. The core of religious belief is not ideological, whatever may be said of the soft pulp in which it is often wrapped up.
    ... Alan Richardson (1905-1975), Christian Apologetics, London: SCM Press, 1947, p. 70 (see the book)
    See also John 18:36; Matt. 8:2-4; 16:20; 17:9; Mark 1:34,43-44; Luke 4:41; 5:14; John 7:17-18; 12:49
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, keep my attention on You, not ideas.
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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Newman: our poor efforts

Saturday, August 11, 2018
    Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253
    Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890
Meditation:
    “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
    ”‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
    “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
    “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
    “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”
    —Matthew 21:28-31 (NIV)
Quotation:
    It is our great relief that God is not extreme to mark what is done amiss, that he looks at the motives, and accepts and blesses in spite of incidental errors.
    ... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman, v. I, London: Longmans, Green, 1903, p. 205 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 21:28-31; Ps. 34:18; 51:17; Isa. 57:15-18; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 6:5; 18:3;
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You use even my failures for Your glory.
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