Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Owen: the evil threatened

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304
Meditation:
    By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
    —Hebrews 11:7 (NIV)
Quotation:
    It is one thing to fear God as threatening, with a holy reverence, and another to be afraid of the evil threatened.
    ... John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. XI ff, in Works of John Owen, v. XXIV, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1855, p. 50 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 11:7; Ps. 23:4; 119:120; Hab. 3:16; Mal. 2:5; Heb. 4:1; 5:7-8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, assist Your people, so that they may reach the world while there is still time.
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Monday, January 20, 2020

Rolle: three degrees of love

Monday, January 20, 2020
    Commemoration of Richard Rolle of Hampole, Writer, Hermit, Mystic, 1349
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
    —John 15:9-11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    That thou mayest win to the sweetness of God’s love, I set here three degrees of love, in the which thou shouldst be aye waxing. The first is called insuperable, the second inseparable, the third singular. Thy love is insuperable when nothing may overcome it, that is, neither weal, nor woe, nor anguish, just of flesh nor the liking of this world... Thy love is inseparable when all thy thoughts and thy wills are gathered together and fastened wholly in Jesus Christ, so that thou mayest no time forget Him, but aye thou thinkest on Him... Thy love is singular when all thy delight is in Jesus Christ and in no other thing finds joy and comfort.
    ... Richard Rolle (1290?-1349), The Commandments, in English Spirituality in the Age of Wyclif, David Lyle Jeffrey, tr., Regent College Publishing, 1988, p. 156 (see the book)
    See also John 15:9-12; 14:21; 15:17-19; 16:33
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have accepted us into the bonds of love.
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Brother Lawrence: what sinners are capable of

Sunday, January 19, 2020
    Commemoration of Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
Meditation:
    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
    —Romans 12:21 (NIV)
Quotation:
    As for the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from wondering at them that, on the contrary, he was surprised that there were not more, considering the malice sinners were capable of. For his part, he prayed for them; but, knowing that God could remedy the mischiefs they did when He pleased, he gave himself no further trouble.
    ... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, First Conversation, p. 8-9 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 12:19-21; Luke 6:27-28; Acts 7:60; Rom. 12:14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You dismiss the evil from the world.
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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Carmichael: a fort in enemy country

Saturday, January 18, 2020
    Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle
    Commemoration of Amy Carmichael, Founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, 1951
Meditation:
    Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    —Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
Quotation:
    I do not find that this position, that of unbroken peacefulness and inward song, is one which we can hope to hold unassailed. It is no soft arrangement of pillows, no easy-chair. It is a fort in an enemy’s country, and the foe is wise in assault and especially in surprise. And yet there can be nothing to fear, for it is not a place that we must keep, but a stronghold in which we are kept, if only, in the moment we are conscious of attack, we look “away unto our faith’s Princely Leader and Perfecter, Jesus, who endured.”
    ... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), Rose from Brier [1933], London: SPCK, 1950, p. 76 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 12:2; Acts 10:36; Rom. 5:1; 8:6; Eph. 2:14-17; Col. 3:15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have spoken peace to Your people.
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Friday, January 17, 2020

Gore: Jesus, an inward presence

Friday, January 17, 2020
    Feast of Antony of Egypt, Abbot, 356
    Commemoration of Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932
Meditation:
    Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
    —Romans 8:34 (NIV)
Quotation:
    It was something more than a glorified Christ in the heavens in which [the Apostles] believed. At the beginning John the Baptist had taught his disciples to expect from the Christ the baptism, not of water only, as in his baptism, but of the Spirit. Before His death Jesus had sought to fill His disciples’ minds with the expectation of this gift... And that Spirit had come in sensible power upon them some ten days after Jesus had disappeared for the last time from their eyes... And this Spirit was the Spirit of God, but also and therefore the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus was not to them merely a past example, or a remote Lord, but an inward presence and power. A mere example in past history becomes in experience a feebler and feebler power... But the example of Jesus was something much more than a memory. For He who had taught them in the past how to live was alive in the heavenly places, and was working within them by His Spirit.
    ... Charles Gore (1853-1932), The Philosophy of the Good Life, J. Murray, 1930, p. 195 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 8:34; Matt. 28:19,20; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-5,8; 2:1-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, we have received Your gift.
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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Tozer: personal holiness and worship

Thursday, January 16, 2020
Meditation:
    But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
    —1 John 1:7 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life.
    ... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 51 (see the book)
    See also 1 John 1:7; Ps. 56:13; Rom. 13:12; Phil. 1:27; Heb. 12:1-2; 1 John 1:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, perfect my heart, that I may know true fellowship.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Berger: religious affirmation of secular values

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
    —John 9:5 (NIV)
Quotation:
    There is a continuum of values between the churches and the general community. What distinguishes the handling of these values in the churches is mainly the heavier dosage of religious vocabulary involved... Another way of putting this is to say that the churches operate with secular values while the secular institutions are permeated with religious terminology... An objective observer is hard put to tell the difference (at least in terms of values affirmed) between the church members and those who maintain an ‘unchurched’ status. Usually the most that can be said is that the church members hold the same values as everybody else, but with more emphatic solemnity. Thus, church membership in no way means adherence to a set of values at variance with those of the general society; rather, it means a stronger and more explicitly religious affirmation of the same values held by the community at large.
    ... Peter L. Berger (1929-2017), The Noise of Solemn Assemblies, Garden City: Doubleday, 1961, p. 41 (see the book)
    See also John 9:5; Isa. 1:13-16; Matt. 5:13-16; Luke 11:33-35; Phil. 2:14-16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I cannot remake myself; only You can.
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