Monday, February 19, 2018

Rust: the unifying principle

Monday, February 19, 2018
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!”
    —Luke 12:24-28 (NIV)
Quotation:
    We cannot find in the Old Testament the fondly drawn distinction of our latter days between the natural and the supernatural, for the whole of the natural order is so directly linked with God that its conservation must be regarded as a kind of continuous creation, quite as dependent on God’s creative Word as when first the heavens and the earth were made.
    ... E. C. Rust (1910-1991), Nature and Man in Biblical Thought, London: Lutterworth Press, 1953, p. 69 (see the book)
    See also Gen. 1:29-30; Ps. 23; Luke 12:24-28
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, we depend upon Your grace every moment.
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Whale: the great divide

Sunday, February 18, 2018
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
    —Matthew 25:31-33 (NIV)
Quotation:
    [Continued from yesterday]
    But in rejecting the [Bible’s illustrations of eternal punishment] as grotesque and even immoral, many people make the mistake of rejecting the truth it illustrated (which is rather like rejecting a book as untrue because the pictures in it are bad). It is illogical to tell men that they must do the will of God and accept his gospel of grace, if you also tell them that the obligation has no eternal significance, and that nothing ultimately depends on it. The curious modern heresy that everything is bound to come right in the end is so frivolous that I will not insult you by refuting it. “I remember,” said Dr. [Samuel] Johnson on one occasion, “that my Maker has said that he will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.” That is a solemn truth which only the empty-headed and empty-hearted will neglect. It strikes at the very roots of life and dest iny.
    ... John S. Whale (1896-1997), Christian Doctrine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966, p. 186-187 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 25:31-33; 23:33; 25:46; John 10:28; Heb. 2:2-3; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 20:14-15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your judgment is righteous.
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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Whale: the inevitable

Saturday, February 17, 2018
    Feast of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
    —John 3:13-15 (NIV)
Quotation:
    As a sinful man looking at death and beyond it, into the eternal world, I need salvation. Nothing else will meet my case. There is something genuinely at stake in every man’s life, the climax whereof is death. Dying is inevitable, but arriving at the destination God offers to me is not inevitable. It is not impossible to go out of the way and fail to arrive. Christian doctrine has always urged that life eternal is something which may conceivably be missed. It is possible to neglect this great salvation and to lose it eternally, even though no man may say that anything is impossible with God or that his grace may ultimately be defeated.
    I know it is no longer fashionable to talk about Hell, one good reason for this being that to make religion into a prudential insurance policy is to degrade it. The Faith is not a fire-escape. [Continued tomorrow]
    ... John S. Whale (1896-1997), Christian Doctrine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966, p. 186 (see the book)
    See also John 3:13-15; Job 14:2; Ps. 39:4-6; Matt. 19:25-26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27; Jas. 4:14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I pray that You take me at last to be with You forever.
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Law: death to the passions

Friday, February 16, 2018
Meditation:
    Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
    —Galatians 5:24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    There is nothing safe in religion, but in such a course of behaviour, as leaves nothing for corrupt nature to feed, or live upon; which can only then be done, when every degree of perfection we aim at, is a degree of death to the passions of the natural man.
    ... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Regeneration [1739], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. V, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 169 (see the book)
    See also Gal. 5:24; Ps. 42:1-2; Matt. 10:37; 24:12; Mark 12:30; Luke 14:26; Rom. 6:6; 8:13; Gal. 6:14; Col. 3:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me a heart that seeks Your glory in self-control.
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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bonar: Faith is rest

Thursday, February 15, 2018
    Commemoration of Thomas Bray, Priest, Founder of SPCK, 1730
Meditation:
    We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
    —Hebrews 6:19-20 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Faith is rest, not toil. It is the giving up all the former weary efforts to do or feel something good, in order to induce God to love and pardon; and the calm reception of the truth so long rejected, that God is not waiting for any such inducements, but loves and pardons of His own goodwill, and is showing that goodwill to any sinner who will come to Him on such a footing, casting away his own poor performances or goodnesses, and relying implicitly upon the free love of Him who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.
    ... Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), The Everlasting Righteousness, London: James Nisbet and Co., 1873, p. 116 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 6:19-20; Ps. 42:11; 62:5-6; John 3:16-17; Rom. 3:25-26; 4:16; 5:5-6; Col. 1:5-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, my rest is complete in You.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Carlyle: holiness vs. sin

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
    Ash Wednesday
    Feast of Cyril & Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 & 885
    Commemoration of Valentine, Martyr at Rome, c.269
Meditation:
    Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
    —Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The Christian must be consumed with the infinite beauty of holiness and the infinite damnability of sin.
    ... Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
    See also Isa. 60:1-3; Deut. 4:24; Isa. 6:3; Matt. 23:33; Heb. 12:29
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, take my sin away, that I may see Your holiness.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Calvin: the proper defense of righteousness

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Meditation:
    Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
    —2 John 9 (NIV)
Quotation:
    To pious and peaceable persons [Augustine] gives this advice: that they should correct in mercy whatever they can; that what they cannot, they should patiently bear, and affectionately lament, till God either reform and correct it, or, at the harvest, root up the tares and sift out the chaff. All pious persons should study to fortify themselves with these counsels, lest, while they consider themselves as valiant and strenuous defenders of righteousness, they depart from the kingdom of heaven, which is the only kingdom of righteousness. For since it is the will of God that the communion of his Church should be maintained in this external society, those who, from an aversion to wicked men, destroy the token of that society, enter on a course in which they are in great danger of falling from the communion of saints.
    ... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, IV.i.16, p. 238 (see the book)
    See also 2 John 1:9; Matt. 13:24-30; 25:32; Rom. 12:18; 1 Cor. 4:5; 12:18-20,25; Phil. 2:1-2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, drive schism from my heart, so that I know only Christ.
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