Saturday, March 28, 2009

Watts: Jesus invites His saints

March 28, 2009

    Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
    -- 1 Corinthians 10:16,17 (NIV)

    Jesus invites His saints
        To meet around His board;
    Here pardon'd rebels sit and hold
        Communion with their Lord.
    For food He give His flesh,
        He bids us drink His blood;
    Amazing favor! matchless grace
        Of our descending God!
    This holy bread and wine
        Maintains our fainting breath,
    By union with our living Lord
        And interest in His death.
    Let all our powers be join'd
        His glorious name to raise;
    Pleasure and love fill every mind,
        And every voice be praise.
    ... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Hymns and Spiritual Songs [1707], vol. III, n. 2 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have pardoned my rebellion against You.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

M'Cheyne: praying at a distance

    Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
    -- John 14:19,20 (NIV)

    If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.
    ... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), The Life and Remains, Letters, Lectures, and Poems of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne, Andrew Alexander Bonar, New York, R. Carter, 1866, p.138 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your presence drives out all fear.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Moule: all things work together for good

March 26, 2009
    Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883

    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.
    -- Rom. 8:28 (NIV)

    There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that situation create something that is surpassingly good. He did it at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today.
    ... Bishop Handley Moule (1841-1920)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I embrace the good that is yet to come from Your hand.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Muggeridge: the Cross and the commandments

March 25, 2009
    Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary

    [Jesus:] "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
    -- Matthew 22:40 (NIV)

    As out of Jesus' affliction came a new sense of God's love and a new basis for love between men, so out of our affliction we may grasp the splendor of God's love and how to love one another. Thus the consummation of the two commandments was on Golgotha; and the Cross is, at once, their image and their fulfillment.
    ... Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), Jesus, the Man who Lives, Harper & Row, 1975, p. 133 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    All desires are fulfilled in You, Lord.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simeon: a double blessing

March 24, 2009
    Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
    Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953

    And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
    -- 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (KJV)

    In this state of things I saw no remedy but faith and patience. The passage of Scripture which subdued and controlled my mind was this, "The servant of the Lord must not strive." It was painful indeed to see the church, with the exception of the aisles, almost forsaken; but I thought that if God would only give a double blessing to the congregation that did attend, there would on the whole be as much good done, as if the congregation were doubled, and the blessing limited to only half the amount. This comforted me many, many times, when, without such a reflection, I should have sunk under my burden.
    ... Charles Simeon (1759-1836), Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, Pittsburgh: R. Carter, 1847, p. 26 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I leave the concern of numbers in Your hands.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Thomas à Kempis: safety in the opposite

March 23, 2009

    I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
    -- Psalm 143:5,6 (NIV)

    No man safely goeth abroad who loveth not to rest at home. No man safely talketh but he who loveth to hold his peace. No man safely ruleth but he who loveth to be subject. No man safely commandeth but he who loveth to obey.
    ... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], cap. XX. (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me contentment in the task You have set before me.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Calvin: a sub-christian reverence?

March 22, 2009

    Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
    -- John 17:3 (NIV)

    It would be the height of absurdity to label ignorance tempered by humility "faith;" for faith consists in the knowledge of God and Christ, not in reverence for the Church.
    ... John Calvin (1509-1564), Institutes of the Christian Religion [1559], iii.2.3 (see the book)

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are the source of all true faith.

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