Saturday, September 12, 2020

Gregory of Nyssa: the trustworthy charts

Saturday, September 12, 2020
Meditation:
    After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
    —John 2:22 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Just as at sea those who are carried away from the direction of the harbor bring themselves back on course by a clear sign, so Scripture may guide those adrift on the sea of life back into the harbor of the divine will.
    ... St. Gregory of Nyssa (331?-396?), The Life of Moses, Paulist Press, 1978, p. 32 (see the book)
    See also John 2:22; Jonah 2:8-9; Matt. 8:24-27; 2 Tim. 3:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your resurrection is our guiding beacon.
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Friday, September 11, 2020

Taylor: the full capacity of prayer

Friday, September 11, 2020
Meditation:
    The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
    He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”
    —Luke 17:5-6 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity... If we want to see mighty works of Divine grace and power wrought, in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let [us] answer God’s standing challenge, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
    ... J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), included in Good News for Russia, ed. Jesse Wendell Brooks, Chicago: The Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1918, p. 32 (see the book)
    See also Luke 17:5-6; Ps. 50:14-15; 145:18; Jer. 33:3; Joel 2:32; Matt. 17:20; Luke 11:9-10; Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant us the desire to see Your work in our lives and in the world.
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Thursday, September 10, 2020

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Lapp: the stability of the biblical text

Thursday, September 10, 2020
Meditation:
    [The LORD] spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
    —Psalm 99:7 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 by two Ta’amireh shepherds produced more changes in the life of the tribe than it did in the text of the Old Testament.
    ... Paul W. Lapp (d. 1970), in Biblical Archaeology Review, v. IV, n. 1, March, 1978, p. 16 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 99:7; Hos. 8:12; Matt. 5:18; Rom. 3:1-2; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:12; 2 Pet. 1:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have given us Your authentic word.
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Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Forsyth: the practice of prayer

Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
    —John 10:14-15 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Ten minutes went by, nearly two complete triangles. I had not prayed, not really prayed, for many years, and the habit came hard. Lord, please get me out of this bloody mess... No, you mustn’t talk like that to Him. “Our Father, which art in Heaven—” He’d heard that a thousand times, would be hearing it another thousand times tonight. What do you say to Him when you want help? Please, God, make somebody notice me up here; please make someone see me flying in triangles, and send up a shepherd to help me down to a safe landing. Please help me, and I promise—What on earth could I promise Him? He had no need of me, and I, who now had need of Him, had taken no notice of Him for so long that He’d probably forgotten all about me.
    ... Frederick Forsyth (b. 1938), The Shepherd, Viking Press, 1976, p. 51 (see the book)
    See also John 10:14-15; Ps. 23:1; John 10:11; Rom. 10:13
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You save those who call upon Your name.
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Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Kierkegaard: in the midst of life

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
    Commemoration of Søren Kierkegaard, Teacher and Philosopher, 1855
Meditation:
    For in just a very little while, ”He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.“ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
    —Hebrews 10:37-39 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Sermons should not be preached in churches. It harms Christianity in a high degree and alters its very nature, that it is brought into an artistic remoteness from reality, instead of being heard in the midst of real life, and that precisely for the sake of the conflict (the collision). For all this talk about quiet, about quiet places and quiet hours, as the right element for Christianity is absurd.
    So then sermons should not be preached in churches but in the midst of life, of the reality of daily life, weekday life.
    ... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), quoted in Kierkegaard’s Attack upon “Christendom,” 1854-1855, tr., Walter Lowrie, Princeton University Press, 1968, p. 2 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 10:37-39; Matt. 10:26-27; Luke 4:18-19; 2 Pet. 1:16; 1 John 1:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have promised to give us the words to speak at the right time.
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Monday, September 07, 2020

Carmichael: forgive but not forget

Monday, September 7, 2020
    Commemoration of Douglas Downes, Founder of the Society of Saint Francis, 1957
Meditation:
    Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
    —1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
Quotation:
    If I say, “Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget,” as though God, who twice a day washes all the sands on all the shores of all the world, could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
    ... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), If [1938], London: SPCK, 1961, p. 40 (see the book)
    See also 1 Pet. 3:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13
Quiet time reflection:
    Purify and complete my forgiveness, Lord.
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Sunday, September 06, 2020

Thielecke: beyond anesthetics

Sunday, September 6, 2020
    Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851
    Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] In hell, where [the rich man] was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with [the beggar] Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
    —Luke 16:23-24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Life provides all kinds of astonishingly effective anodynes and narcotics, all of which are nothing but misused gifts of God. But now in hell, that is, beyond a fixed boundary set by God, all the securities and safeguards disappear into thin air. What here is only a tiny flame of secret self-reproach that flickers up occasionally and is quickly smothered, there becomes a scorching fire. What here is no more than a slight ticking sound in our conscience suddenly becomes the trumpet tone of judgment which can no longer be ignored. Lazarus is permitted to see what he believed, but the rich man is compelled to see what he did not believe.
    ... Helmut Thielicke (1908-1986), The Waiting Father: the parables of Jesus, New York: Harper & Row, 1975, p. 48 (see the book)
    See also Luke 16:19-31; Acts 28:23; 1 Cor. 4:4; 2 Cor. 4:3; 1 Tim. 1:18-19; Rev. 4:9-11; 20:10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have returned from death so that Your people might believe and be saved.
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