Tuesday, April 20, 2021

de Sales: call it as it is

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Meditation:
With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor,
    but through knowledge the righteous escape.
    —Proverbs 11:9 (NIV)
Quotation:
    While extremely sensitive as to the slightest approach to slander, you must also guard against an extreme into which some people fall who, in their desire to speak evil of no one, actually uphold and speak well of vice. If you have to do with one who is unquestionably a slanderer, do not excuse him by calling him frank and free-spoken; do not call one who is notoriously vain, liberal and elegant; do not call dangerous levities mere simplicity; do not screen disobedience under the name of zeal; or arrogance of frankness; or evil intimacy of friendship. No, my friends, we must never, in our wish to shun slander, foster or flatter vice in others: but we must call evil evil, and sin sin, and so doing we shall serve God’s glory.
    ... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life [1609], London: Rivingtons, 1876, III.xxix, p. 246 (see the book)
    See also Prov. 11:9; Ps. 97:10; Amos 5:15; Jas. 1:19,26; Jude 1:4-5,14-16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, correct my habit of excusing evil.
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Monday, April 19, 2021

Schaeffer: judgment of doctrine

Monday, April 19, 2021
    Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012
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. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
    —2 John 9-11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The church is to judge whether a man is a Christian on the basis of his doctrine, the propositional content of his faith, and then his credible profession of faith. When a man comes before a local church that is doing its job, he will be quizzed on the content of what he believes. If, for example, a church is conducting a heresy trial (the New Testament indicates there are to be heresy trials in the church of Christ), the question of heresy will turn on the content of the man’s doctrine. The church has a right to judge, in fact it is commanded to judge, a man on the content of what he believes and teaches.
    ... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The Mark of the Christian, Inter-Varsity Press, 1976, p. 16 (see the book)
    See also 2 John 1:9-11; Matt. 7:15; Rom. 16:17-18; Gal. 1:6-7; 3:1; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:3; Tit. 3:10-11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have led Your people into truth with Your Spirit.
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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Underhill: the essential offertory

Sunday, April 18, 2021
Meditation:
    Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    —Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The offertory is the first essential action of the Liturgy, because in it we make the costly and solemn oblation, under tokens, of our very selves and all our substance; that they may be transformed, quickened, and devoted to the interests of God.
    ... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Mystery of Sacrifice, New York: Longmans, Green, 1938, p. 29 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 12:1-2; Gen. 22:12; Matt. 5:23-24; 19:21; Heb. 13:15-16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, make my offering holy before You.
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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Gwatkin: a definitive entry

Saturday, April 17, 2021
Meditation:
    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
    —Galatians 3:26-27 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Christian life properly began with Baptism, for Baptism was the convert’s confession before men, the soldier’s oath (sacramentum) which enlisted him in the service of Christ. Till that decisive step was taken, he could not be more than a friendly heathen.
    ... Henry M. Gwatkin (1844-1916), Early Church History to A.D. 312, v. I, London: Macmillan, 1912, p. 248 (see the book)
    See also Gal. 3:26-27; Mark 1:8; 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; 8:36-38; 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your baptized servants stand ready.
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Friday, April 16, 2021

Murray: praying without ceasing

Friday, April 16, 2021
Meditation:
    Pray without ceasing.
    —1 Thessalonians 5:17 (AV)
Quotation:
    If the spiritual life be healthy, under the full power of the Holy Spirit, praying without ceasing will be natural.
    ... Andrew Murray (1828-1917), The Ministry of Intercession: a plea for more prayer, New York: Revell, 1898, p. 192 (see the book)
    See also 1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 18:1; 21:36; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may my life be one of continual prayer.
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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Isaac of Syria: withdrawing from the world

Thursday, April 15, 2021
Meditation:
    Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
    —1 Peter 2:11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    No one can approach God without withdrawing from the world. By withdrawal I do not mean change of physical dwelling place, but withdrawal from worldly affairs. The virtue of withdrawal from the world consists in not occupying your mind with the world.
    ... St. Isaac of Syria (d. c. 700), quoted in Early Fathers from the Philokalia, Saint Makarios (Metropolitan of Corinth), comp. & E. Kadloubovsky, Gerald Eustace Howell Palmer, trs., Faber and Faber, 1959, p. 183 (see the book)
    See also 1 Pet. 2:11; Matt. 6:25-34; Mark 8:35-37; Luke 17:33; John 15:19; Rom. 12:2; Phil. 3:18-19; Tit. 2:11-14; Jas. 4:4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, turn my idle mind away from the world’s concerns and towards You.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Calvin: to His glory

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Meditation:
    You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
    —Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Now the great thing is this: we are consecrated and dedicated to God in order that we may thereafter think, speak, meditate, and do, nothing except to his glory. For a sacred thing may not be applied to profane uses without marked injury to him.
    ... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.vii.1, p. 619 (see the book)
    See also Eph. 4:22-24; Ps. 119:11; Rom. 12:1-2; 14:8; Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 5:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have consecrated Your people to Your glory.
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