Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Singh: bearing the cross

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
    Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929
Meditation:
    Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
    —Matthew 16:24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    From my ten years’ experience I can unhesitatingly say that the Cross bears those who bear the Cross.
    ... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), quoted in Sádhu Sundar Singh, Called of God, Rebecca Jane Parker, New York: Fleming H. Revell Co. 1920, p. 85 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 16:24-25; 10:38; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; 14:27; 1 Pet. 4:1-2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me Your strength to bear my cross.
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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Phillips: light enough for walking

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Meditation:
    Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    —1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)
Quotation:
    [Continued from yesterday]
    But even the Christian, for all this satisfying and hopeful conviction, does not know the meaning of the mystery of life, and if he is wise he does not pretend to. He has enough light to light him on his way, but there are a great many gaps in his knowledge. When he says, “one day we shall understand”, he is by no means always uttering a pious platitude. Quite frequently he is voicing a solid conviction, a genuine facet of hope. At present his vision is severely limited, and that is probably just as well if his sanity is to be preserved. But when he is free from the limitations of temporal life, he has every hope of being able to know as surely as he is at present known.
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, ch. v, p. 67 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 13:12; Ps. 119:105; Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:7; Phil. 3:12; 1 John 3:2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your promises guide my steps.
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Monday, June 17, 2019

Phillips: the passing world

Monday, June 17, 2019
    Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936
Meditation:
    Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
    —1 Timothy 6:17 (KJV)
Quotation:
    [The Christian] refuses to give his heart to, or be taken in by, the values and pleasures of this passing world. He does not hesitate to use all that is good and beautiful and true, partly because he knows that his God gives him “richly all things to enjoy,” and partly because he knows that in all life’s impermanent beauties and pleasures, there is the promise of the real and permanent which he is thoroughly convinced will exceed his wildest expectations. [Continued tomorrow]
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, ch. v, p. 67 (see the book)
    See also 1 Tim. 6:17; Matt. 7:11; Luke 11:13; Rom. 6:23; 9:23; Col. 1:27; Jas. 1:17; 1 John 5:11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your reality fulfills Your word.
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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Chadwick: miracles and laws

Sunday, June 16, 2019
    Trinity Sunday
    Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
    Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752
Meditation:
    Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
    Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.”
    —John 10:22-26 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Some will not believe in miracles because the laws of nature work uniformly. But their uniformity is undisturbed by human operations; the will of man wields, without cancelling, these mighty forces which surround us: and why may not the will of God do the same?
    ... G. A. Chadwick (1840-1923), The Gospel According to St. Mark, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891, p. 316 (see the book)
    See also John 10:22-26; Mark 11:27-33; John 10:38; 12:37; 14:11; Acts 2:22
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, we lack knowledge of You. Show us Your ways.
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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Underhill: here and now

Saturday, June 15, 2019
    Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941
Meditation:
    Consider [Jesus] who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
    —Hebrews 12:3 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Christianity is a religion which concerns us as we are here and now, creatures of body and soul. We do not “follow the footsteps of his most holy life” by the exercise of a trained religious imagination, but by treading the firm, rough earth, up hill and down dale.
    ... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The School of Charity, New York: Longmans, Green, 1934, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1991, p. 52 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 12:3; Matt. 5:23-24; 8:19-22; John 15:18-19; 2 Thess. 3:13; Heb. 3:1; 12:2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, cure my impatience with this long, slow work.
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Friday, June 14, 2019

Baxter: sects

Friday, June 14, 2019
    Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691
Meditation:
    All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
    —Acts 4:32 (NIV)
Quotation:
    I apprehend it is a matter of great necessity to imprint true catholicism on the minds of Christians, it being a most lamentable thing to observe how few Christians in the world there be, that fall not into one sect or other... And if they can but get to be of a sect which they think the holiest (as the Anabaptists and the Separatists), or which is the largest (as the Greeks and the Romans), they think then that they are sufficiently warranted to deny others to be God’s Church, or at least to deny them Christian love and communion.
    ... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. I, ed. William Orme, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 595-596 (see the book)
    See also Acts 4:32; Ps. 133:1; John 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3-6; Phil. 2:2-4; Heb. 13:1; 1 Pet. 3:8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, heal our divisions.
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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Chesterton: escape from an old dilemma

Thursday, June 13, 2019
    Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936
Meditation:
    “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
    —Romans 3:18 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. Some followers of the Rev. R. J. Campbell, in their almost too fastidious spirituality, admit divine sinlessness, which they cannot see even in their dreams. But they essentially deny human sin, which they can see in the street. The strongest saints and the strongest sceptics alike took positive evil as the starting-point of their argument. If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions. He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and Man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.
    ... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Orthodoxy, London, New York: John Lane Company, 1909, p. 24 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 3:18; Ps. 36:1; Pr. 16:6; Luke 23:39-41
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You must lead us out of our blindness.
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