Thursday, May 19, 2022

Adams: Consecration of the House

Thursday, May 19, 2022
    Feast of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
Meditation:
    But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
    —Hebrews 3:6 (NIV)
Quotation:
Consecrated brethren, we who keep our confidence,
We who learn from Jesus the obedience of our Lord,
We are house and household for the coming Prince of Glory,
Holding fast our hope in full reliance on His Word.
    ... Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985) (see the book)
    See also Heb. 3:1-6; Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:4-5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your faithfulness is my example.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Montague: the worst news of all

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Meditation:
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish of the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the LORD has done this?”
    —Job 12:7-9 (NIV)
Quotation:
    If God is not, then the existence of all that is beautiful and in any sense good, is but the accidental and ineffective by-product of blindly swirling atoms, or of the equally unpurposeful, though more conceptually complicated, mechanisms of present-day physics. A man may well believe that this dreadful thing is true. But only the fool will say in his heart that he is glad that it is true. For to wish there should be no God is to wish that the things which we love and strive to realize and make permanent, should be only temporary and doomed to frustration and destruction. If life and its fulfilments are good, why should one rejoice at the news that God is dead and that there is nothing in the whole world except our frail and perishable selves that is concerned with anything that matters?
    ... William Pepperell Montague (1873-1953), Belief Unbound, Yale University Press, 1931, p. 66-67 (see the book)
    See also Job 12:7-9; Ps. 14:1; Matt. 11:16-19; Luke 16:31; Rom. 1:18-20; Eph. 2:11-13
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may ____ and ____ come to see the truth about You.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Yaconelli: the coming dullness

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Meditation:
    At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.
    —Acts 16:33-34 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore. He changes them into “nice people”.
    ... Mike Yaconelli (1942-2003), Dangerous Wonder: the Adventure of Childlike Faith, Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 1998, p. 23 (see the book)
    See also Acts 16:31-34; Ps. 119:111; Isa. 35:1-2; Matt. 13:44; Acts 8:5-8, 38-39; 13:52; Phil. 4:4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have changed me.
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Monday, May 16, 2022

Lewis: the only complete realist

Monday, May 16, 2022
    Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877
Meditation:
    Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
    —Hebrews 4:14-15 (NIV)
Quotation:
    No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.
    ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 142 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 4:14-15; John 8:46; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, strengthen the weakness of Your people.
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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Housman: O Christ, our joy, to whom is given

Sunday, May 15, 2022
    Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
    —Luke 21:27 (NIV)
Quotation:
O Christ, our joy, to Whom is giv’n
A throne o’er all the thrones of Heav’n,
In Thee, Whose hand all things obey,
The world’s vain pleasures pass away.

So, suppliants here, we seek to win
Thy pardon for Thy people’s sin,
That, by Thine all-prevailing grace,
Uplifted, we may seek Thy face.

And when, all Heav’n beneath Thee bowed,
Thou com’st to judgment throned in cloud,
Then from our guilt wash out the stain
And give us our lost crowns again.

Be Thou our joy and strong defense,
Who art our future recompense:
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity.

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One.
    ... Laurence Housman (1865-1959), translated from 13th c. Latin verses (see the book)
    See also Luke 21:27; Ps. 2:6-9; 32:1-2; Matt. 19:28; John 1:4; Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 7:14
Quiet time reflection:
    Thank You, Lord, for Your prophecies.

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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Baillie: that the Spirit may rule

Saturday, May 14, 2022
    Feast of Matthias the Apostle
Meditation:
    Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.
    —Romans 14:13 (NIV)
Quotation:
    O Thou whose tender mercies are over all Thy works, humbly and sorrowfully I crave Thy forgiveness for the sins of this day;
    For every weakening and defiling thought to which my mind has given harbour;
    For every word spoken in hastiness or passion;
    For every failure of self-control;
    For every stumbling-block which by deed or example I have set in another’s way;
    For every opportunity lost;
    For every blessing thanklessly received;
    For loitering feet and procrastinating will;
    For this ...
    And this ...
    And this ...
And grant that, as the days go by, Thy Spirit may more and more rule in my heart, giving me victory over these and all other sinful ways.
    ... John Baillie (1886-1960) & Donald M. Baillie (1887-1954), A Diary of Private Prayer, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1939, p. 23 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 14:13; Luke 3:3; 17:12-19; 1 Cor. 8:9-13; 9:25; Phil. 4:6; 2 Pet. 1:5-6; 1 John 1:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Amen.
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Friday, May 13, 2022

Figgis: the intolerant Lord

Friday, May 13, 2022
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
    “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.”
    —Luke 6:22-23 (NIV)
Quotation:
    If you serve Christ, He will be content with nothing less than the whole of you. The service means taking up the Cross; being hard where others find it easy, being regarded by some as unintelligent, by others as bigoted, by others as uncharitable—for Christ’s lordship is intolerant. We are His sworn men and owe Him “life and limb and earthly worship” and service against all other lords; and we cannot reduce our faith into mere commonplace morals or respectable citizenship.
    ... John Neville Figgis (1866-1919), The Gospel and Human Needs, London: Longman’s, Green & Co., 1911, p. 153 (see the book)
    See also Luke 6:22-23; Matt. 5:11-12; 7:13-14; 10:21-23; 24:9-10; Mark 13:11-13; John 15:18-19; 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:8-12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant that I may hold nothing back that You desire to use.
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