Saturday, August 09, 2014

Packer: the source of revelation

Saturday, August 9, 2014
    Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921
    No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
    —John 1:18 (NIV)
    Revelation is a divine activity, not a human achievement. It is not the same thing as discovery or the dawning of insight or the emerging of a bright idea. Revelation does not mean people finding God, but God finding us, God sharing his secrets with us, God showing us himself.
    ... James I. Packer (b. 1926), God has Spoken: revelation and the Bible, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1965, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979, p. 46 (see the book)
    See also John 1:18; Eze. 34:16; Matt. 3:17; 9:12-13; 10:6; 15:24; 16:15-17; 17:5; Luke 5:31-32; 19:10; John 1:14; 3:16; 15:15; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have revealed Yourself in Jesus.
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Friday, August 08, 2014

Pascal: convincing the whole man

Friday, August 8, 2014
    Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
    I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
    —Romans 15:18-19 (NIV)
    Miracles and truth are necessary, because it is necessary to convince the entire man, in body and soul.
    ... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #806, p. 285 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 15:18-19; Matt. 11:2-5; Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8; 15:12; 1 Cor. 1:22-25; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your power is manifest all around us.
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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Germanus: By fruit, the ancient Foe's device

Thursday, August 7, 2014
    Commemoration of John Mason Neale, Priest, Poet, 1866
    Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
    The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”
    But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
    —John 2:19-21 (NIV)
By fruit, the ancient Foe’s device
Drave Adam forth from Paradise:
Christ, by the cross of shame and pain,
Brought back the dying Thief again:
“When in Thy kingdom, Lord,” said he,
“Thou shalt return, remember me!”

Thy Holy Passion we adore
And Resurrection evermore:
With heart and voice to Thee on high,
As Adam and the Thief we cry:
“When in Thy kingdom Thou shalt be
“Victor o’er all things, think of me!”

Thou, after three appointed days,
Thy Body’s Temple didst upraise:
And Adam’s children, one and all,
With Adam, to New Life didst call:
“When Thou,” they cry, “shalt Victor be
“In that Thy kingdom, think of me!”

Early, O Christ, to find Thy Tomb,
The weeping Ointment-bearers come.
The Angel, cloth’d in white, hath said,
“Why seek the Living with the dead?
“The Lord of Life hath burst death’s chain,
“Whom here ye mourn and seek in vain.”

The Apostles, on Thy Vision bent,
To that appointed mountain went:
And there they worship when they see,
And there the message comes from Thee,
That every race beneath the skies
They should disciple and baptize.

We praise the Father, God on High,
The Holy Son we magnify:
Nor less our praises shall adore
The Holy Ghost for evermore;
This grace, Blest Trinity, we crave;
Thy suppliant servants hear and save.
    ... St. Germanus (634?-734?) & John Mason Neale (1818-1866), Hymns of the Eastern Church, London: J. T. Hayes, 1870, p. 87-89 (see the book)
    See also John 2:19-21; Gen. 3:22-24; Matt. 12:38-39; 28:5-6,16-20; Luke 23:42; 24:5-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have cancelled the Fall.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Phillips: the morality of justification by faith

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
    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 12:2 (NIV)
    One of Paul’s most important teachings... is the doctrine of what we call “justification by faith.” It frequently appears to the non-Christian mind that this is an immoral or at least unmoral doctrine. Paul appears to be saying that a man is justified before God, not by his goodness or badness, not by his good deeds or bad deeds, but by believing in a certain doctrine of Atonement.
    Of course, when we come to examine the matter more closely, we can see that there is nothing unmoral in this teaching at all. For if “faith” means using a God-given faculty to apprehend the unseen divine order, and means, moreover, involving oneself in that order by personal commitment, we can at once see how different that is from merely accepting a certain view of Christian redemption... That which man in every religion, every century, every country, was powerless to effect, God has achieved by the devastating humility of His action and suffering in Jesus Christ. Now, accepting such an action as a fait accompli is only possible by this perceptive faculty of “faith.” It requires not merely intellectual assent but a shifting of personal trust from the achievements of the self to the completely undeserved action of God. To accept this teaching by mind and heart does, indeed, require a metanoia [Gr. &ldqu! o;transformation”], a revolution in the outlook of both heart and mind.
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, chapt. iv, p. 45-46 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 9:13; 20:28; Mark 2:17; 10:45; Luke 5:32; Acts 5:5; 20:21; 26:20; Rom. 2:4; 3:25-26; 12:2; 2 Cor. 7:8-10; 2 Tim. 2:25-26; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 John 2:2; 4:10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, continue the transformation of my mind for the sake of Christ.
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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Eckhart: the presence of the Kingdom

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
    Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642
    Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
    —Luke 17:20-21 (NIV)
    God’s Kingdom is no small thing: we may survey in imagination all the worlds of God’s creation, but they are not God’s Kingdom. In whichever soul His Kingdom appeareth, and which knoweth God’s Kingdom, that soul needeth no human preaching or instruction; it is taught from within and assured of eternal life.
    ... Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?), Meister Eckhart’s Sermons, tr., Claud Field, H. R. Allenson, London, 1909, p. 20 (see the book)
    See also Luke 17:20-21; Jer. 31:33-34; Matt. 12:28; John 16:13; 18:36; Rom. 14:17-18; Col. 1:27
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your Spirit testifies within me to the Kingdom.
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Monday, August 04, 2014

Moody: little things

Monday, August 4, 2014
    Feast of John Vianney, Curè d’Ars, 1859
    Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
    —John 4:27 (NIV)
    There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord; but few of us willing to do little things... Look at that wonderful sermon that [Jesus] preached to that lone woman at the well of Samaria. He was tired and weary, but he had time and the heart to preach to her. This is but one of many instances in the life of the Master from which we may learn a precious lesson. If the Son of God had time to preach to one soul, cannot every one of us go and do the same?
    ... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), The Gospel Awakening, Chicago: Fairbanks and Palmer Publishing Company, 1885, p. 154 (see the book)
    See also John 4:27; Luke 7:39; John 3:1-3; 9:35-37; Acts 8:26-27; Rom. 10:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, help me to know whom I should preach the Gospel to.
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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Sadgrove & Wright: the family of God

Sunday, August 3, 2014
    If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    —Galatians 3:29 (NIV)
    The Old and New Testaments never waver in their assertion that the promises of Abraham were for all the nations of the earth: physical descent from the patriarch is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for salvation. But the theology of the Church is in no way weakened by this point; it is rather given more definite content. God’s way of salvation is to start a family; we are saved by belonging to it.
    ... Michael Sadgrove (b. 1950) & N. T. Wright (b. 1948), “Jesus Christ the Only Saviour”, in The Lord Christ [1980], John Stott, ed., vol. 1 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 68 (see the book)
    See also Gal. 3:29; Gen. 18:18; Ps. 72:17; Acts 3:25; Rom. 4:16; 8:16-17; Gal. 3:8; Eph. 3:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, all nations will praise You for Your salvation.
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