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Jones: religious education

Saturday, January 9, 2021
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
    —John 5:39-40 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Religious education without conversion is like a course in marriage relations without marriage.
    ... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Conversion, New York: Abingdon Press, 1959, p. 186 (see the book)
    See also John 5:39-40; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:15; Rom. 3:1-4; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, be present in my studies.
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Friday, January 08, 2021

Elliot: aflame

Friday, January 8, 2021
    25th anniversary of CQOD
    Commemoration of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming, martyrs, Ecuador, 1956
Meditation:
    [John the baptist:] “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
    —Matthew 3:11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    God deliver me from the dread asbestos of “other things.” Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame.
    ... Jim Elliot (1927-1956), The Journals of Jim Elliot, ed. Elisabeth Elliot, Revell, 1990, p. 72 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 3:11; Isa. 6:6-7; Rom. 1:16-17; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Thess. 5:19
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, send my diversions away, that I may follow only You.
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Thursday, January 07, 2021

Guinness: success and failure

Thursday, January 7, 2021
Meditation:
    That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    —2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)
Quotation:
    On the one hand, in matters of the spirit, nothing fails like success. On the other hand, in matters of the spirit, nothing succeeds like failure.
    ... Os Guinness (b. 1941), Dining with the Devil, Grand Rapids, Mich. Hourglass Books, 1993, p. 89 (see the book)
    See also 2 Cor. 12:10; Matt. 19:23-24; Luke 22:59-62; Jas. 5:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have shown us the strength in humility.
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Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Barth: on grace

Wednesday, January 6, 2021
    EPIPHANY
Meditation:
    Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
    —Romans 5:1-2 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Grace is the incomprehensible fact that God is well pleased with a man, and that a man can rejoice in God. Only when grace is recognized to be incomprehensible is it grace. Grace exists, therefore, only where the Resurrection is reflected. Grace is the gift of Christ, who exposes the gulf which separates God and man, and, by exposing it, bridges it.
    ... Karl Barth (1886-1968), The Epistle to the Romans, translated from the 6th edition by Edwyn C. Hoskyns, London: Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1933, 6th ed., Oxford University Press US, 1968, p. 31 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 5:1-2; Matt. 3:17; John 1:17; Rom. 1:1-4; 3:22-24; Eph. 2:8-9; Jas. 1:17-18
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have crossed the gap between us that I could never have crossed.
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Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Calvin: key to loving our enemies

Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
    —Matthew 5:44-45 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Assuredly there is but one way in which to achieve what is not merely difficult but utterly against human nature: to love those who hate us, to repay their evil deeds with benefits, to return blessings for reproaches. It is that we remember not to consider men’s evil intention but to look upon the image of God in them, which cancels and effaces their transgressions, and with its beauty and dignity allures us to love and embrace them.
    ... 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.6, p. 625 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 5:44-45; 6:14; 18:35; Luke 17:3-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have shown us the way of love.
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Monday, January 04, 2021

Edwards: God's church has never failed

Monday, January 4, 2021
Meditation:
    [The LORD:] “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”
    —1 Kings 19:18 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The work of God in converting souls, opening blind eyes, unstopping deaf ears, raising dead souls to life, and rescuing the miserable captivated souls out of the hands of Satan, was begun soon after the fall of man, has been carried on in the world ever since to this day, and will be to the end of the world. God has always, ever since the first erecting of the church of the redeemed after the fall, had such a church in the world. Though oftentimes it has been reduced to a very narrow compass, and to low circumstances; yet it has never wholly failed.
    ... Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), The Works of President Edwards, v. II, Worcester: Isaiah Thomas, Jun., 1808, p. 535 (see the book)
    See also 1 Kings 19:18; Isa. 61:1-3; Joel 2:32; Matt. 11:4-6; Luke 4:18-21; John 3:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have not given up on us.
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Sunday, January 03, 2021

Muggeridge: the last hope

Sunday, January 3, 2021
    Commemoration of Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China, 1970
Meditation:
[Jesus:]
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
    —Matthew 5:3-4 (NIV)
Quotation:
    It is precisely when every earthly hope has been explored and found wanting, when every possibility of help from earthly sources has been sought and is not forthcoming, when every recourse this world offers, moral as well as material, has been drawn on and explored with no effect, when in the shivering cold every stick of wood has been thrown on the fire and in the gathering darkness every glimmer of light has finally flickered out—it’s then that Christ’s hand reaches out, sure and firm. Then Christ’s words bring their inexpressible comfort, then his light shines brightest, abolishing the darkness for ever.
    ... Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), The End of Christendom, W. B. Eerdmans, 1980, p. 56 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 5:3-4; Isa. 53:3-5; Matt. 14:28-31; Luke 24:18-21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are hope to the hopeless.
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