Saturday, January 16, 2021

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Winter: structural introversion in the Church

Saturday, January 16, 2021
Meditation:
    We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
    —2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The introverted church is one which puts its own survival before its mission, its own identity above its task, its internal concerns before its apostolate, its rituals before its ministry... Undue emphasis on the static structure of the Church has led to the disappearance of a significant lay ministry in denominational Protestantism.
    ... Gibson Winter (1916-2002), The Suburban Captivity of the Churches, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, p. 103 (see the book)
    See also 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Matt. 24:12-13; Phil. 3:12-14; 1 Thess. 4:9-10; Heb. 6:10-11; Rev. 2:4-5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, correct our focus, so that our institutions reflect Your grace to the world.
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Friday, January 15, 2021

Augustine: death, then what?

Friday, January 15, 2021
Meditation:
    Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
    —1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Of this at least I am certain, that no one has ever died who was not destined to die some time. Now the end of life puts the longest life on a par with the shortest... And of what consequence is it what kind of death puts an end to life, since he who has died once is not forced to go through the same ordeal a second time? ... They, then, who are destined to die, need not be careful to inquire what death they are to die, but into what place death will usher them.
    ... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), The City of God, v. I [426], Marcus Dods, ed., as vol. 1 of The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Edinbugh: T & T Clark, 1871, I.11, p. 18 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 15:51-57; 2 Sam. 14:14; Ps. 89:48; Luke 16:19-31; Heb. 9:27-28
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have provided for my salvation.
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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Tillotson: assurance vs. speculation

Thursday, January 14, 2021
    Commemoration of Richard Meux Benson, Founder of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1915
Meditation:
    If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
    —Matthew 7:11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Every man hath greater assurance that God is good and just, than he can have of any subtle speculations about predestination and the decrees of God.
    ... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VI, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CXXX, p. 311 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 7:11; Gen. 18:23; Matt. 5:48; Luke 24:38; Gal. 1:8; 1 John 4:8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You know our doubts, for You feed us afresh with Your word.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hilary: Christ is God

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
    Feast of Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, Teacher, 367
    Commemoration of Kentigern (Mungo), Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde & Cumbria, 603
Meditation:
    For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
    —1 Corinthians 8:5-6 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The very centre of a saving faith is the belief not merely in God, but in God as a Father; not merely in Christ, but in Christ as the Son of God; in Him, not as a creature, but as God the Creator, born of God. My prime object is by the clear assertions of prophets and evangelists to refute the insanity and ignorance of men who use the unity of God (in itself a pious and profitable confession) as a cloak for their denial either that in Christ God was born, or [also] that He is very God.
    ... St. Hilary (ca. 300-367?), On the Trinity, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, v. IX, Philip Schaff & Henry Wace, ed., New York: Christian Literature Company, 1902, p. 45 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 8:5-6; John 1:3; Rom. 1:4; Col. 1:16-17; 1 John 4:2; 5:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have revealed to us who you are.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Nouwen: accomplishment?

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
    Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
    Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689
Meditation:
    We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
    —1 Corinthians 4:10-13 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? but: Are you in love with Jesus?
    ... Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996), In the name of Jesus [1989], New York: Crossroad, 1993, p. 24 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 4:10-13; Acts 4:18-20; 9:15-16; Col. 1:24; 1 Pet. 4:13-14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, strengthen our love for You.
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Monday, January 11, 2021

Rupp: what we stand for

Monday, January 11, 2021
    Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915
Meditation:
    Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
    —Revelation 22:1-2 (NIV)
Quotation:
    It may be that the grace of renewal will not be given to us in our separation, will not be given until we stand together for the healing of the nations.
    ... Gordon Rupp (1910-1986)
    See also Rev. 22:1-2; Ps. 85:4; John 17:11; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:22-24; Phil. 1:27-28; Tit. 3:4-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, speak to Your people, that they may unite in Your word.
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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Spurgeon: law and grace

Sunday, January 10, 2021
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
    —Luke 15:7 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The law is for the self-righteous, to humble their pride: the gospel is for the lost, to remove their despair.
    ... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), All of Grace, New York: R. Carter, 1886, p. 14 (see the book)
    See also Luke 15:7; Lam. 3:18-22; Mark 2:16-17; John 9:39-41; 2 Cor. 4:8-9; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 12:12-13
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have convinced me of sin in my life.
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