Saturday, February 13, 2021

Ryle: looking forward

Saturday, February 13, 2021
Meditation:
    ... [Job] said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
    —Job 1:21 (NIV)
Quotation:
    [Continued from yesterday] Let us remember it as we look forward to the days yet to come. We know not what they may be: bright or dark, many or few. But we do know that we are in the hands of Him who does all things well! He will not err in any of His dealings with us. He will take away and give,—He will afflict and bereave,—He will move and He will settle, with perfect wisdom, at the right time, in the right way. The great Shepherd of the sheep makes no mistakes! He leads every lamb of His flock by the right way, to the city of habitation.
    We shall never see the full beauty of these words, until the resurrection morning. We shall then look back over our lives, and know the meaning of everything that happened from first to last. We shall remember all the way by which we were led, and confess that all was “well done!” The why and the wherefore, the causes and the reasons of everything which now perp lexes, will be as clear and plain as the sun at noon-day. We shall wonder at our own past blindness, and marvel that we could ever have doubted our Lord’s love!
    ... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Expository thoughts on the Gospels, with the text complete, St. Mark, Ipswitch: William Hunt, 1857, p. 152 (see the book)
    See also Job 1:21; Ps. 23:1; 107:7; John 10:11; 1 Cor. 13:12-13
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have guided me all my life.
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Friday, February 12, 2021

Ryle: all things done well

Friday, February 12, 2021
    Commemoration of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (Nicolas Herman), spiritual writer, 1691
Meditation:
    People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
    —Mark 7:37 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The truth to which they gave utterance [that “He has done all things well!”], is full of deep and unspeakable comfort; and ought to be daily remembered by all true Christians.
    Let us remember it, as we look back over the past days of our lives, from the hour of our conversion. “Our Lord has done all things well!” In the first bringing us out of darkness into His marvelous light,—in humbling us and teaching us our weakness, guilt, and folly,—in stripping us of our idols, and choosing all our portions,—in placing us where we are, and giving us what we have—how well everything has been done! How great the mercy—that we have not had our own way! [continued tomorrow]
    ... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Expository thoughts on the Gospels, with the text complete, St. Mark, Ipswitch: William Hunt, 1857, p. 151 (see the book)
    See also Mark 7:37; Isa. 60:1-2; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 5:8-10; 1 Pet. 2:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, all You have done, I have benefitted from.
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Thursday, February 11, 2021

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Figgis: gone forever

Thursday, February 11, 2021
Meditation:
    For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
    —1 Peter 2:6-8 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Men have, for the most part, done with lamenting their lost faith. Sentimental tears over the happy, simple Christendom of their fathers are a thing of the past. They are proclaiming now their contempt for Christ’s character, and their disgust at the very name of love.
    Scorn and hatred, difference and division, must be more than ever our lot, if we would be the followers of Christ in these days. Conventional religion and polite unbelief are gone forever.
    ... John Neville Figgis (1866-1919), The Gospel and Human Needs, London: Longman’s, Green & Co., 1911, p. 152 (see the book)
    See also 1 Pet. 2:6-8; John 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 1:23; 2 Pet. 3:3-4; 1 John 2:15-17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, renew faith in Your people.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

van Ruysbroeck: the love of Jesus

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
    Commemoration of Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola, c.543
Meditation:
    Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
    —Matthew 9:35-36 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The love of Jesus is at once avid and generous. All that He has, all that He is, He gives; all that we are, all that we have, He takes.
    ... Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381), quoted in The Path of Eternal Wisdom: A Mystical Commentary on the Way of the Cross [1911], Evelyn Underhill, London: John M. Watkins, 1911, p. 47 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 9:35-36; Isa. 40:11; Eze. 11:19; John 6:27; 10:11; 13:34; 14:23; Rom. 6:13; 8:32; 12:1; 2 Cor. 8:5; Gal. 2:20; 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 3:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, for what You grant me, take all that I have.
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Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Manton: a gift

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Meditation:
    This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
    —Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    On God’s part, a gift, not a debt, as wages is to the servant or soldier, but charisma, a gracious gift. Though we should serve God a thousand years, we cannot merit to be one half-day in heaven. There it is a gift to those who do most exactly persevere in holiness; the best have no other claim, but the mercy of the donor.
    ... Thomas Manton (1620-1677), The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, v. 11, London: James Nisbet & Co., 1873, serm. xxiv, p. 378 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 3:22-24; Matt. 7:11; Rom. 4:4-5; 6:23; 11:28-29; Tit. 3:5-7; Jas. 1:17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your church relies utterly on Your mercy.
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Monday, February 08, 2021

Browne: solitude

Monday, February 8, 2021
Meditation:
“Am I only a God nearby,”
        declares the LORD,
    “and not a God far away?
Can anyone hide in secret places
    so that I cannot see him?”
        declares the LORD.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
        declares the LORD.
    —Jeremiah 23:23-24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude, ... but delight to be alone and single with Omnipresency.
    ... Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), Christian Morals [op. post. 1716], London: Henry Washbourne, 1845, p. 45 (see the book)
    See also Jer. 23:23-24; 1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 139:2,7-13; Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 1:45; Luke 5:16; John 14:16-18; 16:32; 1 Cor. 3:16; Col. 2:9-10; Rev. 21:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, by grace, You are present to Your church.
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Sunday, February 07, 2021

Machen: a time of doubt

Sunday, February 7, 2021
Meditation:
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
    forever.
    —Psalm 23:5-6 (NIV)
Quotation:
    If we are really convinced of the truth of our message, then we can proclaim it before a world of enemies, then the very difficulty of our task, the very scarcity of our allies becomes an inspiration, then we can even rejoice that God did not place us in an easy age, but in a time of doubt and perplexity and battle. Then, too, we shall not be afraid to call forth other soldiers into the conflict.
    ... J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), The Princeton Theological Review, v. 11, 1911, p. 13 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 23:5-6; Matt. 5:44-45; 10:6-15,34-36; Luke 6:27-28,35; Acts 20:27; Rom. 5:10; Phil. 3:17-18
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant Your people faith and boldness to proclaim Your salvation.
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