Saturday, March 13, 2021

Neill: forgiveness

Saturday, March 13, 2021
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.”
    —Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)
Quotation:
    [Forgiveness] recognises the wrongdoer as a person. He has done wrong, and about this there is no pretence. But that is not the whole truth about him. He is still of infinite value as a person, since every person is unique and irreplaceable by any other. Since he has so greatly injured himself by doing wrong, he is in special need of help, and help that can be rendered only by the one to whom he has done the wrong.
    ... Stephen Neill (1900-1984), A Genuinely Human Existence: Towards a Christian Psychology, Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1959, p. 210 (see the book)
    See also Luke 6:27-29; Matt. 6:14-15; Luke 6:37; Rom. 12:14,17-21; 2 Cor. 2:6-8; Eph. 4:32; 5:1-2; 1 John 2:1-2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me grace to help those who have injured me.
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Friday, March 12, 2021

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Maurice: the eternity of baptism

Friday, March 12, 2021
Meditation:
    ... this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
    —1 Peter 3:21-22 (NIV)
Quotation:
    They, looking at Baptism as an act done in an instant, and accomplishing its purpose in an instance, and not rather as the witness of an eternal truth, the sacrament of constant union, the assurance of a continual living presence, are driven to this conclusion: that the moment after it has been performed is a period of ideal purity and excellence, from which the future life even of a saint is a deflection, and which those who have wandered far into sin cannot hope to recover. These must be content, by much prayer and fasting, to seek for God’s mercy, which may, perhaps, though there is no certain promise to uphold the flattering expectation, once again redeem them out of sin and hell... Where is the minister of Christ in London, Birmingham, or Manchester, whom such a doctrine, heartily and inwardly entertained, would not drive to madness? He is sent to preach the Gospel. What Gospel? Of all the thousands whom he addresses, he cannot venture t o believe that there are two who, in Dr. Pusey’s sense, retain their baptismal purity. All he can do, therefore, is to tell wretched creatures, who spend eighteen hours out of the twenty-four in close factories and bitter toil, corrupting and being corrupted, that if they spend the remaining six in prayer—he need not add fasting—they may possibly be saved. How can we insult God and torment man with such mockery?
    ... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), The Kingdom of Christ: or Hints on the principles..., letters, by a clergyman of the Church of England, 1837, p. 96 (see the book)
    See also 1 Pet. 3:18-22; Isa. 53:4-6; Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:11-14,20-23; Heb. 9:26; 1 Pet. 4:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have purchased Your people from slavery.
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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Swinburne: knowing God means knowing about him also

Thursday, March 11, 2021
Meditation:
    Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
    —1 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Preachers never tire of telling us that knowing about God is one thing and knowing God is another; but although these are distinct, it would be very odd if you could know God at all well without knowing quite a lot about him. After all, we know an ordinary friend better when we know something about that person’s history and character.
    ... Richard G. Swinburne (b. 1934), Philosophers Who Believe, Kelly James Clark, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1993, p. 200 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 4:6; Isa. 66:2; Jer. 31:34; Matt. 7:7-8; 11:29
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have revealed Yourself to Your people.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Bounds: to be a Christian

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Meditation:
    [Jesus] withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
    —Luke 22:41-42 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Prayer has everything to do with moulding the soul into the image of God, and has everything to do with enhancing and enlarging the measure of Divine grace. It has everything to do with enriching, broadening and maturing the soul’s experience of God. That man cannot possibly be called a Christian, who does not pray.
    ... E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), The Necessity of Prayer [1907], Lulu, 2007, p. 26 (see the book)
    See also Luke 22:41-42; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 18:1-7; Phil. 4:6; Heb. 4:16; Jas. 5:16; Jude 1:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, incline my heart more towards prayer.
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Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Underhill: the interior life

Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Meditation:
    Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
    —Philippians 4:5 (NIV)
Quotation:
    By the quality of our inner lives I do not mean something characterized by ferocious intensity and strain. I mean rather such a humble and genial devotedness as we find in the most loving of the saints. I mean the quality which makes contagious Christians, makes people catch the love of God from you.
    ... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), Concerning the Inner Life, London: Methuen, 1927, p. 12 (see the book)
    See also Phil. 4:5; Matt. 5:16; John 15:9-10; Col. 3:12; 1 John 4:12; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; Jude 1:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant that I may show forth Your love.
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Monday, March 08, 2021

Studdert Kennedy: the spread of evil

Monday, March 8, 2021
    Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
Meditation:
    For [those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority] mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
    —2 Peter 2:18-19 (NIV)
Quotation:
    We have forgotten that evil is infectious, as infectious as small-pox; and we do not perceive that if we allow whole departments of our life to become purely secular, and to create and maintain moral or immoral standards of their own, in time the whole of life is bound to become corrupt.
    ... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 225-226 (see the book)
    See also 2 Pet. 2:18-19; Ps. 14:1-3; Matt. 15:11; Mark 7:20-23; Rom. 1:18-23; 8:20-21; Gal. 6:8; 2 Pet. 1:4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have come to free sinners.
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Sunday, March 07, 2021

Taylor: divine love

Sunday, March 7, 2021
    Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
Meditation:
    [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    —1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Love is [careful] of little things, of circumstances and measures, and of little accidents; not allowing to itself any infirmity which it strives not to master, aiming at what it cannot yet reach, desiring to be of an angelic purity, and of a perfect innocence and a seraphical fervour, and fears every image of offense; is as much afflicted at an idle word as some at an act of adultery, and will not allow to itself so much anger as will disturb a child, nor endure the impurity of a dream. And this is the curiosity and niceness of divine love: this is the fear of God, and is the daughter and production of love.
    ... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living [1650], in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 158 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 6:31; John 13:14-15; 15:12-13,17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, let me see wrong done to others before seeking the right for myself.
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