Quote Title Quotation Source
No Finish Line, No Pit Stops Just as the end of life is the beginning of death, so also stopping in the race of virtue marks the beginning of the race of evil. Gregory of Nyssa – The Life of Moses, circa 375; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Walking Is A Continuous Action If self-denial is a condition for salvation, desire to be saved must make self-denial a part of everyday life. If humility is a Christian duty, then the everyday life of a Christian must show forth humility. If we are called to care for the sick, the naked, and the imprisoned, these expressions of love must be a constant effort in our lives. If we are to love our enemies, our daily life must demonstrate that love. If we are called to be thankful, to be wise, to be holy, they must show forth in our lives. If we are to be new people in Christ, then we will show our newness to the world. If we are to follow Christ, it must be in the way we spend each day. William Law -God the Rule and Measure, circa 1750; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
The Victorious Virtue True virtue and love reside in the will alone. It is a great virtue to always desire God, to keep the mind steadily turned toward Him, and to bring it back whenever it is perceived to wander. In short, to will nothing but what He wills,… to remain the same in the spirit of a submissive irreclaimable, burnt-offering. Fenelon – Christian Counsel, circa 1690, copyright 2002 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Freely You Have Received, Now Give Freely The true Christian life is a balanced life one of receiving and giving. When we first come face-to-face with God’s presence, when He draws us to His throne, there is no other reasonable act than to give, give the bended knee in humble, reverent awe and adoration. So John the Baptist came proclaiming “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” In other words, give give your reasonable act of worship. Kill the disposition that I am here for me and what benefits me. Bow and die in the presence of a Holy God. Unfortunately, the church for many generations, has approached the Christian life as an opportunity to get. The first emphasis is to receive Christ and He is the gift of God. Then continue to come back each week as His gifts are doled out in a perpetual succession, one after another, week after week. Always receiving. To be sure there are emphasis on giving too. Give to the church building program, the church operational budget, the church’s programs cost money too. Give your time and talents to the church’s program so that its influence will grow in the community. This is not Christianity, this is a mere business transaction. Tit for tat. A one-hand-washes-the-other thing. God came and gave, not so He could get, not so you would give, rather because of your great need. Now He does not call you to a business relationship but to a love affair. In true love identity is lost. The two become one. He gave so we might have the right to become Sons of God. How does that work? Sons share all things in common with their Father even the family business. He died so we might become like Him, giving His life for many. You see the only reason we were given His life is so we might give it to others, broken and poured out. Tom Van Hoogen
Lost to Me, Found in Him O how few are the souls that attain to this perfect way of praying because they do not penetrate enough into this internal recollection, into mystical silence, and because they do not strip themselves of imperfect reflection and of sensible pleasure! O that your soul without thoughtful attention even to herself might give herself in prayer to that holy and spiritual tranquility and say with St. Augustine, “Let my soul be silent, and pass beyond herself, not thinking of herself” (Confessions 9.10). Let her be silent, and desire neither to act nor to think; let her forget herself and plunge into that obscure faith. How secure and safe would she be, though it might seem to her that abiding thus in nothingness she would be lost. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
At the Sight of Holiness The work of unheard-of condescension proceeds in silence, until the turn comes to Simon Peter. Here, as might be expected, resistance is offered and a stand is made. When the Master approaches him, his face flushes with a fiery excitement. He hastily draws back his feet, and, as on a former occasion, he exclaimed, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, oh Lord!” so now he cries in the violence of his feelings, “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” He cannot comprehend how any thing so unseemly should take place. The glory of the Lord and the worthlessness of the creature contrast too strongly. How deeply does Peter abase himself in this expression of his feelings, and how highly does he elevate his Lord and Master! “Thou, the Holy One,” is the language of his heart — “I, a worm of the dust! It cannot be.” F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers
Robbed of Happiness but Not Joy All degrees of joy reside in the heart. How can a Christian be full of happiness (if happiness depends on the things that happen) when he is in a world where the devil is doing his best to twist souls away from God, where people are tortured physically, where some are downtrodden and do not get a chance? It would be the outcome of the most miserable selfishness to be happy under such conditions; but a joyful heart is never an insult, and joy is never touched by external conditions. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
A God-sized Peg for a God-sized Hole In comparison with this big world, the human heart is only a small thing. Though the world is so large, it is utterly unable to satisfy this tiny heart. Our ever growing soul and its capacities can be satisfied only in the infinite God. As water is restless until it reaches its level, so the soul has no peace until it rests in God. Sadhu Sundar Singh – With and Without Christ – circa 1925; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Are You a Kingdom Worker? Neither the home nor the foreign missionary work of the church will ever be done right until every believer feels that the one purpose of his being in the world is to work for the kingdom. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House