Quote Title Quotation Source
The Fear of God is the Beginning of Wisdom Are we being true to the Cross in our preaching, putting first the holiness of God that makes men know that they are sinners? When we preach the love of God there is a danger in overlooking that the Bible reveals not first the love of God but the intense, blazing holiness of God, with His love as the center of that holiness. When the holiness of God is preached, men are convicted of sin, it is not the love of God that first appeals but His holiness. The awful nature of the conviction of sin that the Holy Spirit brings makes us realize that God cannot, dare not, must not forgive sin unpunished; if God forgave sin without satisfying His justice our sense of justice would be greater than His. Tom Van Hoogen
Spiritual Prayer, Not Superficial Prayer Now it sometimes happens that a lot of serious external prayer for some cause or other is imposed on a community. How should an interior person react to this, for whom prayer spoken aloud hinders his interior prayer because of his exteriority? He should perform and omit both. But how? He should recollect himself and turn to his interior ground with upraised heart and mind and with his faculties ready, with an interior gaze focused on God present, and with an interior desire, especially for the dearest will of God, in a sinking away of one s own self from people and all creatures and a sinking deeper and deeper into the transfigured will of God. And then a person should with devotion draw in all things that were entrusted to him and should desire that God bring about his own honor and praise for the advantage and consolation of those people that are entrusted to him. Child, then you have prayed much better than if you had prayed with a thousand mouths. This prayer, which takes place in the spirit, surpasses immeasurably all external prayer. For the Father desires that one pray to him in this way, and all other kinds of prayer serve this kind; and if they don t, simply let them go. Everything should serve this kind of prayer. John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
The Need of Nakedness Paul tells you that you desire to be clothed, but it is necessary that you be stripped before you can put on Christ. Allow Him to strip your self-love of every covering so that you might receive the white robe washed in the blood of the Lamb. You need only His purity. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Show Me, Don t Tell Me The perfection of the soul consists not in speaking or in thinking a great deal about God but in loving him sufficiently. This love is attained to by means of perfect resignation and internal silence; it all consists in works: a love of God has but few words. Thus St. John the Evangelist confirms and inculcates it: “My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Vengeance, Deep Pride-roots The deepest-rooted passion in the human soul is vengeance. Drunkenness, sensuality, and covetousness go deep, but not so deep as vengeance. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Duplicity – Saying One Thing While Doing Another A little girl was kneeling on her father’s lap and was telling him how much she loved him, but she was looking over her father’s shoulder and making faces at her little brother. The mother saw it and said: “You little hypocrite, you telling your father you love him and then making faces and sticking out your tongue at your little brother.” Christians who hold race prejudices do just that. They tell God the Father they love him and then look over his shoulder and tell his other children they despise them. How can we love God whom we have not seen unless we love his children whom we do see? E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Guided But Not Carried The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin what He calls His “free” lovers and servants “sons” is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to “do it on their own”. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt. C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters, copyright 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Love Has No Loopholes If we would really hearken to God, which means not only hearing Him, but believing what we hear, we could not fail to know that, just because He is God, He cannot do other than care for us as He cares for the apple of His eye; and that all that tender love and divine wisdom can do for our welfare, must be and will be unfailingly done. Not a single loophole for worry or fear is left to the soul that knows God. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
The Visible Blocks the View of the Invisible The world of sense intrudes upon our attention day and night for the whole of our lifetime. It is clamorous, insistent and self-demonstrating. It does not appeal to our faith; it is here, assaulting our five senses, demanding to be accepted as real and final. But sin has so clouded the lenses of our hearts that we cannot see that other reality, the City of God, shining around us. The world of sense triumphs. The visible becomes the enemy of the invisible; the temporal, of the eternal. That is the curse inherited by every member of Adam’s tragic race. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God