Tag Archive: G. K. Chesterton


Listen v5.11 – Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Getting the Inside Scoop on Man There is one thing, and only one, in the whole universe which we know more about than we could learn from external observation. That one thing is Man. We do not merely observe men, we are men. In this case we have, so to speak, inside information; we are in the know. And because of that, we know that men find themselves under a moral law, which they did not make, and cannot quite forget even when they try, and which they know they ought to obey. Notice the following point. Anyone studying Man from the outside as we study electricity or cabbages, not knowing our language and consequently not able to get any inside knowledge from us, but merely observing what we did, would never get the slightest evidence that we had this moral law. How could he? For his observations would only show what we did, and the moral law is about what we ought to do. C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity, copyright 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Credit Where Credit is Due This is a typical instance of the fact that God gives us credit, not for our impulses, but for the designs of our hearts. God may never allow the design to be carried out, but He credits us with it. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Revealing the Stuff You are Made Of And God formed man from the dust of the earth… Each of us is made of earth stuff — rocks. It is amazing what can come from rocks given enough heat, pressure, and time. Yet nothing comes forth which was not inherently there at the first. With heat and time some reveal precious stones, able to capture and hold light within itself or to dazzle with amazing color and luster given from the light without. Others have a strength or a usefulness that is meted out as metal. This too is revealed by heat and more heat. Metal also reflects some light when shone upon. But the true darling of the earth is the diamond, formed from external pressures, and extreme heat applied over a long time. When cut and polished properly all light that comes to it is reflected in a multiplied manner. Then there are always just rocks. He made some for noble purposes and some for ignoble purposes. Tom Van Hoogen
All of Creation Testifies of Him, All All I had hitherto heard of Christian theology had alienated me from it. I was a pagan at the age of twelve, and a complete agnostic by the age of sixteen; and I cannot understand anyone passing the age of seventeen without having asked himself so simple a question. I did, indeed, retain cloudy reverence for a cosmic deity and a great historical interest in the Founder of Christianity. But I certainly regarded Him as a man; though perhaps I thought that, even in that point, He had an advantage over some of His modern critics. I read the scientific and skeptical literature of my time — all of it, at least that I could find written in English and lying about; and I read nothing else; I mean I read nothing else on any other note of philosophy…. I never read a line of Christian apologetics. I read as little as I can of them now. It was Huxley and Herbert Spencer and Bradlaugh who brought me back to orthodox theology. They sowed in my mind my first wild doubts of doubt. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Dangerous, Very Dangerous Grace Judged by the standard of Luther s doctrine, that of his followers was unassailable, and yet their orthodoxy spelt the end and destruction of the Reformation as the revelation on earth of the costly grace of God. The justification of the sinner in the world degenerated into the justification of sin and the world. Costly grace was turned into cheap grace without discipleship. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – The Cost of Discipleship, circa 1945, copyright 1959 by SCM Press Ltd.
Wisdom Speaks to Those Who Call Out to Her Of all visible things, the universe is the greatest; of all invisible realities, the greatest is God. That the world exists we can see; we believe in the existence of God. But there is no one we can more safely trust than God Himself in regard to the fact that it was He who made the world. Where has He told us so? Nowhere more distinctly in the Holy Scriptures where His Prophet said: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Well, but was the Prophet present when God made heaven and earth? No; but the Wisdom of God by whom all things were made was there. And this Wisdom, entering into holy souls, makes of them the friends and prophets of God and reveals to them, silently and interiorly, what God has done. St. Augustine – The City of God, circa 400, copyright 1950 by Fathers of the Church
Sacrifice Beyond All that I Can Think or Imagine He wills that we see that His pains and His being made nothing so far surpass all that we can suffer that it can’t really be imagined. Dame Julian of Norwich – The Revelation of Divine Love circa 1343; © 1994 by M. L. del Mastro
On Being the Bride of Christ The Church must examine herself constantly to see if she be in the faith; she must engage in severe self-criticism with a cheerful readiness to make amends; she must live in a state of perpetual penitence, seeking God with her whole heart; she must constantly check her life and conduct against the Holy Scriptures and bring her life into line with the will of God. — Of God and Men A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
Where Can I Run But to Thee, O Lord? The psalmist says, “They that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” And again he says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and is safe.” “They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.” They cannot do anything else, because in knowing His name they know His character and His nature, that He is a God whom it is safe to trust to the uttermost. And there can be no doubt that a large part of the unrest and discomfort in so many Christian hearts comes simply from the fact that they do not yet know His name. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
The Desire, Ability and Power to Pray Prayer is the work of the triune God: the Father, who wakens the desire and will give all we need; the Son, who through His intercession teaches us to pray in His name; and the Holy Spirit, who in secret will strengthen our feeble desires. Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.
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Listen v5.10 – Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
If You Fake It, You Won’t Make It A certain type of religious hypocrisy makes men hide what they feel, but Job has come to the place where he cannot hide it. “I cannot pretend that I am comforted of God,” he says. If only Job could have taken on the pose that he had the comfort of God, his friends would not have challenged him, but he says, “I have no comfort; I do not see God, neither can I talk to Him; all I know is that my creed and former belief must be wrong. I do not know what to accept, but I am certain God will prove that He is just and true and right, and I refuse to tell a lie in order to help Him out.”… It does not follow because a man has lost belief in his beliefs that therefore he has lost faith in God. Many a man has been led to the frontiers of despair by being told he has backslidden, whereas what he has gone through has revealed that his belief in his beliefs is not God. Men have found God by going through hell, and it is the men who have been face to face with these things who can understand what Job went through. Chambers, Oswald: Baffled to Fight Better: Talks on the Book of Job. c1931
ALL-Ways May I be always thanking, always praising, always encouraging, always helping, always giving, always serving, always praying, always interceding, always seeking, always resting, always waiting, always following, always trusting, always depending, always yielding, always surrendering, always sacrificing, always suffering, always dying, always loving that I may be in all ways Christ-like always. Tom Van Hoogen
Help! I’m Fallen and I Can’t Get Up Let me remind you now that modern orthodoxy has made a great blunder in the erroneous assumption that spiritual truths can be intellectually perceived. There have been far-reaching conditions resulting from this concept – and they are showing in our preaching, our praying, our singing, our activity and our thinking. A. W. Tozer – The Counselor, circa 1955, copyright 1993 by Christian Publications
When the Law Came, Sin Abounded It is very strange to the world to teach Christians to learn to be ignorant of the law and to live before God as if there were no law. Yet unless you are ignorant of the law and convinced in your heart that there is now no law nor wrath of God, but altogether grace and mercy for Christ s sake, you cannot be saved, for knowledge of sin comes through the law. Martin Luther – Commentary on Galatians – circa 1520; Crossway Publishing © 1998 by Watermark
A Good Builder Hides His Flaws Well The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; it wildness lies in wait. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Salvation (Our Faith) That Overcomes the World We know that every good gift that God offers to us is given to meet and counter a contrasting evil. He gives us justification because there is condemnation. He gives us eternal life because there is death. He offers us forgiveness because there are sins. He brings us salvation — because of what? Justification is in terms of condemnation, heaven is in terms of health, forgiveness is in relation to sins. Then to what is salvation related? Salvation, we shall see, is related to the kosmos, the world. Watchman Nee – Love Not The World, © 1968 CLC Publications
Examine Yourself In the Way All who are sons of the daylight (1 Thessalonians 5:5) ought always to investigate in the light of the present day what is lacking to them, where they have come from, how far they have progressed, and the degree of progress that they estimate they have gained in each day and hour. William of Saint-Thierry – The Golden Letter; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
A Strong Penchant for Life As some insects with their antennae feel their surroundings and distinguish between hurtful and useful things, so spiritual people, through their inner senses, avoid dangerous and destructive influences and enjoy God’s sweet and life-giving presence; they are constrained by their blissful experience to bear witness to God. As Tertullian has said: “Whenever the soul comes to itself and attains something of its natural soundness, it speaks of God.” Sadhu Sundar Singh – With and Without Christ – circa 1925; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Self-Powered Tools Won’t Do In order for a soul to be made into a vessel unto God’s honor, “sanctified, and meet for the master to use, and prepared unto every good work,” it must be utterly abandoned to Him, and must lie passive and His hands. Hannah Whitall Smith – The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, 1875 © 1998 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It (Humbly) When Christ and His love take possession of our hearts, He gives us this love so that we might bring others to Him. In this way, Christ’s kingdom is extended. Everyone who has the love of Christ and his heart is commissioned to tell others. Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.
When Self-satisfaction Equals Self-destruction The climax of spiritual tragedy is reached when the prodigal settles happily down in the far country, perfectly at home with his swine and perfectly satisfied with his husks. F. W. Boreham – The Heavenly Octave: A Study of the Beatitudes, Copyright 1936 by F. W. Boreham

Listen v5.7 – Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Leavening the Whole Lump The Spirit of God has this property — it increases good by adding to it more good. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560, copyright 2007 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Nothing to Talk About More recently the English philosopher and theologian John Baillie wrote, “Our knowledge of God rests on the revelation of his personal presence… Of such a presence it must be true that to those who have never been confronted with it argument is useless, while to those who have, it is superfluous.” Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
Love Trumps Every Other Card It would seem natural that those who exercise authority over others would be most fit to rule in God’s kingdom. Not so. He who is least shall be greatest in the kingdom of God. Submission is an act of respect and reverence; willing submission is an act of pure love — your will above my will. Therefore only those who humbly submit to others love well. Those in positions of authority find it difficult to love and respect others. Tom Van Hoogen
Behold Your God Stooping to Serve You In the sublime and twofold consciousness, we see Him unexpectedly rising up from supper; and for what purpose? To appear in His dignity? To display the splendor of His divine glory? To constrain His disciples to bow the knee in the dust before Him? One might imagine so; but no, He has something very different in view. Look, what means that? He lays aside His upper garments, takes a towel and girds Himself with it; pours water into a basin, bends down to the feet of the disciples, and begins to wash them in their turn, then to wipe them with the towel. What a spectacle!… They are to Him the spiritual bride, clothed with the sun; for they stand before Him arrayed in the royal robe of His righteousness.

O great and significant symbol! O powerful exposition of the words, I came not to be ministered unto, but to minister! O important testimony to that which is of value in His kingdom, and to that which is not! O impressive condemnation of all selfishness and self-exaltation in the children of men! O deeply affecting commendation of humility and self-denial, as the characteristics of His children, and amiable and ennobling instance of that love, which ought to animate us!

F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers
Constructing the Intangible with the Tangible? Theology is the science of religion, an intellectual attempt to systematise the consciousness of God. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Beware of Right Desires with Wrong Motives If you desire any good, however spiritual it may be, let it be desired in such a manner that you be not disquieted if it is not granted you. Michael Molinos – The Spiritual Guide – circa 1675, copyright 1982 by Seed Sowers
Jesus, The Key that Unlocks All Mysteries When once one believes in a creed, one is proud of its complexity, as scientists are proud of the complexity of science. It shows how rich it is in discoveries. If it is right at all, it is a compliment to say that it is elaborately right. A stick might fit a hole or a stone a hollow by accident. But a key and a lock are both complex. And it a key fits a lock, you know it is the right key. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Revealing Signs of the Times “In the morning of our fathers,” says Bishop Burnett, “when a person came early to the door of his neighbor, and desired to speak with the master of the house, it was as common a thing for the servants to tell him with freedom — “My master is at prayer,” as it is now to say, “My master is not up.” Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Peering Into the Tabernacle for Glimpses And while you are before the Lord, hold your heart in his presence. How? This you also do by faith. Yes, by faith you can hold your heart in the Lord’s presence. Now, waiting before him, turn all your attention toward your spirit. Do not allow your mind to wander. If your mind begins to wander, just turn your attention back again to the inward parts of your being. You will be free from wandering — free from any outward distractions — and you will be brought near to God. The Lord is found only within your spirit, and the recesses of your being, in the Holy of Holies; this is where he dwells. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ – circa 16800; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
He is the Standard, Not We We are right when, and only when, we stand in the right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position. Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
The Misplaced Pride of Death There was once a man who did not believe in resurrection. He was a very important person among a circle of atheists. After he died, the epitaph on his tombstone read: “Unbreakable tomb”. The tomb had been built with marble. Most surprisingly, that huge marble sarcophagus was one day split open. It so happened that an acorn had fallen into the crevice of the stones during construction. It gradually grew into a big oak tree, and eventually burst the tomb wide open. A tree has life, hence it can burst open a place of death. Life alone can conquer death. This is regeneration, this is resurrection. Watchman Nee – The Latent Power of the Soul, circa 1939, copyright 1972 by Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.

Listen v4.51 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Love Pretended Is Love Offended In order for a rational creature to understand the secret desire and intention of your heart, is necessary for you to express it to him in words. But God, who searches the heart, does not need you to profess and assure him of it; nor is he satisfied, as the evangelist says, with love in word or in tongue, but with that which is true and active. What good does it do to tell him with great zeal and fervor that you love him tenderly and perfectly above all things, if at one bitter word or slight injury you fail to resign yourself, not being mortified for the love of him? A manifest proof that your love was a love in tongue and not in deed. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Removing the Dirt is Refreshing This is letting our feet be washed, in the sense intended by our Lord; and you will observe how blissful, refreshing, and reviving is the act. And in the eyes of him who is possessed of true simplicity, this daily renewed repentance, and the fresh experience of salvation which attends it, is nothing legal, but the real gospel, and an exercise which is unspeakably sweet. The inward man is thus renewed day by day, and experiences a continued restoration. The flowers of joy and devotedness to God incessantly spring up in the heart, and it is always spring time within. F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers
Sustaining Power Is Restraining Power We can be brought into a state of pristine childlike innocence before God by the regenerating work of His grace. God does something infinitely grander than give a man a new start: He re-makes him from the inside. We have the power, because we have received it, to transform the natural into the spiritual even as Jesus did, because the life generated into us is His own life. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Spiritual Death Born of Intellectual Analysis The secret and reality of this blissful life in God cannot be understood without receiving, living, and experiencing it. If we try to understand it only with the intellect, we will find our efforts useless. A scientist had a bird in his hand. He saw that it had life, and wanting to find out in what part of the bird’s body the life was, he began dissecting the bird. The result was that the very life of which he was in search disappeared mysteriously. Those who try to understand the inner life merely intellectually will meet with a similar failure. The life for which they are looking will vanish in the analysis. Sadhu Sundar Singh – With and Without Christ – circa 1925; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Heads Up When with Bad Company How few do believe what a quarrel God hath with wicked men! If we did we would tremble as much to be among them as to be in a house that is falling; we would endeavor to “save” ourselves “from this untoward generation.” Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Let the Wheat and The Tares Grow Together Christianity came in here as before. It came in startingly with the sword, and clove one thing from another. It divided the crime from the criminal. The criminal we must forgive unto seventy times seven. The crime we must not forgive at all. It was not enough that slaves who stole wine inspired partly anger and partly kindness. We must be much more angry with theft than before, and yet much kinder to thieves than before. There was room for wrath and love to run wild. And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while I had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Incalculable You can never overestimate the depravity of a man. Tom Van Hoogen
New Heart, Same Old Flesh And if the question be asked what we are to think of all there is within us that contradicts this faith, let us remember what Scripture teaches us of it. We sometimes speak of an old and a new heart. Scripture does not do so. It speaks of the old, the stony, heart, being taken away the heart, with its will, disposition, affections, being made new with a Divine newness. This new heart is placed in the midst of what Scripture calls the flesh, in which there dwelleth no good thing. Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005
The Journey From the Cross to the Celestial City The Kingdom of God began at Calvary. The cross was a necessity. When we pick up the cross of Jesus and bear it in love to Him, his Kingdom has begun in us. We must be satisfied to carry that cross as long as it is His will. Fenelon – Let Go, circa 1690, copyright 1973 Whitaker House
To Know Him, That is My Chief End Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord. The world today is full of sufferers from the wasting disease which Albert Camus focused as absurdism (“life is a bad joke”), and from the complaint which we may call Marie Antoinette’s fever, since she found the phrase that describes it (“nothing tastes”). These disorders like the whole of life: everything becomes at once a problem and a bore, because nothing seems worthwhile…. What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance; and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what higher, more exalted, and the more compelling goal can there be than to know God? J. I. Packer – Knowing God, © 1973 InterVarsity Press

Listen v4.48 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Final Destination – Unique Universal Love My true personality will be fulfilled in the Mystical Christ in this one way above all, that through me, Christ and His Spirit will be able to love you and all men and God the Father in a way that would be possible in no one else. Thomas Merton – New Seeds of Contemplation, ©1961 by the Abbey of Gethsemani, Inc.
God – Perfection of Simplicity God exists in Himself and of Himself. His being He owes to no one. His substance is indivisible. He has no parts but is single in His unitary being. The doctrine of the divine unity means not only that there is but one God; it means also that God is simple, uncomplex, one with Himself. The harmony of His being is the result not of a perfect balance of parts but of the absence of parts. Between His attributes no contradiction can exist. He need not suspend one to exercise another, for in Him all His attributes are one. All of God does all that God does; He does not divide Himself to perform a work, but works in the total unity of His being. A. W. Tozer – The Knowledge of the Holy, © 1961 Aiden Wilson Tozer
Obedience Instigates His Will I will stick to it that God is a God of love and justice, and I look forward to the time when I shall see it manifestly. We have no business to say piously, Oh, I leave it with God. God will have us discern what He is doing, but it takes time because we are so slow to obey, and only as we obey do we perceive morally and spiritually. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Eternal Accounting It will be noticed that the real difficulty, in each case, lies in the greatness of God. It seemed incredible to little Emmie, to our Master of Arts, and to Miss Corelli that a God who is “the Generator of the universes and the Creator of everything” can be concerned with the cares of the individual. Now the trouble is, not that they have made God to seem too great, but that they have not made Him great enough. They have belittled Him! Now, how great is God? That is the real question! Is He great to the point of absolute infinity? Is He, or is He not? Now, if God is great to the point of infinity, it follows, beyond all controversy, that there is no stick or stone in all His universes of which He is not perpetually cognizant and conscious. Or — to put it the other way — if there is a feather or a straw blowing about the solar system which has, for a fraction of a second, eluded His knowledge or escaped His observation, then, by just so much, His greatness falls short of infinity. If, therefore, I do really believe that God is not only great enough to be “the Generator of universes and Creator of everything,” but great enough to be infinite, then I cannot help believing that no sparrow falls to the ground without His notice and that the very hairs of my head are all numbered. F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
You Say You Want a Revolution? To the Orthodox there must always be a case for revolution; for in the hearts of men God has been put under the feet of Satan. In the upper world hell once rebelled against heaven. But in this world heaven is rebelling against hell. For the Orthodox there can always be a revolution; for a revolution is a restoration. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
The Tell-tale Heart It is a great and abiding and assurance-filled truth that nothing, no nothing, can separate us from the love of God — nothing except our own self. It is true that God loves all his creation and wants to redeem it — for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus our Lord that none would perish but all would come to repentance and find eternal life in Christ, in the atonement by which He purposed to purchase our souls back from death. But notice repentance is the key ingredient. Repentance from what? From our God-forsaking selves that cause us to turn our backs and trample under foot the blood of Christ. God gives us each a choice, a free will to decide. If we say we love Him but do not keep His commands how can the love of God be in us? The only children of God are obedient Sons. The disobedient clearly express their will and choice to live apart from God. They are bastards, sons without a heavenly Father. Two hearts, two homes. Tom Van Hoogen
You Have Seen the Father If we have been accustomed, therefore, to approach God with any mistrust of the kindness of His feelings toward us; if our religious life has been poisoned by fear; if unworthy thoughts of His character and will have filled our hearts with suspicions of His goodness; if we have pictured Him as an unjust despot or a self-seeking tyrant; if, in short, we have imagined Him in any way other than that which has been revealed to us in “the face of Jesus Christ,” we must go back in all simplicity of heart to the records of that lovely life, lived in human guise among men, and must bring our conceptions of God into perfect accord with the character and ways of Him who declares that He came to manifest the name of God to men. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
Perspectives on Prayer Prayer is a haven to the shipwrecked man, an anchor to them that are sinking in the waves, a staff to the limbs that totter, a mine of jewels to the poor, a healer of diseases, and a guardian of health. Prayer at once secures the continuance of our blessings, and dissipates the clouds of our calamities. O blessed prayer! thou art the unwearied conqueror of human woes, the firm foundation of human happiness, the source of ever enduring joy, the mother of philosophy. The man who can pray truly, though languishing in most extreme indigence, is richer than all beside, whilst the wretch who never bowed the knee, though proudly sitting as monarch of all nations, is of all men most destitute. — Chrysostom Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications

Listen v4.43 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
By Faith and In Love we Come to Know Him Again The yearning to know What cannot be known, to comprehend the Incomprehensible, to touch and taste the Unapproachable, arises from the image of God in the nature of man. Deep calleth unto deep, and though polluted and landlocked by the mighty disaster theologians call the Fall, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its Source. How can this be realized? The answer of the Bible is simply through Jesus Christ our Lord. In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure, although He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love. Faith is an organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience. God came to us in the incarnation; in atonement He reconciled us to Himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him. A. W. Tozer – The Knowledge of the Holy, © 1961 Aiden Wilson Tozer
How the Word Comes to Life “If anyone would ask me how he may read the Scriptures most profitably, I would answer him: —
1. Above all he must seek to have it settled in his own mind that God alone, by the Holy spirit, can teach him, and that, therefore, as God will be inquired for all blessings, it becomes him to seek for God’sblessing previous to reading, and also while reading.
2. He should also have it settled in his mind that though the Holy spirit is the best and sufficient Teacher, yet that He does not always teach immediately when we desire it, and that, therefore, we may have to entreat Him again and again for the explanation of certain passages; but that He will surely teach us at last, if we will seek for light prayerfully, patiently, and for the glory of God.”
Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005
The Artist Behind the Work Nature by herself may be growing more blue; that is, a process so simple that it might be impersonal. But Nature cannot be making a careful picture made of many picked colors, unless Nature is personal. If the end of the world were mere darkness or mere light it might come as slowly and inevitably as dusk or dawn. But if the end of the world is to be a piece of elaborate and artistic chiaroscuro, then there must be design in it, either human or divine. The world, through mere time, might grow black like an old picture, or white like an old coat; but if it is turned into a particular piece of black and white art — then there is an artist. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
You Will Never Hear Until You Listen Consider the act of hearing. Listening is a passive sense. If you ever want to hear anything, you must yield a passive ear. Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word. He, and He alone, is the source of new life to you. For you to have new life, He must be communicated to you. He can speak. He can communicate. He can impart new life. And when He desires to speak to you, He demands the most intense attention to His voice. Now you can see why the Scripture so frequently urges you to listen, to be attentive to the voice of God. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680
Do Not Surmise Beyond Your Understanding All the impatience and irritation against the religious life, so called, is accounted for on the same line as Job s revolt against religious pose If they would only stop their pose and face facts as they are; be reverent with what they don t understand, and assist me in my faith in God. Job s friends were in the right place when they sat with him dumbfounded for seven days; they were much nearer God then than afterwards. Immediately they took up the cudgels for God, they took on a religious pose, lost touch with the reality of actual experience, and ended in being bombastic. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Fruit That Remains for Better or Worse Although the soul and body cannot live together forever, the fruits of the work which they have done together will remain forever. So it is necessary to weigh carefully the foundation of our eternal life. But the pity of it is that we, by the misuse of freedom, can lose it forever. Freedom means the capacity to do either good or bad deeds. By constantly choosing to do bad deeds, we become slaves of sin and destroy our freedom and life (John 8:21, 34). Sadhu Sundar Singh – With and Without Christ – circa 1925; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Desiring the Lesser and Rejecting the Greater These souls whom God is beginning to lead through these solitary places of the wilderness are like to the children of Israel, to whom in the wilderness God began to give food from Heaven, containing within itself all sweetness, and, as is there said, it turned to the savour which each one of them desired. But withal the children of Israel felt the lack of the pleasures and delights of the flesh and the onions which they had eaten aforetime in Egypt, the more so because their palate was accustomed to these and took delight in them, rather than in the delicate sweetness of the angelic manna; and they wept and sighed for the fleshpots even in the midst of the food of Heaven. [64] To such depths does the vileness of our desires descend that it makes us to long for our own wretched food [65] and to be nauseated by the indescribable [66] blessings of Heaven. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
Growing in Grace and The Knowledge of Him There is a pernicious propaganda that prevails in our day that is no more than a bald-faced lie. Under the guise of grace we have been told that we must not work. Yet Jesus said, we must work while it is yet day, for night cometh. Again we are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. What shame a son would bring to his father the king if he were not willing and diligent in his training and studies, just the mandating that his position and birth were sufficient to rule over so great a people. A man came to a great professor on behalf of his son and insisted that his son did not need to take the classes and that he should be expedited to his profession. The wise professor said, “It depends on what result you are looking for, do you want a mighty oak or a cabbage?” Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered. Do you want to be like Christ or not? Tom Van Hoogen
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