Tag Archive: St. John of the Cross


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.
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Listen v5.4 – Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
He Who Called You is Faithful to Do It Also True faith reckons on God’s faith. He is absolutely faithful — faithful to His covenant engagements in Christ, faithful to His promises, and faithful to the person who is at His clear call has stepped out into any enterprise for Him. We may lose heart and hope, our heads may turn dizzy and our hearts faint, lover and friend may stand at a distance, the mocking voices of our foes may suggest that God has forgotten or forsaken. But He remains faithful. F. B. Meyer – The Best of F. B. Meyer, circa 1910, © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries
Looking Unto Jesus Our Advocate We are like the ostrich, which lays her eggs and looks not for her young. We sow the seed and are too idle to seek a harvest. Let the holy preparation link hands with patient expectation, and we shall have far larger answers for our prayers. Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
When Values are Reassessed To estimate means to reckon the value. Estimates are made in the heart, and God alters our estimates. To put it practically those of you who have received God s Spirit and know His grace experimentally, watch how He has altered your estimate of things. It used to matter a lot what your worldly crowd thought about you: how much does it matter now? You used to estimate highly the good opinion of certain people: how do you estimate it now? You used to estimate that immoral conduct was the worst crime on earth, but how do you estimate it now? We are horrified at immoral conduct in social life, but how many of us are as horrified at pride as Jesus Christ was? Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
A Profile of the Prince of Peace The Fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul. He is not sensitive nor selfish nor temperamental. What He is today we shall find him tomorrow and the next day and the next year. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
Innocent, Not Ignorant The Bible is full of apparent contradictions. This is why we must always depend upon the Living Word by His Holy Spirit to guide us into understanding like a ship must carefully be steered from danger in treacherous waters. Take for instance that the Bible teaches “for such as these (children) may enter into the kingdom of heaven”. Yet the Bible also states that God desires to have many full-grown Son’s with Him in glory. The apparent contradiction can be resolved when once we are shown that the character of the child that God is after is innocence, not ignorance. God has given us His Word and His Spirit that we might grow up to the full measure of Christ having intimate knowledge of God yet be as children even as Christ who had no knowledge or experience of sin. He was innocent, not stupid. Tom Van Hoogen
Imposing Wills And many of these would have God will that which they themselves will, and are fretful at having to will that which He wills, and find it repugnant to accommodate their will to that of God. Hence it happens to them that oftentimes they think that wherein they find not their own will and pleasure is not the will of God; and that, on the other hand, when they themselves find satisfaction, God is satisfied. Thus they measure God by themselves and not themselves by God, acting quite contrarily to that which He Himself taught in the Gospel, saying: That he who should lose his will for His sake, the same should gain it; and he who should desire to gain it, the same should lose it. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
The Worth of the Unworthy You may object, perhaps, because you are not worthy of His comforts. I do not suppose you are. No one ever is. But you need His comforting, because you are not worthy you need it all the more. Christ came into the world to save sinners, not good people, and your unworthiness is your greatest claim for His salvation. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
Concessions of Confessions Too often the confession of sin is superficial, and often it is quite neglected. Few Christians realize how necessary it is to be sincere about the matter. Some do not feel that an honest confession of sin gives power to live the life of victory over sin. But we, in fellowship with the Lord Jesus, need to confess with sincere hearts every sin that may be a hindrance in our Christian lives.
Read what David said: “I acknowledged my sin unto the… I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin…Thou art my hiding place… Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:5,7). David spoke of a time when he was unwilling to confess his sin. “When I kept silence… Thy hand was heavy upon me” (vv. 3-4). But when he had confessed his sin, a wonderful change came.
Confession means not only that you confess your sin was shame, but also that you hand it over to God, trusting Him to take it away. Such a confession implies that you are wholly unable to get rid of your guilt, but by an act of faith you depend on God to deliver you. This deliverance means, in the first place, that you know your sins are forgiven, and secondly, that Christ undertakes to cleanse you from the sin and keep you from its power.
O Christian, if you are seeking to have fellowship with Jesus, do not fear to confess each sin in the confident assurance that there is deliverance. Let there be a mutual understanding between the Lord Jesus and yourself that you will confess each sin and will obtain forgiveness. Then you will know your Lord as Jesus, who saves His people from their sins. Believe me that there is great power in the confession of sin, for the burden of sin was borne by our Lord and Savior.
Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.
When Profit is Great Loss Why do we seek profit? What did Judas profit for being with Christ? Or what profit was the law to the Jews? Or paradise to Adam? Or the promised land to the Israelites? We should keep our mind fixed on one point only: how we may do what is best with the resources we have been given. John Chrysostom – Sermon on Dying to Sin – circa 400; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.

Listen v5.2 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Favored of Men vs. Favored of God It is not uncommon to notice men or women who are favored of men. Their lives are blessed by the things that this world applauds and hold in high esteem beauty, fame, money, power, health, material possessions. Better to be favored of God and blessed with peace, contentment, humility, grace, wisdom, faith, integrity and love toward God and others. Tom Van Hoogen
God Helps the Needy Coming before God, the most forcible argument that ye can use is your necessity, poverty, tears, misery, unworthiness, and confessing them to Him, it shall be an open door to furnish you with all the things that He hath. The beggars lay open their sores to the view of the world, that the more they may move men to pity them. So let us deplore our miseries to God, that He, with the pitiful Samaritan, at the sight of our wounds, may help us in due time. Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
True Love Acts Consistent With The Talk You are clearly convinced now that perfect love consists not in loving acts nor tender ejaculations, nor yet in the internal acts in which you tell God that you have an infinite love for him and you love him more than yourself. It may be that at the time you seek yourself more, and the love of yourself, than the true love of God, because love consists in works and not in fair speeches. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Hearing Without Perception is Noise Perception means the power to discern what we hear and see and read; the power to discern the history of the nation to which we belong, the power to discern in our personal lives. This power is also in the heart. How many of us have the power to hear with our ears ? Jesus said, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. We must have the power of perception in order to interpret what we hear. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Tend the Garden First, cultivate the new life by daily disciplines. Commissioner Brendel of the salvation army, a center of great spiritual power, suggest three things to keep the fire burning: “Keep the draught open; clean the ashes out; keep putting in fuel.” Second, keep honest at any cost…. third, keep confessing your sins after conversion… fourth, pray for those who have wronged you…. fifth, constantly enlarge the area of your conversion. Make your conversion take in more and more areas of your life. E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
As We Behold Him We Are Changed It is not enough to be turned inwardly to your Lord an hour or two each day. There is little value in being turned within to the Lord unless the end result is an anointing and the spirit of prayer which continues with you during the whole day. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680
A Guide is a Comforter I remember vividly the comfort it used to be to me, when I was young, to have a sister who always knew what was the right and proper thing to do, and who, when we went out together, always kept me in order. I never felt any anxiety or responsibility about myself if she was by, for I knew she would keep a strict watch over me, and nudge me or whisper to me if I was making any mistakes. I was always made comfortable, and not uncomfortable, by her presence. But when it chanced that I went anywhere alone, then I would indeed feel uncomfortable, for then there was no one near to keep me straight. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
Seek and You Shall Find A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His Presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
The Inconvenience of the Kingdom These persons likewise find it irksome when they are commanded to do that wherein they take no pleasure. Because they aim at spiritual sweetness and consolation, they are too weak to have the fortitude and bear the trials of perfection. [56] They resemble those who are softly nurtured and who run fretfully away from everything that is hard, and take offense at the Cross, wherein consist the delights of the spirit. The more spiritual a thing is, the more irksome they find it, for, as they seek to go about spiritual matters with complete freedom and according to the inclination of their will, it causes them great sorrow and repugnance to enter upon the narrow way, which, says Christ, is the way of life. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
Keep the Inside Looking Out When we are careful to instantly let go of all needless worries and restless thoughts (that is, self-centered thoughts, rather than loving, outgoing ones), then we shall find ourselves on plateaus of peace even in the midst of the straight and narrow. We shall find ourselves walking in the freedom and innocent peace of the children of God, not lacking wholesome relationships either toward God or man. Fenelon – Let Go, circa 1690, copyright 1973 Whitaker House

Listen v4.49 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Wrong Tools for the Job He tells us that our strength and our fruitfulness depend upon our prayers. He reminds us that the fullness of our joy depends upon answered prayer (John 16:24). And yet we allow the devil to persuade us to neglect prayer. He makes us believe that we can do more by our own efforts than by prayers, our intercourse with people than by our intercession with God. It passes one s comprehension that so little heed should be given to our Lord s sevenfold invitation – command – promise. How dare we work for Christ without being much on our knees? Unknown Christian – The Kneeling Christian, circa 1890, © 2007 Bidge-Logos.
Pray Determinedly, Not Impulsively Determination means to fix the form of our choice, and God demands that we use this power when we pray. The majority of us waste our time on mere impulses in prayer. There are many verses in God s Book which refer to this power in the heart to choose voluntarily. Impulse is not choice; impulse is very similar to instinct in an animal. It is the characteristic of immaturity and ought not to characterize men and women. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
God of Extremes It is the glory of the Christian faith that it is immense enough to be able to contain within itself aspects and elements that at first sight seem strangely conflicting. I heard a preacher exulting in the tenderness and beauty of God’s infinite love. The very same day I heard another speak of the severity and exactness of God’s infinite justice. Surely he was speaking of a different God! But no; it is the same God, but such a God! There is no conflict or confusion. We are simply gazing at a sea of glass, mingled with fire. He is a “just God and the Savior.” And those who know Him and worship Him are like unto him. F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Unknown Except Through the Mind of Christ We may, and we do, have all sorts of thoughts of God, we may conjecture this or imagine that, but we are wasting our energies in it all. We simply cannot know, no man can, except through the revelation of Christ. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
It is a strange phenomenon how many come out of the woodwork and into the pews when the message concerns end times and God’s wrath and judgment on the unrighteous. Yet when the messages are concerning God’s commands for righteousness, dying to self, loving your enemies, submission to authority and the like, the same brood are nowhere to be found. Perhaps they are hiding back in the woodwork. They will not come to Him out of love and devotion but because of fear for Self they come. Who told you, you brood of vipers to flee the wrath of God? Repent and be saved! Tom Van Hoogen
Fence Sitting is Painful Business The well-defined spiritual life is not only the highest life, but it is also the most easily lived. The whole cross is more easily carried than the half. It is a man who tries to make the best of both worlds who makes nothing of either. — Henry Drummond A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
The Beginning Is Merely a Start Since, then, the conduct of these beginners upon the way of God is ignoble, [61] and has much to do with their love of self and their own inclinations, as has been explained above, God desires to lead them farther. He seeks to bring them out of that ignoble kind of love to a higher degree of love for Him, to free them from the ignoble exercises of sense and meditation (wherewith, as we have said, they go seeking God so unworthily and in so many ways that are unbefitting), and to lead them to a kind of spiritual exercise wherein they can commune with Him more abundantly and are freed more completely from imperfections. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
Rejoice!, Again I Say, Rejoice! I am amazed at the power that comes to us through suffering; we are worth nothing without the cross. Of course, I tremble and agonize while it lasts, and all my words about the beneficial effects of suffering vanquish under the torture. But when it is all over, I look back on the experience with deep appreciation, and am ashamed that I bore it with so much bitterness. I am learning a great deal from my own foolishness! Fenelon – Let Go, circa 1690, copyright 1973 Whitaker House
Peace Of, With and Through God Those who know their God have great contentment in God. There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them, and that this relationship guarantees God’s favor to them in life, through death and forever. This is the peace of which Paul speaks in Romans 5:1 — “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”– and those whose substance he analyzes in full in Romans 8. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children… heirs of God… We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him… Those he justified, he also glorified… if God is for us, who can be against us?… Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?… I am convinced that neither death nor life… neither the present nor the future… will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” J. I. Packer – Knowing God, © 1973 InterVarsity Press
Same Family, Same Love Pray that you will love your fellow believers with the same love with which Christ loves you. If we abide in Christ’s love and let that love fills our hearts, supernatural power will be given to us to love all God’s children. As the bond of love between the Father and the Son, and between Christ and His followers, is close, so must the bond of love be between all God’s children. Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.

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

Listen v4.40 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
We Must Work While It is Yet Day In this sense God made all creatures working like himself the heavens, the sun, the stars, and then far above all things, the angels and men, each according to its kind. Nowhere is there a flower so small, or a leaf, or a sprout of grass, the expanse of the heavens, the stars, the sun and moon in these things there is continuously work, and especially God working with himself. Should not man, then, noble and formed with dignity according to God s image, should he not work, formed in his faculties like God and in God and like him in his being? John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Strongholds Stand Against Truth The tendency is to deny that a fact has any existence because it cannot be fitted into any explanation as yet. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
What We re All Praying and Waiting For Thy kingdom come teaches us that we are to pray for the establishment of God s kingdom more than for our own temporal or even spiritual needs. This implies that the real remedy for all that needs prayer is the restoration of the kingdom of God. The true cause of all human trouble is that humanity is out of the divine order and the world is in rebellion against its sovereign God. Not until God s kingdom is reestablished in every heart and in all the world can the blessings that prayer desires be realized. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
The Subtlety of Slip Sliding Away Every one of us having been in bondage to sin, we readily believe that sinful things are satanic; but do we believe equally that the things of the world are satanic? Most of us, I think, are still of two minds about this. Yet how clearly Scripture affirms that “the whole world lieth in the evil one” ( 1 John 5:19). Satan well knows that, generally speaking, to try to ensnare real Christians through things that are positively sinful is vain and futile. They will usually sense the danger and elude him. So he has contrived instead an enticing network, the mesh of which is so skillfully woven as to attract the most innocent of men. We flee sinful lust, and with good reason, but when it comes to such seemingly innocuous things as science and art and education, how readily do we lose our sense of values and fall a prey to his enticements! Watchman Nee – Love Not The World, © 1968 CLC Publications
Conviction is Not Offensive He refused even to condemn the woman who was taken in the very act of sin, but said to the scribes and Pharisees who had brought her before Him, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”; and when, convicted by their own consciences, they all went out one by one without condemning her, He said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Always and everywhere He was on the side of sinners. That was what He was for. He came to save sinners. He had no other mission. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
Thought Management I have been writing hitherto on the assumption that the people in the next pew afford no rational ground for disappointment. Of course if they do if the patient knows that the woman with the absurd hat is a fanatical bridge-player or the man with squeaky boots a miser and an extortioner then your task is so much the easier. All you then have to do is to keep out of his mind the question “If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, then why should the different devices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?” You may ask whether it is possible to keep such an obvious thought from occurring even to a human mind. It is, Wormwood, it is! Handle him properly and it simply won’t come to his head. C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters, copyright 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Stable Those Thoughts so They Don t Run Away “Have your beliefs,” says an old writer, “and have your doubts. Believe your beliefs, and doubt your doubts. Never doubt your beliefs, and never believe your doubts.” F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Your Not In the Place, You Are the Place Religion is such a beguiling evil. It comes to you as your friend, your best friend and gains your trust. It helps you see and understand what you must do to be a “good” Christian. It shows you what you must do and look like to fit in the church-world and this is a huge desire of yours because you know you do not fit there but want to. So you study other church-goers and learn the ropes of what to do. But, alas these are the ropes that will choke the life of Christ out of you. The higher you climb the ladder of religion the further you drop when the trap doors open. Whereas religion tells you about God and what you must do to fit in, true Christianity reveals by the Spirit who God is in Christ and invites you to meet Him there – in Christ. Christianity is not about Christ, it is Christ. Tom Van Hoogen
Growing Produces Weird Sensations in Us God now sees that they have grown a little, and are becoming strong enough to lay aside their swaddling clothes and be taken from the gentle breast; so He sets them down from His arms and teaches them to walk on their own feet; which they feel to be very strange, for everything seems to be going wrong with them. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
Realities Not Possibilities When we read of “the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit,” of “Christ dwelling in the heart,” of “a clean heart,” of “loving each other with a clean heart fervently,” of “God establishing our heart unblamable in holiness,” we must; with the eye of faith, regard these spiritual realities as actually and in very deed existing within us. Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005
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