Thursday, December 30, 2010

"In every generation, it was the church’s privilege to taste the Lord’s goodness and love; in all seasons, it was the church’s mission to celebrate and magnify this goodness in a foreign and hostile world."

--Owen Strachen and Doug Sweeney, Jonathan Edwards on Beauty: The Essential Edwards Collection, pg. 100.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"God is the ultimate musician. His music transforms your life. The notes of redemption rearrange your heart and restore your life. His songs of forgiveness, grace, reconciliation, truth, hope, sovereignty, and love give you back your humanity and restore your identity."

--Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More (Greensboro, NC; New Growth Press, 2007), 145.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you."

--Corrie Ten Boom

Friday, December 10, 2010

"None of our poor human explanations of life’s dark mystery can heal the hurt of baffled and tormented souls. Nothing can suffice but this — to see Love Incarnate taking upon itself the very worst that suffering and evil can do upon the earth, God going into action once for all against the powers of darkness, Christ reigning from the deadly tree, and making His victory there the pledge and the assurance for all the sons of men."

--James S. Stewart, Heralds of God, pg. 78.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"The key to change is continually returning to the cross. A changing life is a cross-centered life. At the cross we see our source of sanctification (Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 1:22; Titus 2:14). We find hope, for we see the power of sin broken and the old nature put to death. We see ourselves united to Christ and bought by his blood. We see the glorious grace of God in Jesus Christ, dying for his enemies, the righteous for the unrighteous. We see our hope, our life, our resources, our joy. At the cross we find the grace, power, and delight in God we need to overcome sin. If we don't come to the cross again and again, we'll feel distant from God, disconnected from his power, and indifferent to his glory — and that is a recipe for sin."

--Tim Chester, You Can Change (Wheaton, Ill.; Crossway, 2010), 127.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"It is of great importance to note that our theology (belief about God) and doxology (our worship of God) should never be separated. It is not possible to worship an unknown God. All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and in Scripture. Worship without theology is bound to degenerate into idolatry. Hence the indispensable place of scripture in both public worship and private devotion. It is the word of God which calls forth the worship of God."

--John Stott

Friday, December 3, 2010

After Prayers, Lie Cold

"Arise my body, my small body, we have striven
Enough, and He is merciful; we are forgiven.
Arise small body, puppet-like and pale, and go,
White as the bed-clothes into bed, and cold as snow,
Undress with small, cold fingers and put out the light,
And be alone, hush'd mortal, in the sacred night,
A meadow whipt flat with the rain, a cup
Emptied and clean, a garment washed and folded up,
Faded in colour, thinned almost to raggedness
By dirt and by the washing of that dirtiness.
Be not too quickly warm again. Lie cold; consent
To weariness' and pardon's watery element.
Drink up the bitter water, breathe the chilly death;
Soon enough comes the riot of our blood and breath."

--C.S. Lewis

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me:
Within thy wounds hide me;
Let me never be separated from thee.
From the wicked foe defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
And bid me come to thee,
That with thy saints I may praise thee
For ever and ever. Amen.

--14th century prayer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"What is the true cause of self-righteousness? How is it that such a poor, weak, erring creature as man can ever dream of deserving anything at God's hands? It all arises from ignorance. The eyes of our understandings are naturally blinded. We see neither ourselves, nor our lives, nor God, nor the law of God, as we ought. Once let the light of grace shine into a man's heart, and the reign of self-righteousness is over. The roots of pride may remain, and often put forth bitter shoots. But the power of pride is broken when the Spirit comes into the heart, and shows the man himself, and God. The true Christian will never trust in his own goodness. He will say with St. Paul, 'I am the chief of sinners.'-- 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'"

--J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke, Vol. 2 (pp. 229).