Quotes of the week -
These first believers were in such a condition that their homes were
holy places. I beg you to notice this, that they were breaking bread from
house to house, and did eat their food with gladness and singleness of
They did not think that religion was meant only for Sundays, and for what
men now-a-days call the 'House of God'.
Their own houses were houses of God, and their own meals were mixed
and mingled with the Lord's Supper. They elevated their meals into diets for
worship. They so consecrated everything with prayer and praise that all
around them was holiness unto the Lord.
I wish our houses were thus dedicated to the Lord, so that we worshipped God
all the day long, and made our dwellings temples for the living God.
Does God need a 'special house'?
He who made the heavens and the earth, does he dwell in temples made with
hands? What crass ignorance is this!
No house beneath the sky is more holy than the place where a Christian
lives, and eats, and drinks, and sleeps, and praises the Lord in all that he
does. There is no worship more heavenly than that which is presented by holy
families, devoted to his fear.
To sacrifice home worship to public worship is a most evil course of
Morning and evening devotion in a cottage is infinitely more pleasing in the
sight of God than all the cathedral pomp which delights the carnal eye and
Every truly Christian household is a church, and as such it is competent for
the discharge of any function of divine worship, whatever it may be.
Are we not all priests? Why do we need to call in others to make
devotion a performance? Let every man be a priest in his own house.
Are you not all kings if you love the Lord? Then make your houses
palaces of joy and temples of holiness.
One reason why the early church had such a blessing was because her members
had such homes. When we are like them we shall have "added to the church
daily of the saved."
C. H. Spurgeon, "Additions to the Church" No. 1167
The Will of God
The doing of God's will is always a great thing—whether it is
something that affects the welfare of a nation, or something that concerns
only the good or the comfort of the lowliest of Christ's little ones.
There is a legend of an angel who was sent to earth to keep a king from
sinning; and also to help a little struggling ant home with its burden. Both
tasks were alike noble, because both were God's will.
In a great painting by one of the masters—there is a kitchen in which angels
are doing their work. One is putting the kettle on the fire, one is lifting
a pail of water, one is reaching up after a plate. These angels appear just
as heavenly in this lowly work—as if they were doing Divine errands around
We need to learn the lesson: that anything that is God's will—is great; and
that whatever is not God's will—is unworthy and ignoble, though it be to
sway a scepter over a nation, or being the world's idol. Many of us have to
spend most of our life—in what seems 'drudgery'. Perhaps we think it is
unworthy of us. We feel that we are capable of greater things, and should
not be required to spend our time in matters so trivial, perhaps so menial.
But if it is God's will that we are doing, our drudgery, as it appears to
God's eyes, is as radiant as angel's ministry!
- Source unknown
The Nature of Grace
1. Grace is God acting freely, according to His own
nature as Love; with no promises or
obligations to fulfill; and acting of course, righteously—in view of the
2. Grace, therefore, is uncaused in
the recipient: its cause lies wholly in
the GIVER, in GOD.
3. Grace, also is sovereign. Not
having debts to pay, or fulfilled conditions on man’s
part to wait for, it can act toward whom, and how, it pleases. It can,
and does, often,
place the worst deservers in the highest favors.
4. Grace cannot act
where there is either desert or ability: Grace
does not help--it
5. There being no
cause in the creature why
Grace should be shown, the creature must be
brought off from trying to
give cause to God for His
6. The discovery by the creature that he is truly the
object of Divine grace, works the utmost
humility: for the receiver of grace is brought to know his own
absolute unworthiness, and his complete inability to attain worthiness:
yet he finds himself blessed,—on another principle, outside of
7. Therefore, flesh
has no place in the plan
of Grace. This is the
great reason why Grace is hated by
the proud natural mind of man. But for this very reason, the true
believer rejoices!! For he knows that “in him, that is, in his flesh, is
no good thing”; and yet he finds God glad to bless him, just as he is!
- William Newell, Romans,
Verse by Verse
The Place of Humiliation
If You can do anything, have compassion on us
and help us. —Mark 9:22
After every time of exaltation, we are brought down with a
sudden rush into things as they really are, where it is neither beautiful,
poetic, nor thrilling. The height of the mountaintop is measured by the
dismal drudgery of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live
for the glory of God. We see His glory on the mountain, but we never live
for His glory there. It is in the place of humiliation that we find our true
worth to God— that is where our faithfulness is revealed. Most of us can do
things if we are always at some heroic level of intensity, simply because of
the natural selfishness of our own hearts. But God wants us to be at the
drab everyday level, where we live in the valley according to our personal
relationship with Him. Peter thought it would be a wonderful thing for
them to remain on the mountain, but Jesus Christ took the disciples down
from the mountain and into the valley, where the true meaning of the vision
was explained (see Mark 9:5-6, Mark 9:14-23).
“If you can do anything….” It takes the valley of humiliation to remove the
skepticism from us. Look back at your own experience and you will find that
until you learned who Jesus really was, you were a skillful skeptic about
His power. When you were on the mountaintop you could believe anything, but
what about when you were faced with the facts of the valley? You may be able
to give a testimony regarding your sanctification, but what about the thing
that is a humiliation to you right now? The last time you were on the
mountain with God, you saw that all the power in heaven and on earth
belonged to Jesus— will you be skeptical now, simply because you are in the
valley of humiliation?
- Oswald Chambers, 1874-1917, My Utmost for His Highest (October 2)
Quiet Time with God
A quiet hour spent alone with God at the beginning of the
day, is the best beginning for the toils and cares of the day. A brief
season of prayer, looking to God for wisdom and grace and strength, and
seeking the assistance of the Holy Spirit--helps us to carry our religion
into all of the events of the day. It brings joy and peace within the heart.
And as we place all our concerns in the care and keeping of the Lord,
faithfully striving to do His will--we have a joyful trust that however dark
or discouraging events may appear--our Father's hand is guiding everything,
and will give the wisest direction to all our toils.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in
the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. - Psalm 5:3
What is Holiness?
Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God,
according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of
agreeing in God's judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and
measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word (the Bible).
He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.
- J. C. Ryle, 1816-1900, Holiness
Some professors of religion are like the catbird!
There are very many things that may choke out love in the
home. One of these is the lack of kindness. If you have grown less kind in
your feelings, in your actions, and in your words--then love cannot thrive.
Kindness is one of the best fertilizers for love.
There are so many people who have two sets of tones in which to speak--and
two sets of manners in which they act. They have their company manners--and
their family manners. When they have company--then the voice is soft and
pleasant, and the manners are agreeable and kindly. They treat their friends
with the greatest consideration; but as soon as their friends are gone, the
pleasant voice changes into crossness or harshness and fault-finding--and
the pleasantness of manner disappears! In how many homes is this true!
The greater consideration, the greater kindness--is due the home folks.
Otherwise, love cannot flourish. If you wish to have love for your home
folks--then you must show them the consideration that is due them.
Some professors of religion are like the catbird!
When it is away from its nest--then it is one of the sweetest of the
northern warblers; but when it is close to its nest--then you will hear only
a harsh, discordant note. It has no sweetness in its voice while at its
In the same way, some people reserve all their kindness, tenderness, and
sweetness--for those outside the family circle. Is it any wonder that love
dies in such a home?
"Love must be without hypocrisy." Romans 12:9
- Charles Naylor, How to Fertilize Love, 1920
The true recipe
for a miserable existence
The first law of true religion is submission
to God's will. Where it does not exist, there is no piety--and
just as truly there is no tranquility of
What a hideous sight to see a human creature in full rebellion against God's
providence . . .
repining at His allotments;
fighting against His dispensations;
and cursing His judgments!
The true recipe for miserable existence is this: Quarrel with
When God means to make us happy, He teaches us submission--a resignation of
everything into His hands, and an acknowledgment that whatever
He does is wisest and best.
O how sweetly even
afflictions fall, when there is such a temper to receive them! "Shall we
accept good from God--and not trouble?" Job 2:10. Such a disposition tends
to tranquility of soul; and even amidst chastisement, there is internal
"The Lord gave--and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the
Lord." Job 1:21
"He is the Lord--let Him do what is good in
His eyes." 1 Samuel 3:18
"In everything give
thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians
"We know that God causes everything
to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according
to His purpose." Romans 8:28
- James W. Alexander, Consolation 1852
lived poor and died poor
"Jesus replied—Foxes have
holes and birds of
the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."
Jesus does not say, Kings have
palaces—but I have none. Nor does He say that rich
men have houses and lands and
mansions to entertain their followers—but I have none; but, "Foxes have
holes and birds of
the air have nests, but I have no place to lay My head."
Your outward condition is not worse than Christ's was, when He was in the
world. Christ's condition was low, yes, very low and humble in this world.
He was born in a stable, lived on the charity of others, and did not have
enough money to pay His taxes. The great Architect of the world had no place to lay His head—but emptied Himself of
all, and became poor to make us rich, not in goods—but in grace; not in
worldly wealth—but in the treasures of the eternal world. He
lived poor and died poor.
Are you houseless, are you penniless, are you poor, and low, and base in
this world? So was Christ! Remember "the servant is not greater than his
It is unfitting to see the Head all
begored with blood and crowned with thorns—and the members to
be decked with roses and jewels, and to smell of rich spices, and perfumes!
Are you in a worse condition than Christ was, in this world? Oh no, no! Why
then do you murmur and complain? Why do you say there is no sorrow like your
sorrow, nor any suffering compared to your suffering? O sirs! it is honor
enough for the disciples of Christ to fare as Christ fared in this world.
Why should the servant be in a better condition than His Lord? Did you but
seriously and frequently meditate and ponder upon the poverty and low estate
of Christ while He was in this world, your hearts would be more calm and
quiet under all their crosses and losses!
Thomas Brooks, London's
I Never Knew You
And then will I profess unto them, I
never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
- Mt. 7:23
I never knew you. That is, I never approved, loved, or regarded you
as my friends. This proves
that, with all their pretensions, they had never been true followers of
Christ. Jesus will not then say to false prophets and false professors of
religion, that he had once known them, and then rejected them; that they had
been once Christians and then had fallen away; that they had been pardoned,
and then had apostatized; but that he had never known them.
— THEY HAD NEVER BEEN TRUE CHRISTIANS.
Whatever might have been their pretended joys, their raptures, their hopes,
their self-confidence, their visions, their zeal, they had never been
regarded by the Savior as his true friends. I know not a moredecided proof that Christians do not fall away from grace than this text. It
settles the question; and proves that whatever else such men had, they
never had any true religion.
- Albert Barnes, 1872-1951, Barnes
Serving Christ at Home
Many people think that work for Christ must be something
outside, something great or public. They imagine that to minister to Christ,
they must teach a Sunday-school class or join a missionary society, or go
out to visit sick people, or go into hospitals or prisons on missions of
mercy. These are all beautiful and important ministries, and Christ wants
some of you to do just these things too; but the very first place you are to
serve him is in your own home. Let the blessed light of your life, first be
shed abroad in that most sacred of all spots. Brightening that little place,
you will be the more ready to be a blessing outside. Those who are the best
Christians at home—are the best everywhere else.
– J. R. Miller (1840-1912), In Green
No Secular and Sacred
A spiritually vigorous saint never believes that his circumstances simply
happen at random, nor does he ever think of his life as being divided
into the secular and the sacred. He sees
every situation in which he
finds himself as the means of obtaining a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ,
and he has an attitude of unrestrained abandon and total surrender about
- Oswald Chambers, My
Utmost for His Highest (from
July 11th reading)
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance,
being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things
according to the counsel of His will. - Ephesians 1:11
It is most important for us to learn that the smallest
trifles are as much arranged by the God of Providence--as the most momentous
He who counts the stars--has also numbered the hairs of our heads!
Our lives and deaths are predestined--but so, also, are our sitting down and
our rising up.
I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam, does not
move an atom more or less than God wishes.
I believe that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has
its ordained orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens.
I believe that the chaff from the hand of the winnower--is as much steered
by God, as the stars in their course.
The creeping of an aphid over the rosebush--is as much fixed as the march of
the devastating pestilence.
The fall of a leaf from a poplar tree--is as fully ordained as the tumbling
of an avalanche!
- Charles Spurgeon, 1834-1892
The First Lesson of a Christian
Likewise, ye younger, be subject unto the elder. Yea, all of
you gird yourselves with humility, to serve one another: for God resisteth
the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under
the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. - 1 Peter 5:5-6
"For those who would learn God's ways, humility is the first thing,
humility is the second thing, and humility is the third
- Augustine, 354-430
"This is true religion:
to approve what God approves,
to hate what God hates, and
to delight in what God delights."
- Charles Hodge, 1797- 1878