Categories
Excerpts

Better Things

It should be the Christian’s chief care to obtain from God the choicest mercies. The worldly are indeed easily put off with the meanest, because their inquiry is only who will show them any good. But O Christian! Let nothing please or satisfy you, but the light of God’s countenance and do so receive from God here, as that you may be received to God hereafter. Desire not gifts, but mercies from God; not pebbles but pearls, and always labor for that which God never bestows but in love. Luther, when he had a rich present sent to him, professed with a holy boldness to God that such things should not serve his turn. Always desire the favor of God rather than outward felicity. O desire from God that your portion may not be in this life, but that what you enjoy here may be a pledge of better things hereafter.

William Jenkyn, Dying Thoughts, 1.

Categories
Meditations Special Observances

God is Great

God is great. This truth cannot be measured by our present circumstances. But our hope can be measured by this truth.

Categories
Excerpts

The Brokenness of Our Own Way

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way…
Isaiah 53:6

Little by little as time goes on, many of us do not believe that the standards established by God are relative to our age. We discard His directions for living. We ignore His instructions for our conduct. We tum each to his own way only to find that our difficulties deepen. We see ourselves caught up in a worldly way of existence. Life becomes a meaningless mockery. God’s absolute values of integrity, loyalty, justice, honour, love, and fine nobility are cast aside. And in their place we find ourselves an impoverished people left only with discouragement and despair. We are robbed blind and left destitute with broken lives, broken hearts, broken minds, broken homes, broken bodies, and a broken society. Jesus was speaking a truth we should pay attention to when He said that it was possible for us to be pillaged and plundered by the false philosophies and crass materialism of our times. Unhappily most people simply won’t believe Him. They know better, or so they think. But they end up broken and beaten.
(Phillip Keller, The Shepherd Trilogy, 213).

But [Christ] was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Categories
Excerpts

Blessed are the Meek

They are lowly-minded, and are ready to give up their portion in the earth; therefore it shall come back to them. They neither boast, nor contend, nor exult over others, yet are they heirs of all the good which God has created on the face of the earth. In their meekness they are like their King, and they shall reign with him. The promised land is for the tribes of the meek: before them the Canaanites shall be driven out. He has the best of this world who thinks least of it, and least of himself.

—Charles H. Spurgeon
The Gospel of the Kingdom (Passmore & Alabaster, 1893), Mt 5:5.

Categories
Excerpts Quotes

We Are Far Too Easily Pleased!

The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased!

—C. S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, 25–26.