Friday, January 30, 2009

Jeremiah A. Denton's poem

Jeremiah A. Denton, ex- P.O.W. of the Vietnam War wrote this while he was imprisoned in Vietnam.

The soldiers stare, then drift away,
Young John finds nothing he can say,
The veil is rent; the deed is done;
And Mary holds her only son.
His limbs grow stiff; the night grows cold,
But naught can loose that mother’s hold.
Her gentle, anguished eyes seem blind,
Who knows what thoughts run through her mind?
Perhaps she thinks of last week’s palms,
With cheering thousands off’ring alms
Or dreams of Cana on the day
She nagged him till she got her way.
Her face shows grief but not despair,
Her head, though bowed, has faith to spare,
For even now she could suppose
His thorns might somehow yield a rose.
Her life with Him was full of signs
That God writes straight with crooked lines.
Dark clouds can hide the rising sun,

And all seem lost, when all is won!

Jeremiah Denton, Vietnam, Easter 1969

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ravi Zacharias' quotes

An opinion is something you possess in a continuum of options, which is merely a preference. It is something you like. It may be a certain color. It may be a type of food. It may be the style of a home.

A conviction is different to an opinion, because that is rooted in your conscience, and you cannot change a conviction without altering that which is essentially you. So while you may hold onto an opinion, a conviction is that which holds onto you.

If a conviction is that which is deeply engraved in your conscience, it is indispensable that it be undergirded with love. If it is not, it makes the possessor of that conviction obnoxious, and the dogma he or she possesses becomes repulsive.

Outside the spirit of God, self-control is not possible beyond a certain point. Concrete is very good for foundation up to a point. It is immense under compressive strength, it can take enormous compressive strength but concrete has no tension strength. So that’s you when you build a foundation, you don’t just build it with concrete, you reinforced it with steel. Because steel’s tensile strength which is 10 times more than concrete and what the concrete cannot do under tension, the steel does it for the concrete under tension. The concrete can take the weight in its compressive strength and the steel provide the tensile strength, that’s why reinforced concrete provides us the double strength we need. The Human will up to a certain point can takes the pressures of this world; you need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to have self-control. Not just self-control in sensuality but in many other ways.

A man who lives a double life in ministry, is a man who deny in private practice what he affirms in public proclamation. He implicitly denies God’s omniscience. He explicitly challenges the righteousness of God. He gradually ignores the justice of God.

I don’t know what habits you have that you have not given up, I don’t know what dreams you are pursuing that you have not given up, I don’t know what things that your hands touched that are not yours, I don’t know what goals you have set that are ungodly, I don’t know what places your feet taking you that you ought not to go, but I am going to challenge you that if you claim to follow the person of Jesus Christ, are you willing to lay at his altar and give it up for him.

There are those who claim that God is dead and who live like God is dead but there are very few of them. Because everybody at some time, at least assume some absolute exist. They trouble me to a certain degree but there is a greater worry I do have. In the church there are people who claim that God is alive, but turn around and acts as if He were dead. We can preach and study, and sing, and proclaim, and witness and write and still act as if God is dead.

Never be afraid to say no to sin and you will never regret it.

If the objective of evangelism is to touch the conscience, how can we hypocritically reach the conscience? There must be a purity of life.

Nothing you and I can do will be significantly meaningful before God if we neglect our devotional life

And until that answer is learned, the cries of the heart will never find their rest, and God's outstretched hand will not meet ours.

What oxygen is to the brain, Jesus is to our hearts. He satisfies our deepest our deepest longings unlike anything else...If we were to list all of our hungers we have, we might be surprised how many legitimate hungers we have. We hunger for truth, love, knowledge, belonging, self-expression, justice, imagination, learning, and significance - to name a few. If we browse any library, or bookstore, we will soon realize that the vast psychological theories have emerged to describe each one of these hungers or needs. As important and right as those needs are, our need for Jesus is infinitely greater...Jesus put an exclamation point on His supreme place in our life. He who comes to me will never be hungry, and he who believe in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

When your life lacked focus, your death is just as confusing.

If you don't set your boundaries by God's perimeters, whose perimeters would you use?

Life does not only need starting power, it also need staying power.

If we fear the consequences more than we fear the cause, there would be no limits where we will go.

Are you a changed person or a converted person? Is Saul more concerned about his sins or the consequences? I am not sure Saul fear sinning against God more than he fears getting caught by God. Until we understand what sin is, I don’t think we will quit playing with around it. Until we understand how sin can scorch you? How it can break up your home? How it could damage your relationship with your children? How it has broken up nations? How can it has lead to antagonism? How it can be so self-defacing, that people propagates themselves and defaced themselves in the long run? Until we understand the very nature of sin, we don’t understand what it does to the heart of God.

All the moral laws cannot change the heart of men.

The shortest route in life is not always the best route because it can bypass some of the most precious lessons in life.

Is it really possible that God made himself so elusive that you need a doctorate in philosophy to find out whether he exist?

It is more sufficient for us merely to give assent to the content but it must reigned with conviction. There is a frightening trend today to give lip service, but to sever it somehow from deep seeded convictions. Good to know the content, vital to know the content but how important to have that content seed and rooted in conviction.

The world out there looks to the consistency with which you and I live.

There is a hunger out there looking for a life not that doesn't only proclaims but a life that sustains it by consistent Christian conduct.

The world has heard long enough how the blood of Christ saves us from the guilt of sin. The world is also watching us to see if it saves us from the power of sin. How important it is that somewhere your life touch someone else’s life. Not just that they hear, but they see and feel your Christianity within your bones!

Until we understand what the Bible means by sin, our moral definitions will never find solutions.

The problem is not the absence of education or culture, it is the presence of sin.

Those who recognize the nature of sin understand that what renders someone a sinner is not the scale of human wickedness but the very nature and character of God. It is God's purity that we stand before, not a fluctuating moral code that varies from one society to another. [As from the Old Testament to the New Testament] When sin is understood, a moral discussion can begin for each one of us stands accountable before God. An accountability that high makes the moral law of any land secondary to the moral law of God. Honesty and virtue are embraced because our motivation is to honor God and not merely to appear right before others.

Truth has been relegated to subjectivity; beauty has been subjugated to the beholder; and as millions are idiotized night after night, a global commune has been constructed with the arts enjoying a totalitarian rule.

It is easier to hide behind philosophical arguments, heavily footnoted for effect, than it is to admit our hurts, our confusions, our loves, and our passions in the marketplace of life's heartfelt transactions.

Teaching at best beckons us to morality, but it is not in itself efficacious. Teaching is like a mirror. It can show you if your face is dirty, but it the mirror will not wash your face.

The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a bucket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them.

We do not live so that we can eat, nor do we just eat so that we can live. Life is worth living in and of itself. Life cannot be satisfied when it is lived out as a consuming entity. When it is filled by that which satisfies a hunger that is both physical and spiritual in a mutuality that sustains both without violation of either, only then can life be truly fulfilling.

Truth is not only a matter of offense, in that it makes certain assertions. It is also a matter of defense in that it must be able to make a cogent and sensible response to the counterpoints that are raised.

Every other person who is at the heart of any religion has had his or her beginning either in fancy or in fact. But nevertheless, there is a beginning. Jesus' birth in Bethlehem was a moment preceded by eternity. His being neither originated in time nor came about by the will of humanity. The Author of time, who lived in the eternal, was made incarnate in time that we might live with the eternal in view. In that sense, the message of Christ was not the introduction of a religion, but an introduction to truth about reality as God alone knows it. To deny Jesus' message while pursuing spirituality is to conjure an imaginary religion in an attempt to see heaven while sight is confined to the earth. That is precisely what Jesus challenged when he said, "I have come that [you] may have life" (John 10:10). His life spells living. Your life or my life, apart from Him, spells death.

Historic figures have homes to visit for posterity; the Lord of history left no home. Luminaries leave libraries and write their memoirs; He left one book, penned by ordinary people. Deliverers speak of winning through might and conquest; He spoke of a place in the heart.

Worship is a posture of life that takes as its primary purpose the understanding of what it really means to love and revere God.

I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny. I came amid the thunderous cries of a culture that has 330 million deities. I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive.

The four absolutes we all have in our minds: love, justice, evil, and forgiveness.

Faith in the biblical sense is substantive, based on the knowledge that the One in whom that faith is placed has proven that He is worthy of that trust. In its essence, faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is.

Capturing the beauty of the conversion of the water into wine, the poet Alexander Pope said, "The conscious water saw its Master and blushed." That sublime description could be reworked to explain each one of these miracles. Was it any different in principle for a broken body to mend at the command of its Maker? Was it far-fetched for the Creator of the universe, who fashioned matter out of nothing, to multiply bread for the crowd? Was it not within the power of the One who called all the molecules into existence to interlock them that they might bear His footsteps?

Changes in language often reflect the changing values of a culture.

With no fact as a referent, what is normative is purely a matter of preference.

There can be no reproach to pain unless we assume human dignity, there is no reason for restraints on pleasure unless we assume human worth, there is no legitimacy to monotony unless we assume a greater purpose to life, there is no purpose to life unless we assume design, death has no significance unless we seek what is everlasting.

There is no greater discovery than seeing God as the author of your destiny.

I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put him. We have kept him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on him in prayer, we wonder where he is. He is exactly where we left him.

Unless I understand the Cross, I cannot understand why my commitment to what is right must be precedence over what I prefer

There is no greater discovery than seeing God as the author of your destiny

I thank the Lord that, even though things were so wrong in my life here, I finally was brought to the realization of what all those struggles were about. There are some wonderful things from your painful past, things with a beauty you may not have realized at the time.

These days its not just that the line between right and wrong has been made unclear, today Christians are being asked by our culture today to erase the lines and move the fences, and if that were not bad enough, we are being asked to join in the celebration cry by those who have thrown off the restraints religion had imposed upon them. It is not just that they ask we accept, but they now demand of us to celebrate it too.

Yes, if truth is not undergirded by love, it makes the possessor of that truth obnoxious and the truth repulsive.

We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right.

Love is a commitment that will be tested in the most vulnerable areas of spirituality, a commitment that will force you to make some very difficult choices. It is a commitment that demands that you deal with your lust, your greed, your pride, your power, your desire to control, your temper, your patience, and every area of temptation that the Bible clearly talks about. It demands the quality of commitment that Jesus demonstrates in His relationship to us.

When cupidity (selfishness) and self-aggrandizement is the motive, unity can be absolutely devastating.

Nowhere is our escape from reality more visible than in cosmetics industry across this world which try to hide so many things. The cosmetics industry has exploded into a multi billion dollar business, churning out products to make us look better, smell better, or feel younger and a dozen other innocent form of disfigurement. Finally, it is cancer or heart attack that lands us in a coffin. So what do we do? We make a final outlandish effort to slap on enough cream and dip into the mortifican’s cosmetic bag so that everyone passes by in that ultimate death-denying compliment” He looks just like himself, doesn’t he?”

If we find those answers, they will spell life, steadying the soul even though the heart still aches.

The single greatest obstacle to the impact of the gospel has not been its inability to provide answers, but the failure on our part to live it out.

Man is not just unethical, he is lost and dead. If man is only lost in guilt, what I have given you is just bad news but He is lost in sin, our great privilege to tell him we have a savior. The biggest difference between Jesus Christ and ethical & moral teachers who has been deified by man, these moralists came to make bad people good but Jesus Christ came to make dead people live.

Postmodernism tells us there’s no such thing as truth; no such thing as meaning; no such thing as certainty. I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts. He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.” I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?” He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked, ‘Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.” I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?” He said, “That is correct.” I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?” All of a sudden there was silence. You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.

A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God.

H. L. Mencken said, 'The problem with life is not that it's a tragedy, but that it's a bore.' A child who is filled with wonder is also filled with a sense of enchantment, a sense of significance, a sense of meaning. When wonder ceases, boredom and emptiness begin to stalk existence.

If you were stranded at the midnight hour in a desolate Los Angeles street and if, as you stepped out of your car with fear and trembling, you were suddenly to hear the weight of pounding footsteps behind you, and you saw ten burly young men who had just stepped out of a dwelling coming toward you, would it or would it not make a difference to you to know that they were coming from a Bible study?

In the East, devotion, commitment, and role relations finds a cultural emphasis. In the West, romance becomes the sum and substance of it all. Somewhere the two must be incorporated for without romance marriage is drudgery, but without will and commitment, marriage is a mockery.

It was not the volume of sin that sent Christ to the cross; it was the fact of sin.

Man is not at peace with his fellow man because he is not at peace with himself. He is not at peace with himself because he is not at peace with God.

Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain; meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure. And that is why we find ourselves emptied of meaning with our pantries still full.

The use or abuse of Christianity in contradiction to the very message of the gospel reveals not the gospel for what it is, but the heart of man. That is why atheism is so bankrupt as a view of life, for it miserably fails to deal with the human condition as it really is.

One of the most staggering truths of the Scriptures is to understand that we do not earn our way to heaven. have a place-but as a demonstration of having received God's forgiveness, not as a badge of merit of having earned it.

To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge. Because their declaration is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge.

Time is the brush of God, as he paints his masterpiece on the heart of humanity

We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right.

What I believe in my heart must make sense in my mind.

Oscar Wilde said, 'The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.' He got it wrong. The unrestrained appeasement of desire only expands hungers. Does not our experience tell us so?

Time isn't just a fleeting thing. It never moves forward without engraving it's mark upon the heart.

You must keep in mind that God does have an appointment with you, that there is a cost to serving Him.

In quoting a friend of his, D.D. Davis, who said: "There are no accidents in life -- just incidents that remind us who is boss."

When God puts a broken life back together, He removes the scars because He builds from the inside out. And when God steadies a faltering life, He puts you on His footing.

Zacharias quotes David Livingston: "Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any ties but the ties that bind me to your service and to your heart."

All pleasure costs. For legitimate, you pay the price before; for illegitimate, you pay the price after.

You show me a society without shame, and I will show you a society that is flirting with hell. You cannot, simply cannot, build a culture where nothing is shameful anymore.

What we want is a politician who will understand . . . the framework of the value of human life and the moral framework of the Judeo-Christian world view, which is the only moral framework under which this country could have been framed . . . that we are all created equal, that liberty and justice and all of those terms that I’ve given only make sense within the Judeo-Christian world view. Created? Equal? Naturalism does not tell us we are equal. Naturalism does not tell us we are created. Liberty? Islam does not believe in the total liberty of the individual. Equal? Hinduism believes in the caste system. The Judeo-Christian world view is the only world view that could frame this country. And so I think as we elect, we go before God and see out of the candidates who will be the best one to represent the values and at the same time be a good leader for the country whose first responsibility should be to protect its citizens.

To deem all beliefs equally true is sheer nonsense for the simple reason that to deny that statement would also, then, be true. But if denial of the statement is also true, then all religions are not true.

The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced that which you thought would deliver the ultimate, and it has just let you down.

We have become so accustomed to hearing preachers or expositors, as important as that is, that many in the process have abandoned the grand privilege of personally hearing from God’s Word daily.

We have to find the back door to peoples’ hearts because the front door is heavily guarded.

Unity does not have to be uniformity.

Is life to be defined by what I pursue — or must my pursuit be defined by what life was meant to be? If the primary goal of life is a closer walk with GOD — then even the good is sometimes set aside in favor of the best. If a person does not understand that the purpose of life defines lifestyle, then the lifestyle itself is hollow and the life is squandered.

Jesus Christ continually contradicts us in the way we experience ourselves as alive.... and compels us to radically redefine what we mean by life. He encountered us the way we encountered the disciples on Easter Sunday. They were the ones marked out for death. Those who survived were really the dead. He’s the dead one was really the living.

Retreating from the world, many Christians seek cover inside their church buildings, wagging their fingers at the "secular ownership" of the social landscape and receiving petty satisfaction in saying, "This little part still belongs to us.

If you are determined in going in a certain direction, if you are bent upon silencing the voice of God in your life, you know what God will do? He’ll step aside and second your motion. If that’s what you really want. Because He cannot violate your Will and still call you free… If I am a free being, He cannot overrule my freedom in the most ultimate sense, and still call me free. He can lure, He can rule, He can plead, He can beg, He can even put the pressure on, but He cannot violate your will and still call you free.

You will never lighten any load until you feel the pressure in your own soul.

Apart from God, chaos is the norm; with God, the hungers of the mind and heart find their fulfillment.How are you going to reach a generation that hears with their eyes and thinks with their emotions?

Many professing believers end up going their own way but make it look like God's way. Many non-believers are willing to go God's way only if God goes their way.

The risk we flirt with in the Christian world is that worship has become an experience rather than a way of life is a very risky risky proposition. How we keep worship holding its theological integrity and finding its existential relevance? If we do not understand how to retain its integrity and maintain its relevance, we will lose one or two in the process and the church will either become irrelevant or lose the truth in the process.

In fact, Nietzsche went on to say, because God had died in the nineteenth century, there would be two direct results in the twentieth century. First, he prognosticated that the twentieth century would become the bloodiest century in history, and, second, that a universal madness would break out. He has been right on both counts.

Great thinkers have repeatedly warned over the centuries that a departure from God denudes humans and results in the death of meaning. The denial of God and the death of meaning cannot be severed from each other, though interspersed with all the learning, education, and hyperactivity of postmodern human beings. The farther we move from God, the more we devalue man.

Indeed, one author has observed, ‘In the 1950s, kids lost their innocence. They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term - the generation gap. In the 1960s, kids lost their authority. It was the decade of protest - church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it. In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism, dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self: self-image, self-esteem, self-assertion. It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex but forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference. In the 1980s, kids lost their hope. Stripped of innocence, authority, and love, and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future.’ I would like to add that in the 1990s, we lost our ability to reason. The power of critical thinking has gone from induction to deduction and very few are able to think clearly anymore. I have often said the challenge of the truth speaker today is this: How do you reach a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings?

Those who harness the strength of the arts mold the soul of a nation to an extraordinary degree, affecting and changing the way people think and act to drastic proportions. As the Scottish politician Andrew Fletcher (1655-1716) once noted, ‘Give me the making of the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.’ Television and music media are such potent forces because they have within them the capacity to bypass reason and head straight for the imagination. They can bind the strongman of reason, and so capture the goods. Indeed…this is a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings. Any system that opens its arms wide enough to incorporate everything will end up strangling itself when the arms close in.

Two main words for Sin in the Bible: the first is the concept of the missing the mark. The second word is one who deliberately steps aside in violation for what he know to be right.

If you are a praying Christian, your Christianity will carry you. If you are not a praying Christian, you will carry your Christianity and it gets exhausting to carry the infinite and it will wear you. If you are a praying Christian, your faith and God will carry you. If you are not a praying Christian, you will get thoroughly, thoroughly , thoroughly exhausted.

For man, sin is not just an act, it is an attitude. Man is not a sinner because he is a trangressor. He is a trangressor because he is already a sinner. The offense is not only in the trangression but in the intention. Not merely in the violation of the law but in the deposition of the heart. The Sermon on the Mount makes this clear, please listen now. Lust is adultery even though it never passes beyond the look of desire , hateful anger is murder even if the blood is never spilled, materialism is lust of the eyes even if one is not rich. This is so because the seed of sin is in the heart and will, not only in the action.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Make Me Thy Fuel - Amy Carmichael

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

William Jenkyn's quotes

As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst.

The best way never to fall is ever to fear.

We are not justified by doing good works, but being justified we then do good.

Praise shall conclude that work which prayer began.

William Gurnall's quotes

God Himself underwrites your battle and has appointed His own Son 'the Captain of your salvation.'

God's wounds cure, sin's kisses kill.

No, the Christian must stand fixed to his principles, and not change his habit; but freely show what countryman he is by his holy constancy in the truth.

Blind zeal is soon put to a shameful retreat, while holy resolution, built on fast principles, lifts up its head like a rock in the midst of the waves.

In heaven we shall appear, not in armour, but in robes of glory. But here these are to be worn night and day; we must walk, work, and sleep in them, or else we are not true soldiers of Christ.

Therefore it should be our care, if we would not yield to the sin, not to walk by, or sit at, the door of the occasion.

As you love your peace, Christian, be plain-hearted with God and man, and keep the king's highway.

It is true, Christian, the debt thou owest to God must be paid in good and lawful money, but, for thy comfort, here Christ is thy paymaster.

When I consider how the goodness of God is abused by the greatest part of mankind, I cannot but be of his mind that said, 'The greatest miracle in the world is God's patience and bounty to an ungrateful world.'

Mercy should make us ashamed, wrath afraid to sin.

It is no policy to let thy lusts have arms, which are sure to rise and declare against thee when thine enemy comes.

Take heed thou makest not the least child thine enemy by offering wrong to him; God will right the wicked even upon the saint.

Thou hast no life to lose, because thou hast given it already to Christ, nor can man take away that without God's leave.

Sin disabled man to keep God's law, but it doth not enfranchise or disoblige him that he need not keep it.

His subject thou art whom thou crownest in thy heart, and not whom thou flatterest with thy lips.

Christ will bear no equal, and Satan no superior; and therefore, hold in with both thou canst not.

All his commands are acts of grace, it is a favour to be employed about them.

How can God stoop lower than to come and dwell with a poor humble soul? which is more than if he had said, such a one should dwell with him; for a beggar to live at court is not so much as the king to dwell with him in his cottage.

Can Christ be in thy heart, and thou not know it? Can one king be dethroned and another crowned in thy soul, and thou hear no scuffle?

When people do not mind what God speaks to them in His word, God doth as little mind what they say to Him in prayer.

None will have such a sad parting from Christ, as those who went half-way with Him and then left Him.

The Christian is bred by the Word, and he must be fed by it.

Compare Scripture with Scripture. False doctrines, like false witnesses, agree not among themselves.

Christ hath told us He will come, but not when, that we might never put off our clothes, or put out the candle.

As Christ hath His saints in Nero's court; so the devil his servants in the outer court of the visible church.

Peace of conscience is nothing but the echo of pardoning mercy.

The devil is a great student in divinity.

Nothing is smoother than the sea, yet when stirred into a tempest, nothing rageth more. Nothing is so sweet as the patience and goodness of God, and nothing is so terrible as His wrath when it takes fire.

We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man's terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God.

Nothing is more contrary to a heavenly hope than an earthly heart.

All the plots of hell and commotions on earth have not so much as shaken God's hand to spoil one letter or line he has been drawing.

Humility is a necessary veil to all other graces.

Pray often rather than very long at a time. It is hard to be very long in prayer, and not slacken in our affections.

Pride loves to climb up, not as Zaccheus to see Christ, but to be seen.

Thou must be righteous and holy, before thou canst live righteously and holily.

Can Christ be in thy heart, and thou not know it? Can one king be dethroned and another crowned in thy soul, and thou hear no scuffle?

Various Puritans' quotes

I have gotten more hurt by my good works than my bad ones. My bad works always drove me to the Savior for mercy; my good works often kept me from him, and I began to trust in myself.

Nothing can draw men to repentance but the regal power of Christ, that power which He exercises at God's right hand. For the acts of repentance are hatred of sin, sorrow for it, resolution to forsake it, and endeavour its ruin. Now sin is so transcendently dear, lovely, and delightful to a man out of Christ, as nothing but an infinite power can draw him to these spiritual acts. -David Clarkson

It is better to have divisions than evil uniformity. -Walter Cradock

If a loving heart is without fear of the day of judgment, he is without fear of falling away. -John Cotton

The Word generates faith and regenerates us. -Joseph Alleine

For no man is damned precisely because God hath not chosen him, because he is not elected, but because he is a sinner, and doth wilfully refuse the means of grace offered. -Anthony Burgess

The friends of free-will are the enemies of free-grace. -John Trapp

I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous. -Thomas Lye

O miserable man, what a deformed monster has sin made you! God made you little lower than the angels; sin has made you little better than the devils. -Joseph Alleine

To this throne I boldly come and there my sins confess, knowing full well that in Him I shall obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Ebenezer Erskine

Indifference in religion, is the first step to apostasy from religion. -William Secker

I will give you this as a most certain observation, that there never was anything of false worship imposed upon the church, but either it was by neglecting the Scripture, or by introducing something above the Scripture. -John Collins

The more purely God's word is preached, the more deeply it pierces and the more kindly it works. -William Gouge

If you would attain the true knowledge of the Christian religion, study the Bible, especially the New Testament. The Bible has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without error for its matter! -John Locke

God dwells as glorious in a saint when he is in the dark, as when he is in light, for darkness is His secret place, and His pavilion round about Him are dark waters. -William Erberry

All fundamental errors and heresies in the Church may be traced to this source - 'Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures'. (Matthew 22:29) They are mostly based on partial or disjointed statements of truth. Truth separated from truth becomes error. Never has apostasy from the faith been connected with a prayerful and diligent study of the word of God. -Charles Bridges

The more purely God's word is preached, the more deeply it pierces and the more kindly it works. -William Gouge

Not to be afflicted is a sign of weakness; for, therefore God imposeth no more on me, because He sees I can bear no more.

Thomas Watson's quotes

Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.

Hypocrites love a cheap religion. They like a gospel that will put them to no charges. They are content so they may have golden bags, to have wooden priests.

The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut diamond but diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture.

'The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God,....neither can he know them' (1 Cor. 2:14). He may have more insight into the things of the world than a believer, but he does not see the deep things of God. A swine may see an acorn under a tree, but he cannot see a star.

Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell.

Let them fear death who do not fear sin.

None so empty of grace as he that thinks he is full.

Afflictions add to the saints' glory. The more the diamond is cut, the more it sparkles; the heavier the saints' cross is, the heavier will be their crown.

All the danger is when the world gets into the heart. The water is useful for sailing the ship; all the danger is when the water gets into the ship; so the fear is when the world gets into the heart.

Christ's blood has value enough to redeem the whole world, but the virtue of it is applied only to such as believe.

God does not choose us for faith but to faith.

Justification is the very hinge and pillar of Christianity. An error about justification is dangerous, like a defect in a foundation. Justification by Christ is a spring of the water of life. To have the poison of corrupt doctrine cast into this spring is damnable.

The godly have some good in them, therefore the devil afflicts them; and some evil in them, therefore God afflicts them.

Little sins unrepented of will damn thee as well as great. Not only great rivers fall into the sea, but little brooks; not only greater sins carry men to hell, but lesser; therefore do not think pardon easy because sin is small.

No flattery can heal a bad conscience, so no slander can hurt a good one.

Ministers must not only be 'pastors' but fighters and warriors. In one hand, they must hold the bread of life and feed the flock of God; in the other hand, they must hold the sword of the spirit and fight against those errors which carry damnation in their front.

If ministers must take all opportunities to preach, the flock of God must take all opportunities to hear. When the Word of God is preached, the bread of life is distributed, which is more precious than thousands of gold and silver. In the Word preached, heaven and salvation is offered to you.

Affliction may be lasting, but it is not everlasting.

Be not only attentive in hearing, but retentive after hearing.

Prayer that is faithless is fruitless.

There is more evil in a drop of sin than in a sea of affliction.

The Scripture is the library of the Holy Ghost; it is a pandect of divine knowledge, an exact model and platform of religion. The Scripture contains in it the credenda, 'the things which we are to believe,' and the agenda, 'the things we are to practice.'

Read the Scripture, not only as a history, but as a love-letter sent to you from God.

He (God) gives them three jewels more worth than heaven--the blood of His Son, the grace of His Spirit, and the light of His countenance.

Let us then ascribe the whole work of grace to the pleasure of God's will. God did not choose us because we were worthy, but by choosing us He makes us worthy.

Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset; eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise.

Other graces make us like Christ, faith makes us members of Christ.

The Scripture tells us that in hell there are three things: there is darkness, there is fire, and there are chains.

Better is the sin which humbles me, than that duty which makes me proud.

Idleness tempts the devil to tempt.

God does not justify us because we are worthy, but by justifying us makes us worthy.

We must know God's will before we can do it aright, there is no going to heaven blindfolded.

The mercies of God make a sinner proud, but a saint humble.

Mercy is not for them that sin and fear not, but for them that fear and sin not.

Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels.

Prayer is the soul's breathing itself into the bosom of its heavenly father.

The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer fetched the angel.

By delay of repentance, sin strengthens, and the heart hardens. The longer ice freezeth, the harder it is to be broken.

Sin hath the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death for its wages.

The more we grow in grace, the more shall we flourish in glory. Though every vessel of glory shall be full, yet some vessels hold more.

If a wicked man seems to have peace at death, it is not from the knowledge of his happiness, but from the ignorance of his danger.

Thomas Vincent's quotes

Godliness is begun in regeneration and conversion. Be persuaded to get new hearts, to become new creatures.

The wicked are vessels fitted by sin for destruction and prepared for wrath; and therefore they shall be filled with it, even as the vessels of mercy are fitted for and shall be filled with glory.

If you die this night out of Christ, the wrath of God will seize upon you immediately, and you will be irrecoverably miserable, and that to eternity.

Thomas Shepard's quotes

O, take heed of a hypocritical heart; if the Lord should come to judge according to the seeing of the eyes of the outward man, then well were it with many; but when the secrets of the hearts shall be judged, it will be terrible.

The power of sin lies in the power of darkness, as the power of a weak state in the wisdom of its counsel. And hence, when the Spirit comes, all the work of it is expressed by conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment; because, convince one effectually, and you convert him.

Thomas Manton's quotes

We have peace with God by the righteousness of Christ, and peace of conscience by the fruits of righteousness in ourselves.

Works before conversion cannot engage God, and works after conversion can not satisfy God - all the endeavour and labour of the creature will never procure it.

What must we contend for? For every truth of God, according to its moment and weight. The dust of gold is precious; and it is dangerous to be careless in the lesser truths: There is nothing superfluous in the cannon.

First we practice sin, then defend it, then boast of it.

Christianity doth not abrogate affections, but regulates them.

There is no wrinkle on the brow of eternity.

Knowledge without wisdom may be soon discerned; it is usually curious and censorious.

You should, in Tertullian's phrase, with a holy conspiracy, besiege heaven.

Whoever delays his repentance does in effect pawn his soul with the devil.

The devil has a great spite at Christ's kingdom and he knows no better way to crush it than by the perversion of youth, and family duties. He strikes at all church duties but at family duties with more success because the practice is not so seriously and conscientiously regarded as it should be, and neglecting it is not liable to be noticed or rebuked.

Thomas Hooker's quotes

Thy sorrows outbid thy heart, thy fears outbid thy sorrows, and thy thoughts go beyond thy fears; and yet here is the comfort of a poor soul: in all his misery and wretchedness, the mercy of the Lord outbids all these, whatsoever may, can, or shall befall thee.

I confess it is beyond our power to awaken the heart, but ordinarily this way does good.

Look whether it be indifferently, as well for sins secret as open, what you find to be your best cordials to comfort you, whether God's Word, or natural means.

Nay, men are so far from musing of their sins, that they disdain this practise, and scoff at it: what say they, if all were of your mind; what should become of us? Shall we be always poring on our corruptions?

So that godly sorrow may be discerned by this train of graces wherewith it is accompanied, that worldly sorrow wants, at least in the truth of them, though it may have some shadows of them.

Brother, I am going to receive mercy.

But when particular application comes home to the heart, and a minister says; this is your drunkenness, and your adultery and profaneness, and this will break your neck one day: what assurance have you got of God's mercy? And what can you say for heaven? Then men begin to look about them.

Look what is that which sets our sorrow on work, whether it be the terrible nature of God's judgements, or the experience of his fatherly mercies. Consider of what continuance our sorrow is, whether of a fleeing nature, or more permanent, such as dwells with us, and does not only lodge with us for a night.

I confess it is beyond our power to awaken the heart, but ordinarily this way does good.

By these marks we may grow to some resolution to discover to ourselves, that we be not mistaken in some legal affrightments or worldly griefs instead of godly sorrow; which is a special part of repentance.

Look whether it be indifferently, as well for sins secret as open, what you find to be your best cordials to comfort you, whether God's Word, or natural means.

That we do not content ourselves to have sorrow for sin, but labor to find out, whether it be a godly sorrow or not.

There was never any convicting ministry, nor any man that did in plainness apply the Word home, but their people would be reformed by it, or else their consciences would be troubled, and desperately provoked to oppose God and his ordinances, that they may be plagued by it.

Thomas Goodwin's quotes

Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayers and worn with thanks.

Moreover, as God respects no persons, so He respects no conditions upon which He gives salvation to us.

Oh despise not election! therein lies all your hope, that there is a remnant who shall infallibly be saved.

Judas heard all Christ's sermons.

My brethren, when God first began to love you, He gave you all that He ever meant to give you in the lump, and eternity of time is that in which He is retailing of it out.

Thomas Case's quotes

Surely, my brethren, among all the sins in England that the people of God have cause to be humbled for, there is not any whereby we have more provoked God than by that sin of our unbelief.

We have been a long time in sinning, we had need be a long time in repenting.

Repentance is nothing else but the breaking of the heart for and from sin.

Apostacy is the loss of our first love. Repentance is the recovery of it, and reformation is the doing of our first works.

Thomas Brooks' quotes

The greatness of a man’s sin does but magnify the riches of God’s free grace. Sins are debts, and God can as easily blot out a debt of many thousands as He can a lesser one. Therefore, let not the greatest sinner despair, but believe; and he shall find that where sin hath abounded, there grave shall much more abound.

If one penitent tear could purchase heaven, hell could not afford that tear.

God looks not at the elegancy of your prayers, to see how neat they are; nor yet at the geometry of your prayers, to see how long they are; nor yet at the arithmetic of your prayers, to see how many they are; nor yet at the music of your prayers, nor yet at the sweetness of your voice, nor yet at the logic of your prayers; but at the sincerity of your prayers, how hearty they are. There is no prayer acknowledged, approved, accepted, recorded, or rewarded by God, but that wherein the heart is sincerely and wholly. The true mother would not have the child divided. God loves a broken and a contrite heart, so He loathes a divided heart. God neither loves halting or halving.

He that doth not believe that there is a God, is more vile then a devil. To deny there is a God, is a sort of atheism that is not to be found in hell.

Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins.

There are three things that earthly riches can never do; they can never satisfy divine justice, they can never pacify divine wrath, nor can they every quiet a guilty conscience. And till these things are done man is undone.

Let those be thy choicest companions who have made Christ their chief companion.

The lives of ministers oftentimes convince more strongly than their words; their tongues may persuade, but their lives command.

God sees us in secret, therefore, let, us seek his face in secret. Though heaven be God's palace, yet it is not his prison.

Christ is the sun, and all the watches of our lives should be set by the dial of his motion.

Prayer is nothing but the breathing that out before the Lord, that was first breathed into us by the Spirit of the Lord.

Every thing that a man leans upon but God, will be a dart that will certainly pierce his heart through and through. He who leans only upon Christ, lives the highest, choicest, safest, and sweetest life.

You had better be a poor man and a rich Christian, than a rich man and a poor Christian. You had better do anything, bear anything, and be anything rather than be a dwarf in grace.

Much faith will yield unto us here our heaven, but any faith, if true, will yield us heaven hereafter.

A man's most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions.

The two poles could sooner meet, than the love of Christ and the love of the world.

The best and sweetest flowers of Paradise God gives to his people when they are upon their knees. Prayer is the gate of heaven, a key to let us in to Paradise.

God has nowhere in the Scripture required any worthiness in the creature before believing in Christ.

Reader, remember this: if thy knowledge do not now affect thy heart, it will at last, with a witness, afflict thy heart; if it do not now endear Christ to thee, it will at last provoke Christ the more against thee; if it do not make all the things of Christ to be very precious in thy eyes, it will at last make thee the more vile in Christ's eyes.

God's house of correction is His school of instruction.

The person of Christ is the object of faith. It is Christ in the promises that faith deals with. The promise is but the shell, Christ is the kernel; the promise is but the casket, Christ is the jewel in it; the promise is but the field, Christ is the treasure that is hid in that field; the promise is a ring of gold, Christ is the pearl in that ring; and upon this sparkling, shining pearl, faith delights most to look. Faith hath two hands, and with both she lays earnest and fast hold on King Jesus. Christ's beauty and glory is very taking and drawing; faith cannot see it, but it will lay hold on it. Christ is the principle object about which faith is exercised, for the obtaining of righteousness and everlasting happiness.

A soul under assurance is unwilling to go to heaven without company.

Zeal is like fire; in the chimney it is one of the best servants; but out of the chimney it is one of the worst masters.

Never forget this: he that savoureth any one sin, though he foregoeth many, doth but as Banhadad--recover of one disease and die of another.

Those sins that seem most sweet in life, will prove most bitter in death.

Remember this, that as Noah was drunk with his own wine, and as Goliath was beheaded with his own sword, and as the rose is destroyed by the canker which it breeds in itself, and as Agrippina was killed by Nero, to whom she gave breath, so if ever you are eternally destroyed, you will be destroyed by yourselves; if ever you are scourged to death, it will be by cords of your own making; and if ever the bitter cup of damnation be put into your hands, it will be found to be of your own preparing, mingling, and embittering!

Thomas Boston's quotes

What an honorable thing is it to be fishers of men! How great an honor shouldst thou esteem it, to be a catcher of souls! We are workers together with God, says the apostle. If God has ever so honored thee, O that thou knewest it, that thou mightst bless his holy name, that ever such a poor fool as thee to be a co-worker with him. God has owned thee to do good to those who were before caught. O my soul, bless thou the Lord. Lord, what am I, or what is my father's house, that thou hast brought me to this?

Thou mayest observe first then, O my soul, that it is the Lord Jesus Christ that makes men fishers of men.

It is the duty of all that hear the gospel, upon the revelation of Christ therein, without looking for any previous qualification in themselves, instantly to believe in him for salvation, both from sin and wrath, that only by so doing, will person be enabled in a gospel manner to forsake sin - that it is inconsistent with the method of gospel grace, and absolutely impossible, for a man to forsake his sins, in a way of gospel repentance, (which kind of forsaking can only please God), till the Spirit determine him to come to Christ as a Prince and Saviour exalted to give repentance and remission of sins... The gospel strictly taken, is only a declaration and promise, containing glad tidings of a Saviour, and all of grace, mercy and salvation in him to sinners - that all precepts, particularly those enjoining faith and repentance, belong to the law - that as believers, holiness has no casual influence upon his everlasting happiness as a federal and conditional means thereof; but the perfect righteousness of Christ as a surety, is the believer's plea both with respect to law and justice, and that whether as to purchase, or actual obtaining the possession of everlasting happiness.

Stephen Charnock's quotes

A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant.

Not all the vials of judgements, that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world, nor the flaming furnace of a sinners conscience, nor the irreversible sentence pronounced against the rebellious devils, nor the groans of the damned creatures, give such a demonstration of God's hatred of sin, as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son.

Unbelief was the first sin, and pride was the first-born of it.

Without faith we are not fit to desire mercy, without humility we are not fit to receive it, without affection we are not fit to value it, without sincerity we are not fit to improve it.

It is a sad thing to be Christians at a supper, heathens in our shops, and devils in our closets."

Worship is an act of the understanding, applying itself to the knowledge of the excellency of God, and actual thoughts of his majesty.

We often learn more of God under the rod that strikes us, than under the staff that comforts us.

Assurance is the fruit that grows out of the root of faith.

Satan is God's ape.

The word Father is personal, the word God essential.

Works make not the heart good, but a good heart makes the works good.

A proud faith is as much a contradiction as a humble devil.

When God takes vengeance upon the ungodly, he will smite in such a manner as to make them feel his almightiness in every stroke. All his power shall be exercised in punishing and none in pitying. O, that every obstinate sinner would think of this, and consider his unmeasurable boldness in thinking himself able to grapple with Omnipotence!

God, apart from Christ, is an angry, offended sovereign. Unless we behold him in and through Christ, the mediator, the terrors of his majesty would overwhelm us. We dare not approach the father except in Christ because of our sins, we first fasten our eyes upon Christ, then upon the father. If Christ does not bear our guilt and reconcile us unto God, we perish! Before any man can think to stand before the face of God's justice or be admitted to the secret chamber of God's mercy or partake of the riches of his grace, he must look to the mediator, Christ Jesus.

All worship is shot wrong that is not directed to, and conducted by, the thoughts of the power of God, whose assistance we need.

St. Augustine's quotes

If you believe in the gospel what you like, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

He that is good is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.

We need not despair of any man, so long as he lives. For God deemed it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit evil at all.

God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.

The truth is neither mine nor his nor another's; but belongs to us all whom Thou callest to partake of it, warning us terribly, not to account it private to ourselves, lest we be deprived of it.

Oh God, Thou hast made us for thyself, and ours hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee

God chooses us, not because we believe, but that we may believe

O let thy Scriptures be my pure delight, let me not be deceived in them, neither let me deceive by them.

Nothing whatever pertaining to godliness and real holiness can be accomplished without grace.

We are ensnared by the wisdom of the serpent; we are set free by the foolishness of God

The greatest virtues are only splendid sins.

Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand.

Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence.

No one is really happy merely because he has what he wants, but only if he wants things he ought to want.

In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organised robbery?

Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.

Samuel Rutherford's quotes

Oh, if He would fold the heavens together like an old cloak, and shovel time and days out of the way, and make ready in haste the Lamb's wife for her Husband! Since He looked upon me, my heart is not mine own; He hath run away to heaven with it.

To want temptations is the greatest temptation of all.

As the Lord lives, I durst promise it in His name, if we would seek Him we should see the salvation of the Lord.

Since He looked upon me my heart is not my own, He hath run away to heaven with it.

Do not seek for warm fire under cold ice.

I have been benefited by praying for others; for by making an errand to God for them I have gotten something for myself.

Honor God, and shame the roaring lion.

When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord's choicest wines.

They lose nothing who gain Christ.

A repenting man is more angry at his own heart that consenteth to sin than he is at the devil who did tempt him to sin.

I see Christ's love is so kingly, that it will not abide a marrow: it must have a throne all alone in the soul.

The weightiest end of the cross of Christ that is laid upon you, lieth upon your strong Savior.

I am come to love a rumbling and raging devil best. Seeing we must have a devil to hold the saints waking, I wish a cumbersome devil, rather than a secure and sleeping one."

Faith is exceedingly charitable, and believeth no evil of God.

It is hard to keep sight of God in a storm.

It is ordinary for man to beg from God, for we be but His beggars; but it is a miracle to see God beg at man. Yet here is the Potter begging from the clay; the Savior seeking from sinners!

It is good for us that ever Christ took the cumber of us; it is our heaven to lay many weights and burdens upon Christ, and to make Him all we have, root and top, beginning and ending of our salvation.

Samuel Bolton's quotes

Truth advances the nature and attributes of God: the wisdom of God, the mercy of God, the justice of God, the power of God, the immutability of God, and the holiness of God.

There are no provisos to be laid down in point of faith; all is truth, and we must believe all. Faith does not single out its object; it does not pick and choose, but believes all that God has spoken.

The great end of God in Scripture is to bring us out of ourselves, and to bring us up to Him; to render all the world emptiness and help us discover fullness alone in Him; to bring us to believe and close with Christ, and give up ourselves to Him in ways of love and obedience.

Christians are not to receive anything lightly that concerns faith and salvation. They need to try and examine it over and over. We are not to reject an error ignorantly, but rationally; nor are we to embrace a truth till we have debated and examined whether it is a truth or not.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne's quotes

You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm.

Most of God's people are contented to be saved from the hell that is without; they are not so anxious to be saved from the hell that is within.

Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two: your life preaches all week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words, from God.

If we live a life of faith on the Son of God, then we shall assuredly live a life of holiness. I do not say we ought to do so; but I say, we shall, as a matter of necessary consequence.

For every look at self take ten looks at Christ.

It is a sure mark of grace to desire more.

Every man shall be rewarded according as his work has been. Some will be made rulers over five, some over ten cities. I have no doubt that every sin, inconsistency, backsliding and decay of God's children takes away something from their eternal glory. It is a loss for all eternity; and the more fully and unreservedly we follow the Lord Jesus now, the more abundant will our entrance be into His everlasting kingdom. The closer we walk with Christ now, the closer will we walk with Him to all eternity.