ATHEISM AND PRIDE
"Man cannot break the laws of God; he can only break himself against them."
--- G. K. Chesterton
"The way some people worship money, you'd think the first thing God created was a bank." ----George Lauderdale
"I was living, like so many atheists or antitheists, in a whirl of contradictions. I maintained that God did not exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with him for creating a world."-- C. S. Lewis
The atheist is someone who, having stubbed his toe against evil, will not forgive God."--Clinton McLemore
The unbeliever not only has the problem of explaining the origin of evil, he has the problem of explaining the origin of good."---R.C.Sproul
"If a man is puffed up with pride, that doesn't necessarily mean he is a swell guy." ---Anonymous
"Authority is God-ordained, but authoritarianism and raw power, in almost all forms, is dangerous." ---James Dobson
"The jealous are troublesome to others; a torment to themselves."--- William Penn
"There is one kind of religion in which the more devoted a man is, the fewer proselytes he makes: the worship of himself."--- George Macdonald
"And to try to be happy by being admired by men, or loved by women, or warm with liquor, or getting possessions: that turns you away, soon, from the love of God. Then men and women and drink and greed take precedence over God, and they darken His light And then we are unhappy and afraid and angry and fierce and impatient and cannot pray, and cannot sit still. This is the bitter yoke of sin; and for this we leave the mild and easy yoke of Christ."
---Thomas Merton, from "Run to the Mountain"
"The vices of which we are full we carefully hide from others, and we flatter ourselves with the notion that they are trivial; we sometimes even embrace them as virtues...[But] if others have any vices, we are not content to criticize them severely; but we exaggerate them hatefully." ---John Calvin
"First we practice sin, then defend it; then boast about it."---Thomas Manton
"Save me from myself, Lord; Save me from my need
To always run my life, Lord, To control my every deed.
Save me from my pride, Lord, My focus on just me;
Help me learn to serve, Lord; Show me how to be." ---Joanna Fuchs
"When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance." --- Martin Luther
"If you’re going through difficult times today, hold steady. It will change soon. If you are experiencing smooth sailing and easy times now, brace yourself. It will change soon. The only thing you can be certain of is change."
---James C. Dobson
"O Lord! my heart is sick,
Sick of this everlasting change;
And life runs tediously quick
Through its unresting race and varied range:
Change finds no likeness to itself in Thee,
And wakes no echo in Thy mute eternity." --- Frederick William Faber
"Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not.
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be." ---Thomas Chisholm
"When I came to believe in Christ’s teaching, I ceased desiring what I had wished for before. The direction of my life, my desires, became different. What was good and bad had changed places." --- Leo Tolstoy
""Fear the Lord and the king....Religion and loyalty must go together. As men, it is our duty to honour our Creator, to worship and reverence him, and to be always in his fear; as members of a community, incorporated for mutual benefit, it is our duty to be faithful and dutiful to the government God has set over us... Innovations in both are to be dreaded. Have nothing to do, he does not say, with those that change, for there may be cause to change for the better, but those that are given to change, that affect change for change-sake, out of a peevish discontent with that which is and a fondness for novelty, or a desire to fish in troubled waters: Meddle not with those that are given to change either in religion or in a civil government; come not into their secret; join not with them in their cabals, nor enter into the mystery of their iniquity."
---Matthew Henry, Commenting on Prov.24:21
"The New Testament proves not only that the Christians from the very outset were fully persuaded, on what they regarded as adequate grounds in history and experience, that their Lord had risen from the dead, but also that this conviction mastered them, giving direction and purpose to their whole lives. Historical Christianity was erected on the foundation of a Risen Lord."---International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
"I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them and that is the Christian religion. If they had that, and I had not given them one shilling, they would have been rich; and if they had not that, and I had given them all the world, they would be poor."--- Patrick Henry
"“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.”---John Wesley
"Christianity takes for granted the absence of any self-help and offers a power which is nothing less than the power of God."-- A. W. Tozer
"Christianity is always out of fashion because it is always sane; and all fashions are mild insanities." --G.K.Chesterton
"If the Holy Ghost is indwelling a man or woman, no matter how sweet, how beautiful, how Christlike they are, the lasting thought you go away with is—what a wonderful being the Lord Jesus Christ is."--- Oswald Chambers
"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important " -- C. S. Lewis
"Christianity is the true worship and service of the true God, humankind's Creator and Redeemer." ---J.I.Packer
"When I say Christianity is true, I mean it is true to total reality--- the total of what is, beginning with the central reality, the objective existence of the personal-infinite God."---Francis Schaeffer
"Christians are made, not born."---Jerome
"The egg's no chick by falling from the hen;
Nor man a Christian till he's born again."---John Bunyan
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried."---G.K.Chesterton, from "What's Wrong with the World"
"Christianity is not a crutch; it is a life-support system!"---Harry Reeder
CHURCH AND PREACHING
"Biblically, the church is an organism not an organization—a movement, not a monument. It is not a part of the community; it is a whole new community. It is a new order with new values, often in sharp conflict with the values of the surrounding society."-- Chuck Colson
"The visible unity of the Church, though obscured, is not destroyed by its division into different denominations of professing Christians; and all of those maintaining the Word and sacraments of the Lord Jesus Christ in their fundamental integrity are to be recognized as branches of this one visible Church."---ARP Form of Government
"Impatient spirits may fret and fume, because they are not called to the highest places in the ministry; but if Jesus shall leave me to be a doorkeeper in His house, I will cheerfully bless Him for His grace in permitting me to do anything in His service."---Charles Spurgeon
"The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians; but a school for the education of imperfect ones."---Henry Ward Beecher
"The Church faces a generation which is trying to drink its way into prosperity, war its way to peace, spend its way to wealth, and enjoy its way to heaven."---Anonymous
"Church members are like engines: They start skipping before they quit." ---Anonymous
"At a time in which people drift from church to church—often claiming allegiance to more than one at a time—accountability suffers."
"The biggest problem pastors deal with is trying to keep people happy." ---R.C.Sproul
"Church members are either pillars or caterpillars; the pillars hold up the church, and the caterpillars just crawl in and out." ---J.Vernon McGee
"In the church of God two opposite dangers are to be recognized and avoided: they are a cold heart and a hot head."--- A. W. Tozer
"The church militant can easily become the church decadent and the church complacent. Yet we must remember that the church militant was not meant to be the church belligerent." ---Vance Havner
"One sees the structure and says, “What a great church.” The other sees the Savior and says, “What a great Christ!”--- Max L. Lucado
"One proud, surly, lordly word, one needless contention, one covetous action, may cut the throat of many a sermon."---Richard Baxter
"Many who criticize the church do so on the basis of an ideal. They set up a disembodied ideal, an abstract picture of the church, and then criticize the real church when it fails to resemble their fantasy."---William Willimon
"Some preaching is boring, inconsequential and trivial. But some preaching is so good that it hurts."---William Willimon
"Though we live in a reading age and in a reading community; yet the preaching of the Gospel is the form in which human agency has been and still is most efficaciously employed for the spiritual improvement of men."---Daniel Webster
"Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God." ---John Calvin
"Is there no refuge from strife? Is there no place of refreshing where a man can prepare for the battle of life? Is there no place where two or three can gather in Jesus' name, to forget for the moment all those things that divide nation from nation and race from race, to forget human pride, to forget the passions of war, to forget the puzzling problems of industrial strife, and to unite in overflowing gratitude at the foot of the Cross? If there be such a place, then that is the house of God and that the gate of heaven. And from under the threshold of that house will go forth a river that will revive the weary world."---J.Gresham Machen (1921)
DEATH AND DYING
"I am in the happiest pass to which men ever came. Christ is mine, and I am His; and there is nothing now between me and resurrection---except Paradise."
----Samuel Rutherford (Words uttered when he was dying)
"Among Buddhists in Tibet, when a man dies, the holy man or lama draws the soul out of the body to show it the way to Paradise. Among Moslems, teachers come to the tomb to instruct the dead as to how he or she will answer the two examining angels. Zoroastrianism forbade weeping over the dead because it made passage to the afterlife more difficult. How different, how straightforward is the Christian view of death. “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43)." ---From A Speaker's Sourcebook of Illustrations
"Be near me, Lord, when dying; O show thy cross to me;
And, for my succour flying, Come, Lord to set me free;
These eyes, new faith receiving, From thee shall never move;
For he who dies believing Dies safely through thy love."
--- Bernard of Clairvaux
"I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ." --- Max Lucado
"One thing is for certain: We will all die someday. And to die knowing that a blessed eternity awaits you, to die in the peace and warmth of your own home, to die surrounded by a family that loves and cares for you, is not a bad way to go." ---Herrick Kimball
" Brief life is here our portion, Brief sorrow, short-lived care,
The life that knows no ending, The tearless life, is there
O happy retribution! Short toil, eternal rest;
For mortals and for sinners A mansion with the blest!
The morning shall awaken, The shadows flee away,
And each true-hearted servant Shall shine as does the day.
There God,our King and portion, In fullness of His grace,
We then shall see forever And worship face to face.”
---Bernard of Cluny [Translated by J.M.Neale]
"What reason have atheists for saying that we cannot rise again? Which is the more difficult---to be born, or to rise again? That what has never been, should be, or that what has been should be again? Is it more difficult to come into being than to return to it?" ---Blaise Pascal, from "Pensees"
"Thine am I, I was born for thee, What wouldst thou, Master, make of me?
Give me death or give me life Give health or give infirmity
Give honor or give obloquy
Give peace profound or daily strife, Weakness or strength add to my life;
Yes, Lord, my answer still shall be What wilt thou, Master, have of me?"
--- Teresa of Avila
"The best is yet to be."---John Wesley
"Christ has made of death a narrow, starlit strip between the companionships of yesterday and the reunions of tomorrow." ---William Jennings Bryan
"Not to grieve would be less than human. As Christians, however, our grief is more for ourselves than for believing loved ones who die. We know they are far better off. We have been left behind and are lonely." ---Herschel Hobbs
"For Christians the terror of physical death is abolished, though the unpleasantness of dying remains. Jesus, their risen Savior, has himself passed through a more traumatic death than any Christian will ever have to face, and he now lives to support his servants as they move out of this world to the place he has prepared for them in the next world." — J. I. Packer
Question 1: What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death,
am not my own,
but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ;
who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins,
and delivered me from all the power of the devil;
and so preserves me
that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;
yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation,
and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,
and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
----The Heidelberg Catechism:
"We may be sure that all loss is from a loving God. In loss of dear ones, our gain is in drawing nearer to God, in being taught more to long for heaven. Their gain is in their entrance to heaven, and all the glory that they have reached.” ----Alexander MacLaren
“We must guard against the reliance on the answers we have, as though answers themselves will bring people to Jesus Christ…Unless the Holy Spirit illumines a person’s mind to see the truth as truth, unless He bends a person’s proud will to submit to the authority of Christ, no words of ours will penetrate.” ---Paul Little
"The church of Christ lost her power when we became more concerned about who is winning ball games and winning elections than we were about who is winning souls."---Mark Tankersley
"The salvation of a single soul is more important than the production or preservation of all the epics and tragedies in the world."---C. S. Lewis
“What is any church if it impedes the kingdom of Christ?...The increase of the kingdom is more to be desired than the growth of a clan. Our first care must be that the sheep should be gathered to the Great Shepherd, there will be time enough afterwards to secure them for our various folds.” ---Charles Spurgeon
"We cannot be content with an evangelism which does not lead to the drawing of converts into the church, nor with a church order whose principle of cohesion is a superficial social camaraderie instead of a spiritual fellowship with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." --- John R. W. Stott
“Scripture never once exhorts sinners to ‘accept Christ’. The familiar evangelistic appeal violates both the spirit and terminology of biblical summons to unbelievers… The gospel invitation is not an entreaty for sinners to allow the Savior into their lives. It is both an appeal and a command for them to repent and follow Him."---John MacArthur
"Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in his name. He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster."---A.W.Tozer
“Fearing what people thought of me, I served them, and it backfired. When I began to fear and respect God the most and serve Him, I felt a new freedom to share my faith, whether I won a popularity contest or not."---Rebecca Manley Pippert
“We go to others, saying ‘I’m in the same boat as you. We’ve both failed. I identify with you. I can take my mask off and admit my failures. But let me point you to Jesus, the light. I’m not what I should be. I’m not what I’m going to be. But, because of Him, I’m not what I used to be.’” ----Leighton Ford
“We are not perfect like our Lord, and those persons to whom we open our lives will come to see our many shortcomings. But let them also see a readiness to confess our sins when we understand the error of our ways. Let them hear us apologize to those we have wronged."---Robert Coleman
"If you want your neighbor to know what Christ will do for him, let the neighbor see what Christ has done for you." --- Henry Ward Beecher
"When social action is mistaken for evangelism, the church has ceased to manufacture its own blood cells and is dying of leukemia."--- Sherwood Wirt
HYPOCRISY AND GOSSIP
"Don't hunt through the Church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the glass [mirror]."---Billy Sunday
"The sincere convert is not one man at church and another at home. He is not a saint on his knees and a cheat in his shop."--- Joseph Alleine
George Barna's research shows that 75 percent of Americans think it is important for people to read the Bible, but only 13 percent actually read the Bible daily." ---Raymond McHenry
"A hypocrite is a fellow who isn't himself on Sundays." ---Anonymous
"I would rather play with the forked lightning, or take in my hands living wires with their fiery current, than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christians are hurling on others, to the hurt of their own souls and bodies." --- Albert Benjamin Simpson
"If you your lips would keep from slips, Five things observe with care: To whom you speak, of whom you speak, And how, and when, and where." ---Anonymous
"Scandal should be treated as you treat mud on your clothes. If you try and deal with it while it is wet, you rub the mud into the texture, but if you leave it till it is dry, you can flick it off with a touch, it is gone without a trace. Leave scandal alone, never touch it." --- Oswald Chambers
"Never believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true; never tell even that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary—and remember that God is listening while you tell it." --- Henry Van Dyke
"After three years of research, Indiana University sociologist Donna Eder has identified an important dynamic involved in gossip. Eder discovered that the initial negative statement was not the starting point for gossip. The critical turning point was found in the response to the initial negative statement. "She's a real snob" is not the start of gossip. It's when someone else agrees that the gossip fest begins. Eder found that the key is whether or not a negative statement is "seconded." If a second is provided, gossip ensues. If not, the conversation changes direction. "No one ever challenged an evaluation that had been seconded. Conversely, no matter how cutting the opening remark, an immediate quibble from a listener could send talk into a less critical direction." The moral: you can abort gossip-bound conversations by quickly affirming the person being targeted for negative comments." ---Raymond McHenry
"Gossip is a six-letter word that produces emotions of excitement, pain or guilt, depending on if you are the gossiper, or if you are the one being gossiped about." ---Janet Treadway
(For Janet's article concerning the Biblical perspective on Gossip,
"Gossip is Ear Pollution" ---Anonymous
JOY AND PEACE:
"Joy is peace dancing and peace is joy at rest."--- F. B. Meyer
"The Stoic bears, the Epicurean seeks to enjoy, the Buddhist and Hindu stand apart disillusioned, the Muslim submits, but only the Christian exults."--- E. Stanley Jones
"All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace."
---Thomas a Kempis
"Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth."---Matthew Henry
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows but only empties today of its strength.”--- Charles Spurgeon
“No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourself so. If you find yourself so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God’s. He tells you to leave the future to him, and mind the present.” ------George Macdonald
"Peace is our final good." ---Augustine
"Speak, move, act in peace, as if you were in prayer."---Fenelon
"In His will is our peace." ---Dante
"There is a place of quiet rest Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest, Near to the heart of God.
O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us who wait before Thee Near to the heart of God."
---Cleland B. McAfee
“What peace it brings to the Christian’s heart to realize that our heavenly Father never differs from himself. In coming to him at any time we need not wonder whether we shall find him in a receptive mood. He is always receptive to misery and need, as well as to love and faith. He does not keep office hours nor set aside periods when he will see no one…Today, this moment, he feels toward his creatures, toward babies, toward the sick, the fallen, the sinful, exactly as he did when he sent his only begotten Son into the world to die for mankind.” ----- A. W. Tozer
"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world, that is not intended to make us rejoice."---John Calvin
"But the fullness of joy is in God's immediate presence."---Richard Baxter
"I know not how God will dispose of me. I am always happy. All the world suffers; and I, who deserve the severest discipline, feel joys so continual and so great that I can scarce contain them."--- Brother Lawrence
"Sour godliness is the devil's religion."---John Wesley
"It may be that in general Christians today are not as joyous as they were in the first century. If that's the case, I think it's something we could normally expect after 2000 years of being removed from the immediate presence of the ministry of Jesus...We must be careful not to idealize the early Christian community...There were lots of problems... But there was a spirit there that we need to have infect the church today, a spirit of joy and a sense of power in the presence of the Spirit of God." ---R.C.Sproul
"Some people spread joy wherever they go; Others spread joy Whenever they go." ---Anonymous
"If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot."--- John Bunyan
"It should be for a perpetual joy to all the righteous that the gentlest, the most loving, and the tenderest being in the universe is God Himself." ---William Plumer
"“What is the joy of God? It is the joy of infinite benevolence. What is the joy of the genuine patriot when he has delivered his country from a power that threatened its utter destruction? What is the joy of a loving physician when he has rescued his patient from the very jaws of death? What is the joy of a loving parent who has rescued his child from ruin? Some such joy as this — infinitely superior — is the joy of God over regenerated humanity.” ---Pulpit Commentary
Knowledge is the foundation of wisdom, and antecedent to it; wisdom, the superstructure upon knowledge: men may have knowledge without wisdom, but not wisdom without knowledge. Both are acts of the understanding; but knowledge is the apprehension of a thing, and wisdom is the appointing and ordering of things. Wisdom is the splendour and lustre of knowledge shining forth in operations, and is an act both of understanding and will...God hath a universal wisdom, because His nature is wise; it is not limited."---Stephen Charnock
"Wisdom is not a sound bite."---Harry Reeder
"God never meant that man should scale the heavens
By strides of human wisdom."--- William Cowper
"Don’t expect wisdom to come into your life like great chunks of rock on a conveyor belt. It isn’t like that. It’s not splashy and bold...Wisdom comes privately from God as a by-product of right decisions, godly reactions, and the application of spiritual principles to daily circumstances. Wisdom comes . . . from being faithful to the small, obscure tasks few people ever see."--- Charles R. Swindoll
"Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; wisdom is humble that he knows no more." --- William Cowper
"Truth sees God; wisdom gazes on God. And these produce a third, a holy, wondering delight in God." ---Lady Julian of Norwich
"The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance."
---Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious--- Thy great Name we praise."
---Walter Chalmers Smith
“The Bible opens with a picture of a working God. God worked in creating a universe. He has been at the job of sustaining creation since He fashioned it. To be created in God’s image means, in part, that people have the capacity to work, to fashion, to create. The notion that labor came into being as a result of humanity’s fall does not reflect biblical truth. Sinless humanity was placed in the garden to cultivate it. The opportunity to labor was part of God’s original commission to mankind to subdue the earth. Adam and Eve were given a situation that needed tending. Paradise had its chores." ---Holmon Bible Dictionary
“It is our best work that God wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion.”
"We need to value people as people. I was deeply involved for many years in a movement in the labor-management arena that is called “The Value of the person Movement” in business and industry. We recognized that noneconomic issues are ultimately behind the volatile hostility that exists between labor and management, employer and employee, and results in so many strikes and the disruption of production and of school systems. The studies have shown again and again that industrial sabotage and disputes over wages and salaries have roots in a deeper level of dissatisfaction...Every worker in this country wants to be valued as a person. What can I do to demonstrate value to the person? One thing is to recognize that they are people." --- R.C.Sproul
"God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw that food into the nest."
---Josiah G. Holland
“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s common work as it comes.” ----- Robert Louis Stevenson
"He who labors as he prays lifts his heart to God with his hands." ---Bernard of Clairvaux
“Work is primarily the thing one lives to do. Work is, or should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental, and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God.” ----Dorothy Sayers
"Those that aim at great things fill their hands with business more than they can grasp, so that their life is both a perfect drudgery and a perpetual hurry; but be not thou such a fool; labour not to be rich. What thou hast, or doest, be master of it, and not a slave to it as those that rise up early, sit up late, and eat the bread of carefulness, and all to be rich. Moderate labour, that we may have to give, is our wisdom and duty. Immoderate labour, that we may have to hoard, is our sin and folly." ---Matthew Henry, Commenting on Prov.23:4