From time immemorial men have quenched their thirst with water without knowing anything about its chemical constituents. In like manner we do not need to be instructed in all the mysteries of doctrine, but we do need to receive the Living Water which Jesus Christ will give us and which alone can satisfy our souls. -- Sadhu Sundar Singh
It seems to me, as time goes on, that the only thing that is worth seeking for is to know and to be known by Christ -- a privilege open alone to the childlike, who, with receptivity, guilelessness, and humility, move Godward. ~ Charles H. Brent
"The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. Silence gives us a new outlook on everything. We need silence in order to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us. Jesus is always waiting for us in silence." - Mother Teresa
God's redemptive revelation in Scripture is necessary to saving faith and peace with God. Faith in a risen Savior is necessary if the vague stirrings toward immortality are to bring us to restful and satisfying communion with God. -- A. W. Tozer
"I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am." ~ John Newton, Author of many hymns, including "Amazing Grace."
The loving service which God sends His people into the world to render includes both evangelism and social action, for each is in itself an authentic expression of love, and neither needs the other to justify it. -- John R. W. Stott
"Living for others, commitment to God's redeeming purposes, is a means of grace. We give because of our faith, and it deepens as we give. If we permit ourselves and our people to give casually, we are really teaching contempt." -- Richard S. Emrich
"What is it to be a companion of Jesus today? It is to engage, under the standard of the cross, in the crucial struggle of our time: the struggle for faith and that struggle for justice which it includes." - Ignacio Ellacuria
It is to no purpose to boast of Christ, if we have not an evidence of His graces in our hearts and lives. But unto whom He is the hope of future glory, unto them He is the life of present grace. -- John Owen
"I'm going to speak to you simply as a pastor, as one who, together with his people, has been learning the beautiful but harsh truth that the Christian faith does not cut us off from the world but immerses us in it; the church is not a fortress set apart from the city. The church follows Jesus, who lived, worked, struggled, and died in the midst of a city, in the polis."
"We can of course shake off the burden which is laid upon us, but only find that we have a still heavier burden to carry -- a yoke of our own choosing, the yoke of our self. But Jesus invites all who travail and are heavy laden to throw off their own yoke and take his yoke upon them -- and his yoke is easy, and his burden is light. The yoke and burden of Christ are his cross." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesus is our mouth, through which we speak to the Father; He is our eye, through which we see the Father; He is our right hand through which we offer ourselves to the Father. Unless He intercedes, there is no intercourse with God.
It is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up "our own" when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud, He would hardly have us on such terms.
The childish idea that prayer is a handle by which we can take hold of God and obtain whatever we desire, leads to easy disillusionment with both what we had thought to be God and what we had thought to be prayer.
"[The Creator] gives you the mountains and the valleys for your refuge, and the tall trees wherein to build your nests, and as you can neither spin nor sew God clothes you, you and your children. Your Creator loves you much, since [the Creator] has dealt so bounteously with you: and so beware, little sisters of mine, of the sin of ingratitude, but ever strive to praise God."
Wealth and riches, that is, an estate above what sufficeth our real occasions and necessities, is in no other sense a 'blessing' than as it is an opportunity put into our hands, by the providence of God, of doing more good.
It is a great mystery of divine love, that not even in Christ was exception made of the death of the body; and although He was the Lord of nature, He refused not the law of the flesh which He had taken upon Him. It is necessary for me to die; for Him it was not necessary.
A man who prays without ceasing, if he achieves something, knows why he achieved it, and can take no pride in it... for he cannot attribute it to his own powers, but attributes all his achievements to God, always renders thanks to him and constantly calls upon him, trembling lest he be deprived of help. -- Dorotheus of Gaza
Christians are like the flowers in a garden, that have each of them the dew of Heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other's roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other. -- John Bunyan
"Dear Lord, I will remain restless, tense, and dissatisfied until I can be totally at peace in your house. There is no certainty that my life will be any easier in the years ahead, or that my heart will be any calmer. But there is certainty that you are waiting for me and will welcome me home when I have persevered in my long journey to your house."
God gave us faculties for our use; each of them will receive its proper reward. Then do not let us try to charm them to sleep, but permit them to do their work until divinely called to something higher.
To make the improving of our own character our central aim is hardly the highest kind of goodness. True goodness forgets itself and goes out to do the right thing for no other reason than that it is right.
Who is there that ever receives a gift and tries to make bargains about it? Let us, then, return thanks for what He has bestowed on us. Who can tell whether, if we had had a larger share of ability or stronger health, we should not have possessed them to our destruction. -- Alphonsus Liguori
Faith is to the soul what life is to the body. Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body. How a person can live and not breathe is past my comprehension, and how a person can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too. -- J. C. Ryle
"Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral. ... Every now and then I ask myself, 'What is it that I want said?' I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King Jr., tried to love somebody."
Just as at sea those who are carried away from the direction of the harbor bring themselves back on course by a clear sign, so Scripture may guide those adrift on the sea of life back into the harbor of the divine will.
"Why dost thou then dread to take this cross since it is the very way to the kingdom of heaven, and none but that? In the cross is health, in the cross is life, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the cross is the strength of mind, the joy of spirit, the highness of virtue, and the full perfection of holiness; and there is no health of soul nor hope of everlasting life but through virtue of the cross."
All we want in Christ, we shall find in Christ. If we want little, we shall find little. If we want much, we shall find much; but if, in utter helplessness, we cast our all on Christ, He will be to us the whole treasury of God.
"What we do is so little that we may seem to be constantly failing. But so did [Christ] fail. He met with apparent failure on the Cross. But unless the seeds fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest."
"I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned with the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, 'Now is that political or social?' He said, 'I feed you.' Because the good news to a hungry person is bread."
"Although the Gospel invites us to stand with the blessed and become one of them, who among us wants to be poor, hungry, weeping, or persecuted? Who does not aspire to be rich, well-fed, laughing, and popular? Who dares love our enemies, bless those who persecute us, and do good to those who hurt us? This is the discipleship challenge of Jesus."
- John Dear, from Transfiguration: A Meditation on Transforming Ourselves and Our World
"Peace for humanity is not only the absence of war, or the end of violence. … For us Christians, peace is based on a fundamental new relationship between [humankind] and God. That is why Christ said he brought peace, 'not as the world gives.' He brought a different peace."
"And the work of God is rarely dull, but it's not always necessarily what we think. Transformation is hard stuff. Seeking to bring about the kingdom of God -- caring for the poor, feeding the hungry, visiting prisoners, caring for the sick, renouncing demons in God's name -- you don't do that in a 15-minute lunch break."
“Keep giving Jesus to your people, not by words, but by your example, by your being in love with Jesus, by radiating holiness and spreading his fragrance of love everywhere you go. Just keep the joy of Jesus as your strength. Be happy and at peace."
The question we must ask our heart is, "Am I comfortable under the eye of God? Or is God getting too close?" We are strange and lovely creatures. We can ache for God tremendously yet find ourselves gettting nervous if God gets too close. After all, the closer God gets, the more we hear the call to be divinized. It is both exciting and frightening to hear that call.
The really important thing in life is not the avoidance of mistakes, but the obedience of faith. By obedience, the man is led step by step to correct his errors, whereas nothing will ever happen to him if he doesn't get going.
“For grace to be grace, it must give us things we didn't know we needed and take us places where we didn't know we didn't want to go. As we stumble through the crazily altered landscape of our lives, we find that God is enjoying our attention as never before.”
"One of the principle rules of religion is to lose no occasion of serving God. And since [God] is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve [God] in our neighbor; which [the Lord] receives as if done to [Godself] in person, standing visibly before us."
Wherever there is any element of pride or of conceit, Jesus cannot expound a thing. He will take us through the disappointment of a wounded pride of intellect, through disappointment of heart. He will reveal inordinate affections-things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone.
"Compassion for the other comes out of our ability to accept ourselves. Until we realize both our own weaknesses and our own privileges, we can never tolerate lack of status and depth of weakness in the other."
Have no fear for the unsettlement or the disturbance of the Kingdom of heaven. It began in eternity, it will go on through everlasting; there is no panic in the divine personality. God is peace, God gives peace, God gives rest.
"You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant."
"We do not live to win. We do not live even to finish. We live to persevere and to endure. Nothing more than this is necessary, but nothing less than this will do until that new heaven and that new earth come, the former things have passed away, the sea is no more, and the vision has become the reality."
"While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do, I'll fight; while there is one drunkard left, while there is a poor girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight -- I'll fight to the very end!"
"Christianity is being concerned about your fellow [human], not building a million-dollar church while people are starving right around the corner. Christ was a revolutionary person, out there where it was happening. That's what God is all about, and that's where I get my strength."
It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God ... gloried in becoming a member of the human race.
This nation is affluent and has more than it needs. The realization that what we have is a free gift can deepen our desire to share this gift with others who cry out for help. When we bless the fruits of the harvest, let us at least realize that blessed fruits need to be shared.
Although it is not always socially acceptable, not always popular, we are called to the ministry of reconciliation. We have been entrusted with a specific message -- that Jesus Christ died to reconcile us to God and to each other. The two things were accomplished at the same time, in the same act of salvation ... This is our story, and we have a mandate to tell it.
Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it. -- Erwin W. Lutzer
I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states ... Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.
So what to do? Two Things, it seems to me. At least two. Use up each day. Fill it overflowing with good. Deliberately enjoy it. Two, begin now. Mend a fractured friendship, mail an overdue letter, repair a broken heart, lay aside a griveance, act on a noble impulse. As we all know, "The night cometh".
Only when enough adults practice and teach children love and respect at home, in schools, religious congregations, and in our political and civic life will racial, gender, and religious intolerance and hate crimes subside in America and the world.
We get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God. We are right when, and only when, we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position.
To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
Christians ought not to be smothered in fear. There is a spiritual readiness, where we return to having the peace of God stand guard over our hearts and minds. What an incredible witness it is to a lost and fearful society when the Christian acts like a child of God, living under the loving sovereignty of the Heavenly Father. The Christian needs to walk in peace, so no matter what happens they will be able to bear witness to a watching world. -- Henry Blackaby
Hope is the strongest driving force for a people. Hope which brings about change, which produces new realities, is what opens man's road to freedom. Once hope has taken hold, courage must unite with wisdom. That is the only way of avoiding violence, the only way of maintaining the calm one needs to respond peacefully to offenses.
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.
"There's nothing more radical, nothing more revolutionary, nothing more subversive against injustice and oppression than the Bible. If you want to keep people subjugated, the last thing you place in their hands is a Bible."
Unless we know the difference between flowers and weeds, we are not fit to take care of a garden. It is not enough to have truth planted in our minds. We must learn and labor to keep the ground clear of thorns and briars, follies and perversities, which have a wicked propensity to choke the word of life.
Prayer always thrusts one out into action sooner or later. One of its main functions is to induce one to think creatively; it stretches the imagination; it enables one to see things and people not as they are but as they might be.
The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we as Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined.
While the poor of the world continue knocking on the doors of the rich, the world of affluence runs the risk of no longer hearing those knocks, on account of a conscience that can no longer distinguish what is human.
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
- E.B. White, in an interview with The New York Times in 1969
You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow's garment in pledge. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.
Every time we sit at a table ... to enjoy the fruits and grain and vegetables from our good earth, remember that they come from the work of men and women and children who have been exploited for generations.
Charity is commendable; everyone should be charitable. But justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don’t go hungry, unschooled, or sick without care.
- Bill Moyers,
television journalist and social commentator
The cross, as poignant as it is, is understandable from a human perspective: an innocent man was murdered by crooked politicians and religious leaders. But the empty tomb-- what can you say? Only a supernatural God could accomplish that.
The followers of Christ have been called to peace. And they must not only have peace but also make it. To that end they renounce all violence and tumult. ... His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering rather than inflict it on others. They maintain fellowship where others would break it off. They renounce hatred and wrong. In so doing they overcome evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate.
Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
Who needs fathers? We all do. We especially need our Father in heaven, who forgives our parenting inadequacies for Jesus’ sake and who enables us each day with a fresh start. Just as the loving father in Luke’s gospel welcomed home his lost son, our Father will one day welcome us into heaven together with all others who love and trust in Jesus.
To the rich man, Lazarus was part of the landscape. If ever he did notice him, it never struck him that Lazarus had anything to do with him. He was simply unaware of his presence, or, if he was aware of it, he had no sense of responsibility for it... A man may well be condemned, not for doing something, but for doing nothing.
We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today.
Everywhere and at all times of greatest trial [people] have appeared, prophets and saints who cherished their freedom, who preached the One God and who with [God's] help brought the people to a reversal of their downward course. Man is free, to be sure, but without the true God he is defenseless against the principle of evil.... We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience.
- Sophie Scholl,
and her co-resisters in The White Rose, a nonviolent student movement against the Nazis.
Let me be plain with you, dear reader.
I am an old-fashioned man. I like
the world of nature despite its mortal
dangers. I like the domestic world
of humans, so long as it pays its debts
to the natural world, and keeps its bounds.
I like the promise of Heaven. My purpose
is a language that can repay just thanks
and honor for those gifts, a tongue
set free from fashionable lies.
Neither this world nor any of its places
is an "environment." And a house
for sale is not a "home." Economics
is not "science," nor "information" knowledge.
A knave with a degree is a knave. A fool
in a public office is not a "leader."
A rich thief is a thief. And the ghost
of Arthur Moore, who taught me Chaucer,
returns in the night to say again:
"Let me tell you something, boy.
An intellectual whore is a whore."
The world is babbled to pieces after
the divorce of things from their names.
Ceaseless preparation for war
is not peace. Health is not procured
by sale of medication, or purity
by the addition of poison. Science
at the bidding of the corporations
is knowledge reduced to merchandise;
it is a whoredom of the mind,
and so is the art that calls this "progress."
So is the cowardice that calls it "inevitable."
I think the issues of "identity" mostly
are poppycock. We are what we have done,
which includes our promises, includes
our hopes, but promises first. I know
a "fetus" is a human child.
I loved my children from the time
they were conceived, having loved
their mother, who loved them
from the time they were conceived
and before. Who are we to say
the world did not begin in love?
I would like to die in love as I was born,
and as myself of life impoverished go
into the love all flesh begins
and ends in. I don't like machines,
which are neither mortal nor immortal,
though I am constrained to use them.
(Thus the age perfects its clench.)
Some day they will be gone, and that
will be a glad and a holy day.
I mean the dire machines that run
by burning the world's body and
its breath. When I see an airplane
fuming through the once-pure sky
or a vehicle of the outer space
with its little inner space
imitating a star at night, I say,
"Get out of there!" as I would speak
to a fox or a thief in the henhouse.
When I hear the stock market has fallen,
I say, "Long live gravity! Long live
stupidity, error, and greed in the palaces
of fantasy capitalism!" I think
an economy should be based on thrift,
on taking care of things, not on theft,
usury, seduction, waste, and ruin.
My purpose is a language that can make us whole,
though mortal, ignorant, and small.
The world is whole beyond human knowing.
The body's life is its own, untouched
by the little clockwork of explanation.
I approve of death, when it comes in time
to the old. I don't want to five
on mortal terms forever, or survive
an hour as a cooling stew of pieces
of other people. I don't believe that life
or knowledge can be given by machines.
The machine economy has set afire
the household of the human soul,
and all the creatures are burning within it
"Intellectual property" names
the deed by which the mind is bought
and sold, the world enslaved. We
who do not own ourselves, being free,
own by theft what belongs to God,
to the living world, and equally
to us all. Or how can we own a part
of what we only can possess
entirely? Life is a gift we have
only by giving it back again.
Let us agree: "the laborer is worthy
of his hire," but he cannot own what he knows,
which must be freely told, or labor
dies with the laborer. The farmer
is worthy of the harvest made
in time, but he must leave the light
by which he planted, grew, and reaped,
the seed immortal in mortality,
freely to the time to come. The land
too he keeps by giving it up,
as the thinker receives and gives a thought,
as the singer sings in the common air.
I don't believe that "scientific genius"
in its naive assertions of power
is equal either to nature or
to human culture. Its thoughtless invasions
of the nuclei of atoms and cells
and this world's every habitation
have not brought us to the light
but sent us wandering farther through
the dark. Nor do I believe
.artistic genius" is the possession
of any artist. No one has made
the art by which one makes the works
of art. Each one who speaks speaks
as a convocation. We live as councils
of ghosts. It is not "human genius"
that makes us human, but an old love,
an old intelligence of the heart
we gather to us from the world,
from the creatures, from the angels
of inspiration, from the dead--
an intelligence merely nonexistent
to those who do not have it, but --
to those who have it more dear than life.
And just as tenderly to be known
are the affections that make a woman and a man
their household and their homeland one.
These too, though known, cannot be told
to those who do not know them, and fewer
of us learn them, year by year.
These affections are leaving the world
like the colors of extinct birds,
like the songs of a dead language.
Think of the genius of the animals,
every one truly what it is:
gnat, fox, minnow, swallow, each made
of light and luminous within itself.
They know (better than we do) how
to live in the places where they live.
And so I would like to be a true
human being, dear reader-a choice
not altogether possible now.
But this is what I'm for, the side
I'm on. And this is what you should
expect of me, as I expect it of
myself, though for realization we
may wait a thousand or a million years.
God has given us two ears, but one tongue, to show that we should be swift to hear, but slow to speak. God has set a double fence before the tongue, the teeth and the lips, to teach us to be wary that we offend not with our tongue.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
It is useless to utter fervent petitions for that Kingdom to be established and that Will be done, unless we are willing to do something about it ourselves. ... We are agents of the Creative Spirit in this world. Real advance in the spiritual life means accepting this vocation with all it involves.
Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth; justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance. Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table.
- Bill Moyers,
Television journalist and social commentator
I stand before you as a moral being ... and as a moral being I feel that I owe it to the suffering slave and the deluded master, to my country and to the world, to do all that I can to overturn a system of complicated crimes, built upon the broken hearts and the prostrate bodies of my countrymen in chains and cemented by the blood, sweat, and tears of my sisters in bonds.
I have committed myself to joy. I have come to realize that those who make space for joy, those who prefer nothing to joy, those who desire the utter reality, will most assuredly have it. We must not be afraid to announce it to refugees, slum dwellers, saddened prisoners, angry prophets. Now and then we must even announce it to ourselves. In this prison of now, in this cynical and sophisticated age, someone must believe in joy.
Copyright 2005-2013 Loving God Fellowship, Inc. Compliance with copyright restrictions requires that no portion of this site (written, audio, or visual) may be reproduced in any form without written permission of Loving God Fellowship, Inc.
"Loving God Fellowship" and the Loving God Fellowship logo are registered trademarks of Loving God Fellowship, Inc.