“Now, in order that true religion may shine upon us, we ought to hold that it must take its beginning from heavenly doctrine and that no one can get even the slightest taste of right and sound doctrine unless he be a pupil of Scripture.”
~ John Calvin (1509-1564)
Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbor, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace.
~ Prayer of Basil of Caesarea (329-379)
“I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.”
~ John 14:18
If at any time a soul be brought into a state of orphanage, and seem to itself separated from all grace and power and hope; let it lay hold of this word. It may have been fitting that it should have a taste of the misery of being without Christ, under a sense of the need of Christ; but a taste suffices: ” I will come unto you,” says Jesus.
~ George Bowen, Daily Meditations
The cross of Jesus displays the most awful exhibition of God’s hatred of sin and at the same time the most august manifestation of His readiness to pardon it. Pardon, full and free, is written out in every drop of blood that is seen, is proclaimed in every groan that is heard, and shines in the very prodigy of mercy that closes the solemn scene upon the cross. O blessed door of return, open and never shut, to the wanderer from God! How glorious, how free, how accessible! Here the sinful, the vile, the guilty, the unworthy, the poor, the penniless, may come. Here too the weary spirit may bring its burden, the broken spirit its sorrow, the guilty spirit its sin, the backsliding spirit its wandering. All are welcome here.
~ Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)
“And Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good.” ~ Genesis 32:12
This is the sure way of prevailing with the LORD in prayer. We may humbly remind Him of what He has said. Our faithful God will never run back from His word, nor will He leave it unfulfilled; yet He loves to be inquired of by His people and put in mind of His promise. This is refreshing to their memories, reviving to their faith, and renewing to their hope. God’s Word is given, not for His sake, but for ours. His purposes are settled, and He needs nothing to bind Him to His design of doing His people good; but He gives the promise for our strengthening and comfort. Hence He wishes us to plead it and say to Him, “Thou saidst.”
~ Charles Spurgeon, Faith’s Checkbook
[Biblical] doctrine is the framework of life – the skeleton of truth, to be clothed and rounded out by the living grace of a holy life.
~ Adoniram Gordon (1836-1895)
Familiarity with the form of religion, while we neglect its reality, has a fearfully deadening effect on the conscience. It brings up by degrees a thick crust of insensibility over the whole inner man. None seem to become so desperately hard as those who are continually repeating holy words and handling holy things, while their hearts are running after sin and the world.
~ J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
For the true Christian it is not enough to be saved from hell. We want to walk with God, to be close to God. But our sins disturb that intimacy, and may disturb our peace. We do not cease to be children of God – we can still pray ‘Our Father’ – but we are like children locked out, kept at a distance, the show of affection withdrawn. And so we pray ‘forgive us our sins’ as a much-loved child comes in sorrow to be drawn close by a loving parent. Mere forgiveness is not enough – we want forgiveness with kisses, forgiveness and our Father’s face.
~ Peter Lewis