“Worship is not looking up and feeling good, it is bowing down and feeling lowly………When we try to feel an experience of affirmation from worship, we are not worshiping God. We are worshiping our own egos.” (pp. 56-57)
from Dan Lucarini’s Why I Left the Christian Comtemporary Music Movement
“The only right a Christian has is the right to give up his rights.”
– Oswald Chambers
One day the skies will be filled with the glory of God. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord to the glory of God. One day. But already his resurrection glory is being revealed. It is being revealed in your home. In your street. In your workplace. In your school. It is being revealed as you follow the way of the cross: as you deny yourself, as you serve others, as you love Jesus.”
– Tim Chester
“I returned home on Monday, settled all my little affairs, procured me a pair of saddle-bags, and filled them with clothes and books. On Wednesday, I took my leave of my father’s family. I went to an old log meeting-house, near Newcastle, Henry county. Here I preached my first sermon as an itinerant minister. My text was, ‘Lo, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have, therefore?’ During this hour, I felt that I had forsaken the world – father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all my friends, to follow Christ. This was one of the happiest days of my life.”
– Rev. Jacob Young in An Itinerant Ohio Pioneer (pp. 67-68)
“Let Christians then awake from their respectability. Let religion cease to be an amusement, and let it become a holy trust. Let the churches open their doors freely to all classes, and let the members reach out to their neighbors and invite them in. Let the public halls and theaters be opened for evangelistic services, and let plain, earnest men go out wherever they can gather masses together, in little companies, or great, and preach the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and the simplicity of love. Let the interest of our church be forgotten in the honor of Christ and the peril of souls. Let us give up our plans of pleasure, selfishness, and ease, and prepare for a winter of earnest work. Let us put away our idols and turn away from our abominations; and above all, let us cry mightily to Him for the Word of power and the breath of Life alone can change this ‘valley of dry bones’ into an exceeding great army of living souls and soldiers of the cross. And we shall find that there are resources enough amongst us, if touched by His consecrating power, to save the city – to save the world.”
– A. B. Simpson
No More Sorrow in Heaven
Blessed be God! There shall be no sorrow in heaven. There shall not be one single tear shed within the courts above. There shall be no more disease and weakness and decay. The coffin, the funeral and the grave shall be things unknown. Our faces shall no more be pale and sad. No more shall we go out from the company of those we love and be parted asunder – that word, ‘farewell’, shall never be heard again. There shall be no anxious thought about tomorrow to mar and spoil our enjoyment. There shall be no sharp and cutting words to wound our souls. Our needs will have come to a perpetual end, and all around us shall be harmony and love.
~ J.C. Ryle
The Christian Race & Other Sermons, “Heaven”, [Moscow, ID: Charles Nolan Publishing, 2002], 260.
Preaching is Essential to Church Health
A preaching ministry is absolutely essential to the health and prosperity of a visible church. The pulpit is the place where the chief victories of the Gospel have always been won, and no Church has ever done much for the advancement of true religion in which the pulpit has been neglected. Would we know whether a minister is a truly apostolical man?
If he is, he will give the best of his attention to his sermons. He will labor and pray to make his preaching effective, and he will tell his congregation that he looks to preaching for the chief results on souls. The minister who exalts the sacraments, or forms of the Church, above preaching, may be a zealous, earnest, conscientious, and respectable minister; but his zeal is not according to knowledge. He is not a follower of the apostles.
~ J.C. Ryle
Day by Day with J.C. Ryle, “Ministry (Preaching)”, [Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus, 2004], 185.
Looking Unto Jesus
“The true Scriptural source of consolation, in the face of all that troubles us, is to keep steadily before our eyes the second coming of Christ. We must grasp and realize the blessed fact that the rightful King of the world is returning soon, and shall have His own again; the He shall put down that old usurper, the devil, and take away the curse from off the earth. Let us cultivate the habit of daily looking forward to the resurrection of the dead, the gathering together of the saints, the restitution of all things, the banishment of sorrow and sin, and the re-establishment of a new kingdom, of which the rule shall be righteousness.”
– J. C. Ryle
Cast Your Anchor on the Bible
Let the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, be the rule of our faith and practice. Holding this principle we travel upon the king’s highway. The road may sometimes seem narrow, and our faith may be severely tried, but we shall not be allowed greatly to err. Departing from this principle we enter on a pathless wilderness. There is no telling what we may be led to believe or do. Forever let us bear this in mind. Here let us cast anchor. Here let us abide.
~ J.C. Ryle
Daily Readings From All Four Gospels: For Morning and Evening, [Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 1998], July 31st, Morning.
The Pastor’s Creed:
“I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me!”
– Martyred Pastor
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
– Mark Twain
“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has…… Such grace is costly… because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Almighty For You
“It is the saints’ duty, and should be their care, not only to believe that God is Almighty, but also to strongly believe that his almighty power is engaged for our defense and help in all of our straits and temptations.”
— William Gurnall
Thank God For Feeling Your Sinfulness
He that has any feeling of his own sinfulness, ought to thank God for it. That very sense of weakness, wickedness, and corruption, which perhaps makes you uncomfortable, is in reality a token for good, and a cause for praise. The first step towards being really good, is to feel bad. The preparation for heaven, is to know that we deserve hell. Before we can be counted righteous we must know ourselves to be miserable sinners. Before we can have inward happiness and peace with God, we must learn to be ashamed and confounded because of our manifold transgressions. Before we can rejoice in a well-grounded hope, we must be taught to say, “Unclean, unclean! God, be merciful to me a sinner!”
~ J.C. Ryle
Old Paths, “Our Sins”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1999], 155.
MY EYES ARE DRY
Words and Music by Keith Green
My eyes are dry, my faith is old.
My heart is hard, my prayers are cold.
And I know how I ought to be,
Alive to You and dead to me.
Oh, what can be done for an old heart like mine?
Soften it up with oil and wine.
The oil is You, Your Spirit of love.
Please wash me anew in the wine of Your blood.
“It is easy to quit and believe your circumstances will never improve, but you were created for a grand purpose. So choose today to never settle.”
– Don Pittman
“My soul longs that you should be fitted for, and in due time go into, the work of the ministry…… Do not be discouraged because you see your elder brothers in the ministry die early, one after another. I declare, now I am dying, I would not have spent my life otherwise for the whole world.” – David Brainerd a couple of months before he died. As quoted in Jonathan Edwards A New Biography by Iain H. Murray (p. 304)
“The chief danger of the church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit.”
– A. B. Simpson
“There is a deeper life. It is as deep as a personal Gethsemane and as costly as a personal Calvary.”
– Leonard Ravenhill
“Even though all the forces of hell were against Jesus, He was able to give thanks on the night He was betrayed.”
– G. Campbell Morgan
“The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men… We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within–or from above.
This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.” (Of God and Men, 11-13)
– A. W. Tozer
“The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them …….. providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church …… the need is for Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men aflame.”
– C. H. Spurgeon
“The most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching; and as it is the greatest and most urgent need in the Church, it is obviously the greatest need in the world also.”
– D. Martin Lloyd-Jones
“Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”- how many of them God only knows-it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.”
–Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951)
“VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST…
AND THEN GO TO WAR,
WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST…
AND THEN SEEK TO WIN.”
– Sun Tzu
“Spiritual leadership is not won by promotion, but by prayers and tears. It is attained by much heart searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice of every idol, a bold, uncompromising, and uncomplaining embracing of thecross, and by an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified. This is a great price, but it must be unflinchingly paid by him who would be a real spiritual leader of men, a leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, on earth and in hell.”
– Samuel Brengle
The Behavior of a Soldier
“The true Christian is called to be a soldier, and must behave as such from the day of his conversion to the day of his death. He is not meant to live a life of religious ease, indolence and security. He must never imagine for a moment that he can sleep and doze along the way to heaven, like one traveling in an easy carriage. If he takes his standard of Christianity from the children of the world, he may be content with such notions; but he will find no countenance from them in the Word of God. If the Bible is the rule of his faith and practice, he will find his course laid down very plainly in this matter. He must fight.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle,
“The Fight”, 158.
“It’s not the critic who counts, not the one who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood, and who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend himself in a worthy cause, who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. His place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat!”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“Every wise workman takes his tools away from the work from time to time that they may be ground and sharpened; so does the only-wise Jehovah take his ministers oftentimes away into darkness and loneliness and trouble, that he may sharpen and prepare them for harder work in his service.”
– ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYENE
“It is not because life is difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that life is difficult.”