What is Holiness?

Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgement, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word (the Bible). He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.

– J. C. Ryle, 1816-1900, Holiness

Advertisements
Published in: on October 31, 2016 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Every Christian is a Missionary

Every Christian is commissioned, for every Christian is a missionary. It has been said that the Gospel is not merely something to come to come to church to hear, but something to go from the church to tell — and we are all appointed to tell it. It has also been said, ‘Christianity began as a company of lay witnesses; it has become a professional pulpitism, financed by lay spectators!’ Nowadays we hire a church staff to do ‘full-time Christian work’ and we sit in church on Sunday to watch them do it. Every Christian is meant to be in full-time Christian service…There is indeed a special ministry of pastors, teachers, and evangelists–but for what?…For the perfecting of the saints for their ministry.

– Vance Havner, 1901-1986

Luck?

“The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” Proverbs 16:33

“Luck!” There is no such thing in our world,
none in nature, none in human affairs.

Luck means that an event has no cause at all. It is a bad word–a heathen term. Drop it from your vocabulary! Trust nothing to luck, and expect nothing from it. Avoid all practical dependence upon it or its kindred words . . .
fate,
chance,
fortune.

Never forget your dependence upon God. He can exalt you to prosperity–or sink you into the lowest depth of adversity. He can make everything to which you set your hand to prosper–or to fail. Devoutly acknowledge this. Abhor the atheism that shuts God out of His own world!

J. A. James, 1785—1859, The Young Man’s Friend
and Guide Through Life to Immortality

Published in: on October 28, 2016 at 1:39 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

The true recipe for a miserable existence

The first law of true religion is submission to God’s will. Where it does not exist, there is no piety–and just as truly there is no tranquility of soul.

What a hideous sight to see a human creature in full rebellion against God’s providence . . .
repining at His allotments;
fighting against His dispensations;
and cursing His judgments!

The true recipe for miserable existence is this: Quarrel with Providence!

When God means to make us happy, He teaches us submission–a resignation of everything into His hands, and an acknowledgment that whatever He does is wisest and best.

O how sweetly even afflictions fall, when there is such a temper to receive them! “Shall we accept good from God–and not trouble?” Job 2:10. Such a disposition tends to tranquility of soul; and even amidst chastisement, there is internal quiet.

“The Lord gave–and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

“He is the Lord–let Him do what is good in His eyes.” 1 Samuel 3:18 

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

– James W. Alexander, Consolation 1852

Amusements or Worship?

Religion, if you please, is now big business. A countless number of amusements flourish everywhere, paid for by the consecrated tithes of people who ought to know better.

Christianity has seen a steady rise of religious entertainment as a source of mental pleasure. God’s people have turned to the amusements of the world to try to squeeze a bit of juice out of them for the relief of their dry and joyless hearts.

I want to tell you something. If I want to see a show–I know where I can see a good one put on by top flight actors who know what they are doing. If I want a show–I’ll go down to a theater and see a show hot out of Hollywood by men and women who are artists in their field. I will not go to a church and see a lot of ham actors putting on a home talent show. And yet, that’s where we are in evangelical circles. We’ve got more show in evangelical circles than anywhere else. I would not give a plug nickel for the whole business of it!

The church is not a religious theater to provide a place for amateur entertainers to display their talents.

– A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963

Appreciation Too Late

We ought not to need night—to teach us the glories of the day. We ought not to have to wait for sorrow, before we can appreciate the sweetness of joy. Yet is it not often true that we learn the value of our blessings—but by their loss? Many a time an empty chair is the first full revealer of the worth and faithfulness of a precious friend. Would it not be best, if we were to seek to appreciate our good things—while we have them? We would then have the joy itself, and not merely the dull pain of regret as we look back at vanished blessings. Besides—we would do more for our friends while they are with us—if we appreciated their worth. Too many of us never understand what we owe to our dear ones—until there remains no further opportunity of paying love’s debt.

 – J. R. Miller, 1840-1912, In Green Pastures

 

The true ideal of all Christian life

Jenny Lind (known as “the Swedish Nightingale”) once said to another, in accounting for the motive and spirit of her wonderful singing, “I sing to God!” She meant that she looked into God’s face, as it were, and consciously sang to Him. She did not sing to the vast audience that hung on her words and was held spellbound by them. She was scarcely conscious of any face before her, but God’s. She thought of no listening ear, but God’s.

We may not all be able to enter into such perfect relation with God as did this marvelous singer — but this is the only true ideal of all Christian life.

We should do each piece of work for God.
The business man should do all his business for God.
The artist should paint his picture for God.
The writer should write his book for God.
The farmer should cultivate his ground for God.
This means that we are always engaged in the Father’s business, and must do it all in a way that He will approve.

Jesus was a carpenter, for many years working at the carpenter’s bench. We are sure that He did each piece of work for His Father’s eye. He did it skillfully, conscientiously, beautifully. He did not skimp it nor hurry through it, so as to get away from the shop earlier.

– J. R. Miller, 1840-1912, The Glory of the Common Place