4 Quotes On Persecution From “The Blessing Of Humility”

The Blessing Of HumilityAs I stated in my review of Jerry Bridges’ book The Blessing Of Humility, reading through these thoughts slowly—Beatitude by Beatitude—would bring about the most life-changing impact. In that spirit, I will be sharing some noteworthy quotes one Beatitude at a time. Here are some quotes on blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Matthew 5:10-12)

“There is no doubt that the culture is becoming more and more antagonistic toward biblical values. For some years I have thought our American culture to be ungodly; that is, to believe and act as if God is irrelevant. Now I believe we have become not just ungodly but actually anti-God. An increasing number of those who most influence our culture—such as academia, the media, and the entertainment industry—are openly hostile to the whole idea of God or of biblical values.”

“I suspect that our own court system will eventually fail us, as more and more judges are appointed who have been trained in law schools that at best are indifferent to biblical righteousness and at worst are openly hostile to it. Even our Supreme Court seems to be rendering decisions based on the mores of popular culture rather than on a principled application of the Constitution.”

“There is a sense in which this eighth Beatitude is the climax of several preceding ones dealing with our response to the way others treat us. … In this eighth Beatitude Jesus has in mind persecution rooted in the hostility of the anti-God culture we live in.”

“Keep in mind these words from Jesus [Luke 6:27-28] are precepts—authoritative commands of God. Furthermore, they address more than our attitude toward those who persecute us. They are action steps: we are to love our enemies, do good to them, bless them, and pray for them.”

 I have previously shared quotes on:

6 Quotes On Peacemakers From “The Blessing Of Humility”

The Blessing Of HumilityAs I stated in my review of Jerry Bridges’ book The Blessing Of Humility, reading through these thoughts slowly—Beatitude by Beatitude—would bring about the most life-changing impact. In that spirit, I will be sharing some noteworthy quotes one Beatitude at a time. Here are some quotes on blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9)…

“Jesus was speaking of making peace when we ourselves are involved in conflict with others.”

“It is often the sinful use of our tongues that cause conflict. But the tongue is only an instrument. The real problem is the heart. … To become peacemakers, then, we must begin with ourselves. We must ask ourselves, ‘Why do I make cutting remarks to another person? Why do I make demeaning remarks about them?’ We must also ask us ourselves, ‘What causes my resentment toward that person?’ or ‘Why do I continue to nurse hurts by that person instead of forgiving them? What is it that causes me to be envious or jealous of that person?’ In order to even ask those questions, we have to admit that we have those attitudes. But because we know they are sinful, we tend to live in denial that we have them.”

“Peacemaking where there is conflict with someone else is not an option for us. It is God’s commandment. We are to strive for peace with everyone (Hebrews 12:14). The word strive is a translation of the Greek word dioko. It is a very intense word and is most often used for the word pursue. (See also Philippians 3:12, 14; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 3:11.)”

“Jesus tells us, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44). Are we willing to pray for those who have hurt us, that God will bless them? To be a peacemaker, then, means we absorb the hurtful words or actions of others without becoming resentful, retaliating, or even cutting off a relationship with the person.”

“To be a peacemaker means taking the initiative to restore such broken or damaged relationships, even when the major cause of the rupture lies with the other person.”

“To be a peacemaker means we must seek to be delivered from self-interest and not look at everything in terms of how it affects us. Instead we must be concerned about the glory of God and how we can best promote that glory in situations of conflict.”

 I have previously shared quotes on:

Quotes on the final Beatitude will be posted soon. Stay tuned…

Thursdays With Oswald—What “Religious” Things Perplex You?

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

What “Religious” Things Perplex You? 

     If we are perplexed over the question of sanctification, or about the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we ourselves are the reason why we are bothered. God has written a Book, and the phrases “sanctification” and the “baptism of the Holy Ghost” are His, not man’s; why do we not go to Him about it? 

     We are the reason why we do not go; we dare not go. If we honestly ask God to baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire, anything that happens is His answer, and some appalling things happen. If we accept the revelation that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, are we prepared to ask God to fulfill the purpose of the Holy Ghost in our body? If we are, watch the consequences—that friendship must go, that book, that association, everyone of them must decay off like a lightning flash. 

     If anyone has a difficulty in getting through to God, it is never God who is to blame. We can get through to Him as soon we want to, there is nothing simpler.

From The Psychology Of Redemption

I believe Chambers’ line of reasoning goes like this:

  • God has revealed His full will in the inspired words of Scripture.
  • The same Holy Spirit Who inspired the Bible can illuminate our hearts.
  • We don’t have insight because we either don’t ask for it [James 1:5], or we don’t really want to hear the truth [James 4:3].
  • Asking for help while posturing ourselves to obey will quickly bring clarity—“Jesus Christ’s life must work through our flesh, and that is where we have to obey. So many go into raptures over God’s supernatural salvation, over the wonderful fact that God saves us by His sovereign grace (and we cannot do that too much), but they forget that now He expects us to get ourselves into trim to obey Him” (Oswald Chambers).

6 Quotes On Purity From “The Blessing Of Humility”

The Blessing Of HumilityAs I stated in my review of Jerry Bridges’ book The Blessing Of Humility, reading through these thoughts slowly—Beatitude by Beatitude—would bring about the most life-changing impact. In that spirit, I will be sharing some noteworthy quotes one Beatitude at a time. Here are some quotes on blessed are the pure in heart (Matthew 5:8)…

“The word pure is used of clothing that has been washed, of grain from which all chaff has been removed, and of gold that has been refined until all impurities have been removed. A pure heart, then, is one from which all sinful desires have been removed. Positively it means to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). It means to live all of my life to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).”

“Once we acknowledge God’s ownership of us, our responsibility becomes clear: Whatever we do must serve God’s purposes. And central among God’s purposes, as demonstrated throughout the Scriptures, is God’s glory.”

“To present our bodies (and our hearts also) is to recognize Christ as the ‘Owner’ of our lives [Romans 12:1]. It is the subjective, experiential response to the objective truth that we are His own possession.”

“Our minds can only be transformed as they are regularly exposed to the Word of God. This means we need to regularly read and study our Bibles and apply what we find there to our daily lives.”

“To be—or better, to seek to be—pure in heart produces humility in action as we become more God-focused in our daily lives.”

“To acknowledge how far short we fall from purity of heart will send us back to the first Beatitudes: to be poor in spirit and to mourn because our hearts are so often divided. That is humbling. But that honest humility should drive us back to the gospel, where we see ourselves united to the One Who had the only perfectly pure heart in all of history. This will motivate us and empower us to see what we can never fully attain: to be pure in heart.”

 I have previously shared quotes on:

Quotes on the next Beatitude will be posted soon. Stay tuned…

Light & Truth—The Lesser Epistles (book review)

Light & Truth The Lesser EpistlesHoratius Bonar has been my “tour guide” as I have been reading through the New Testament in my personal devotional time. I have previously posted reviews on Bonar’s series on The Gospels, and on Acts and The Larger Epistles. This third installment—The Lesser Epistles—is as brilliant as the first two were!

The Lesser Epistles covers Galatians through Jude. Don’t be fooled by the word “lesser” in the title, as this only refers to the length of the biblical books, not the richness of the content, nor the weighty insights from Horatius Bonar!

For the most part, Bonar does not present a verse-by-verse commentary on the Scriptures, but more of an overall theme on select passages. Occasionally he passes over a rather large section of an epistle, and occasionally he slows down to go nearly word-by-word through a key passage. But in everything he writes, the gifting of the Holy Spirit’s insight is clearly evident.

As I have said about his previous books, they are not meant to be read in place of your Bible, but as a companion book side-by-side with your personal reading time. Truly a magnificent set of books!

6 Quotes On Meekness From “The Blessing Of Humility”

The Blessing Of HumilityAs I stated in my review of Jerry Bridges’ book The Blessing Of Humility, reading through these thoughts slowly—Beatitude by Beatitude—would bring about the most life-changing impact. In that spirit, I will be sharing some noteworthy quotes one Beatitude at a time. Here are some quotes on blessed are the meek (Matthew 5:5)…

“Meekness is not being timid, spineless, unassertive, and easily dominated. It is not a natural niceness. In fact, it has nothing to do with one’s personality or temperament.”

“There is then a twofold expression of meekness: first toward God and then toward other people. Meekness toward God involves: (1) responsiveness to His Word; (2) submission to His Providence.”

“As I reflect on our evangelical community to the extent I am aware of it, it seems we are more knowers of the Word than doers of the word. … Instead we too often use the Scriptures not as a means of judging ourselves but as a means of judging others, especially those whose sins are more flagrant than ours. The meek person, in contrast, searches the Scriptures (or listens to it taught) not to judge others but to allow the Holy Spirit to judge him or her. In fact, the meek person earnestly desires the Spirit to use His Word to effect a deep change in his or her inner being.”

“Thomas Watson wrote that meekness toward other people consists of three things: the bearing of injuries, the forgiving of injuries, and the returning of good for evil.”

“Because we have been forgiven so much, we have an obligation to forgive those who sin against us. Yet our motive for forgiving should not be our obligation but the realization of how much we have been forgiven.”

“Meekness towards man means bearing patiently with the hurtful actions of others and dealing gently with their failures, not only in the assurance that all of these are under God’s providential control, but in the knowledge that, left to ourselves, we have no claim to be any stronger than the weakest of our friends or any better than the worst of our enemies.” —John Blanchard

I have previously shared quotes on:

Quotes on the next Beatitude will be posted soon. Stay tuned…

Thursdays With Oswald—Is It Human Or Divine?

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Is It Human Or Divine? 

     It is easy to say that human love and Divine love are one and the same thing; actually they are very far from being the same. It is also easy to say that human virtues and God’s nature are one and the same thing; but this, too, is actually far from the truth. We must square our thinking with facts. Sin has come in and made a hiatus between human and Divine love, between human virtues and God’s nature, and what we see now in human nature is only the remnant and refraction of the Divine. Human virtues according to the Bible are not promises of what human nature is going to be, but remnants of what human nature once was. … 

     As Christians we must learn to trace things to their right source. God makes very distinct the difference between the qualities that are Divine and those that are human. John 15:13 has reference to human love, which lays down its life for its friends. Romans 5:8 has reference to the Divine love, which lays down its life for its enemies, a thing human nature can never do.

From The Psychology Of Redemption

We must be very careful about looking at our life, and then trying to match it up with something we see in Scripture. It should always be the other way around—look at Scripture first, and then see if my life squares with what I see in God’s Word.

Even harder: see if my life squares with what I see in the life of Jesus as presented to me in God’s Word.

In Psalm 139 David began His prayer by saying, “God, You have searched me thoroughly, and You know me completely.” Then he ended his prayer by inviting God to search him yet again. This should be the ongoing posture and attitude of a Christian: asking the Holy Spirit to constantly show us where our lives fall short of the Christian lifestyle presented in the Bible.

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