Friday, July 17

George Muller on HOW TO ASCERTAIN THE WILL OF GOD

  1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is. 
  2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions. 
  3. I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them. 
  4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's Will in connection with His Word and Spirit. 
  5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright. 
  6. Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.

Wednesday, April 15

George Macdonald on THE REVEALING OF THE SONS OF GOD

'For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing' (the outshining) 'of the sons of God.' When the sons of God show as they are, taking, with the character, the appearance and the place that belong to their sonship; when the sons of God sit with the Son of God on the throne of their Father; then shall they be in potency of fact the lords of the lower creation, the bestowers of liberty and peace upon it; then shall the creation, subjected to vanity for their sakes, find its freedom in their freedom, its gladness in their sonship. The animals will glory to serve them, will joy to come to them for help. Let the heartless scoff, the unjust despise! the heart that cries Abba, Father, cries to the God of the sparrow and the oxen; nor can hope go too far in hoping what that God will do for the creation that now groaneth and travaileth in pain because our higher birth is delayed. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? Shall my heart be more compassionate than his? If to any reader my interpretation be unsatisfactory, I pray him not to spend his strength in disputing my faith, but in making sure his own progress on the way to freedom and to the child of God is true judgment possible.
(Unspoken Sermons)

Friday, January 30

Jesus of Nazareth on THE KINGDOM OF GOD

This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.
(Mk 4:26-34 NAB)

Monday, July 7

John AT Robinson on THE BODY AND THE RESURRECTION


The body is the symbol, not of individuality, but of solidarity. It is that which binds, in each individual, divinely unique as he is, an inescapable relatedness to the whole of nature and history and the cosmic order. It is the bond of continuity and unity between man and his environment, between individual and community, between generation and generation. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body is the doctrine of the redemption and replacement of one solidarity by another, by the body of the old mortality by the Body of Christ. It is an assertion that no individual can be saved apart from the whole. Through His body He is organically linked with all other life and all other matter in the universe. There is no redemption for the individual out of this math, but only in it and with it. The Christian Gospel is not of the rescuing of individuals out of nature and history, but the redeeming of all the myriad relationships of creation into a new Heaven and a new Earth - the City of God, the Body of Christ.
(In The End God)

Saturday, January 4

CS Lewis on BEING A RELUCTANT CONVERT

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing: the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.
(Surprised by Joy)

Saturday, December 7

Alice Meynell on CHRIST IN THE UNIVERSE

        With this ambiguous earth
        His dealings have been told us. These abide:
        The signal to a maid, the human birth,
        The lesson, and the young Man crucified.
        
        But not a star of all
        The innumerable host of stars has heard
        How He administered this terrestrial ball.
        Our race have kept their Lord’s entrusted Word.
        
        Of His earth-visiting feet
        None knows the secret, cherished, perilous,
        The terrible, shamefast, frightened, whispered, sweet,
        Heart-shattering secret of His way with us.
        
        No planet knows that this
        Our wayside planet, carrying land and wave,
        Love and life multiplied, and pain and bliss,
        Bears, as chief treasure, one forsaken grave.
        
        Nor, in our little day,
        May His devices with the heavens be guessed,
        His pilgrimage to thread the Milky Way
        Or His bestowals there be manifest.
        
        But in the eternities,
        Doubtless we shall compare together, hear
        A million alien Gospels, in what guise
        He trod the Pleiades, the Lyre, the Bear.
        
        O, be prepared, my soul!
        To read the inconceivable, to scan
        The myriad forms of God those stars unroll
        When, in our turn, we show to them a Man.

Wednesday, April 10

George William Russell on THE STARS

Even as a bird sprays many-coloured fires, 
The plumes of paradise, the dying light 
Rays through the fevered air in misty spires 
That vanish in the heights. 

These myriad eyes that look on me are mine; 
Wandering beneath them I have found again 
The ancient ample moment, the divine, 
The God-root within men. 

For this, for this the lights innumerable 
As symbols shine that we the true light win: 
For every star and every deep they fill 
Are stars and deeps within.