Skip to main content

Thoughts From A Few Less-Well-Known Writers

Dear Friends,

Today I thought I would give you a couple "thoughts" from virtually unknown authors. Sometimes we look to well-known or best-selling authors for inspiration and challenging thoughts. But popularity is not proof of virtue, and some false teachers have an immense number of followers. The first thought is a very helpful admonition regarding prayer, and the second a helpful way to respond to loss. I trust you will find helpful advice in both. (I have taken the liberty to update and clarify both.) Enjoy.

"Among arguments that encourage the necessity of daily prayer remains the fact that Christ enjoins us to petition for "daily" bread. New bread, as we know, is the best. And in a spiritual sense our bread every day given, as a new and hot blessing, is daily requested and bestowed by God. Manna was to be gathered daily, and not provisionally hoarded up. Their attempts to store it up so as to avoid the need to collect it daily, led to it turning rancid.
God expects that every day people will address themselves to Him by petitioning Him for their sustenance. Yet how contrary this is to the common practice of many. As camels in hot desert countries are said to drink but once in seven days, so many do the same. They offer up last week's and next week's devotions all in one quick prayer.
The emperor Constantine believed that because baptism washed away all sins, he would not be baptized until his death-bed. That way his soul might never lose the purity gained by that act and immediately enter heaven. But sudden death prevented him, and he was never baptized at all... If any erroneously, on the same supposition, put off praying to the last minute, let them take heed lest they pray rarely, or in effect, not at all."
Thomas Fuller
"You must accustom yourself more and more to the thought that here is not our abiding city, and that all which we call ours here, is only lent, not given to us. We may sorrow for those friends, parents or children we have lost, yet we must acknowledge with gratitude to God the blessing of having enjoyed our years with them... In fact, even the years we had, however short they may have been, were only given to us, we had not deserved them.
I know well there is no comfort for this pain of parting. The wound always remains. But one learns to bear the pain, and must learn to thank God for what He gave. If someone has lent us something for several years, and at last takes it back, he expects gratitude, not anger. And though God has more patience with our weakness than men have, yet murmurings and complaints for the life He has measured out for us are not what He expects from us. A spirit of resignation to God's will is our only comfort. It is the only relief for the trials God lays upon us. And when we have such a spirit of resignation, the heaviest as well as the lightest trials of life are not only bearable, but useful, and gratitude to God and joy in life remain untroubled."
Max Muller

As those made for fellowship with God, we only do ourselves a disservice when we neglect intimate time spent with our Savior -- an affectionate relationship kept fresh and sweet through prayer. Likewise, as those made for continual and unbroken communion with our Redeemer, few things are more helpful than remembering that under grace we are owed nothing and deserve nothing (yet given so much!). This reality helps to stifle murmurings and complaints and replace them with the trust of resignation to the God's will and praise offered in gratitude offered to God - both of which help "our joy in life to remain untroubled."

With prayers for your growth in grace,

Pastor Jeff


Popular posts from this blog

Thoughts From J. Oswald Sanders

Dear Friends, Initially I thought this excerpt might not be for everyone. Yet, if we are ministry-minded there's a sense in which it IS -- since all of us surely know someone who struggles with loneliness. Shut-ins. People who live in nursing homes. People in hospitals. People who have lost a spouse or live alone and are now in isolation -- and there are many other scenarios. Therefore I would encourage you to read it, if not for yourself, then at least for the help it might give you in ministering to others who wrestle with feelings of loneliness. It is by J. Oswald Sanders and comes from his book, "Facing Loneliness." Enjoy. "A nine-year study by researchers at the University of California shows that loneliness has a greater impact on the death rate than smoking, drinking, eating or exercise. The study found that people without spouses or friends had a death rate twice as high as those with social ties" (ABC News). Loneliness is usually considered

Thoughts on Praying Continually

Dear Friends, Last week we did a Zoom prayer meeting at my church for the National Day of Prayer. During that meeting I spoke on I Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." After the meeting a couple people asked me about a quote I used in explaining how we can "pray continually." Not just often, but continually.  In this regard Brother Lawrence's short and very practical book, "The Practice of the Presence of God" was extremely helpful. But I was also helped by the spiritual guidance offered in the three quotes I have chosen to share today. And the benefits are enormous. Praying continually adds stability to our spiritual lives and helps keep us get off the spiritual roller coaster ride that can occur when we pray sporadically. And it helps us to "bring every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ" as Paul admonishes

Thoughts From "Streams In the Desert"

Dear Friends, As I sat in my office today pondering what "thought" I would send out, I grabbed an old devotional book sitting on my desk, and just out of curiosity turned to see the devotion for today. It fit well with the times we are in, so I will share it with you. I also grabbed another from a friend's feed on Facebook. I had seen it years ago, but it also struck me as so very pertinent to the present time. So, today, you get two short thoughts to ponder! Enjoy. "As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men... who were invading Judah and they were defeated." I Chronicles 20:22 "Oh, if only we would worry less about our problems and sing and praise more! There are thousands of things that shackle us which could be turned into instruments of music if we just knew how to do it. Think of those people who ponder, meditate, and weigh the affairs of life, and who continually try to figure out the mysterious workings of