Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

Call To Worship January 29 2017

“We should learn, for one thing, from these verses, that the worst and most wicked acts may be done under a show of love to Christ…Conduct like this, unhappily, is not without its parallels. The pages of history record many an instance of enormous wickedness wrought out and perfected under the garb of religion. The name of God has too often been pressed into the service of persecution, treachery, and crime. When Jezebel would have Naboth killed, she ordered a “fast to be proclaimed,” and false witnesses to accuse him of “blaspheming God and the king.” (1 Kings 21:9-10.)…When the Spanish Inquisition tortured and burned suspected heretics, they justified their abominable dealings by a profession of zeal for God’s truth. The false apostle Judas Iscariot has never lacked successors and imitators. There have always been men ready to betray Christ with a kiss, and willing to deliver the Gospel to its enemies under a show of respect…To betray Christ at any time is the very height of wickedness, but to betray Him with a kiss, proves a man to have become a very child of hell.”

(J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke, vol 2. (Banner of Truth, 2012), pg. 319-320.)

Call To Worship January 22 2017

“There is something unspeakably solemn in the thought that the Lord Jesus knows all things. There is an eye that sees all our daily conduct. There is an ear that hears all our daily words. All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him, with whom we have to do. Concealment is impossible. Hypocrisy is useless. We may deceive ministers. We may fool our family and neighbors. But the Lord sees us through and through. We cannot deceive Christ. We ought to endeavor to make practical use of this truth. We should strive to live as in the Lord’s sight, and, like Abraham, to “walk before him.” (Gen. 17:1.)

Let it be our daily aim to say nothing we would not like Christ to hear, and to do nothing we would not like Christ to see. Let us measure every difficult question as to right and wrong by one simple test, “How would I behave, if Jesus was standing by my side?” Such a standard is not extravagant and absurd. It is a standard that interferes with no duty or relation of life. It interferes with nothing but sin. Happy is he that tries to realize his Lord’s presence, and to do all and say all as unto Christ.”

(J.C. Ryle, Matthew: Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Banner of Truth 2012, pg. 173)

Call To Worship January 15 2017

“We read that “He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth!” At the sound of that voice, the king of terrors at once yielded up his lawful captive, and the insatiable grave gave up its prey…Here, in open day, and before many hostile witnesses, a man, four days dead, was restored to life in a moment. Here was public proof that our Lord had absolute power over the material world! A corpse, already corrupt, was made alive!–Here was public proof that our Lord had absolute power over the world of spirits! A soul that had left its earthly tenement was called back from Paradise, and joined once more to its owner’s body. Well may the Church of Christ maintain that He who could work such works was “God over all blessed forever.” (Rom. 9:5.)” (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, vol. 2, (Banner of Truth, 2012), pg. 205.

Call To Worship January 8 2017

“The chapter we have now begun is one of the most remarkable in the New Testament. For grandeur and simplicity, for pathos and solemnity, nothing was ever written like it. It describes a miracle which is not recorded in the other Gospels–the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Nowhere shall we find such convincing proofs of our Lord’s Divine power. As God, He makes the grave itself yield up its tenants. Nowhere shall we find such striking illustrations of our Lord’s ability to sympathize with His people. As man, He can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. Such a miracle well became the end of such a ministry. It was fit and right that the victory of Bethany should closely precede the crucifixion at Calvary.”

(J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, vol. 1, (Banner of Truth, 2012), pg. 166.

Call To Worship January 1 2017

“Bartimaeus was blind in body, but not in soul…Let us strive and pray that we may have like precious faith. Like Bartimaeus, we are not allowed to see Jesus with our bodily eyes. But we have the report of His power, and grace, and willingness to save, in the Gospel. We have exceeding great promises from His own lips, written down for our encouragement. Let us trust those promises implicitly, and commit our souls to Christ unhesitatingly. Let us not be afraid to repose all our confidence on His own gracious words, and to believe that what He has engaged to do for sinners, He will surely perform. What is the beginning of all saving faith, but a soul’s venture on Christ? What is the life of saving faith, when once begun, but a continual leaning on an unseen Savior’s word? What is the first step of a Christian, but a crying, like Bartimaeus, ‘Jesus have mercy on me?’ What is the daily course of a Christian, but keeping up the same spirit of faith? ‘Though now we see Him not, yet believing we rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.’ (1 Peter 1:8.)” (J.C. Ryle, Mark: Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Banner of Truth 2012, pg. 175-176)

Call To Worship December 25 2016

In reading these verses, let us first notice the TIMES when Christ was born. It was in the days when Augustus, the first Roman emperor, made “a decree that all the world should be taxed.” The wisdom of God appears in this simple fact. The scepter was practically departing from Judah. (Gen. 49:10.) The Jews were coming under the dominion and taxation of a foreign power. Strangers were beginning to rule over them. They had no longer a really independent government of their own. The “due time” had come for the promised Messiah to appear…It was a time peculiarly suitable for the introduction of Christ’s Gospel…Let us ever rest our souls on the thought, that times are in God’s hand. (Psalm 31:15.) He knows the best season for sending help to His church, and new light to the world. Let us beware of giving way to over anxiety about the course of events around us, as if we knew better than the King of kings what time relief should come. “Cease, Philip, to try to govern the world,” was a frequent saying of Luther to an anxious friend. It was a saying full of wisdom. (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke, Luke 2:1-7, [Banner of Truth 2012], 38-39)

Call To Worship December 18 2016

“We see, thirdly, in these verses, how great is the kindness and condescension of Christ. No sooner was this poor blind man cast out of the Jewish Church than Jesus finds him and speaks words of comfort…He now revealed Himself more fully to this man than He did to anyone except the Samaritan woman. In reply to the question, “Who is the Son of God?” He says plainly, “You have both seen Him, and it is He that talks with you.”…We have here one among many beautiful illustrations of the mind of Christ. He sees all that His people go through for His sake, and feels for all, from the highest to the lowest. He keeps account of all their losses, crosses, and persecutions…The time when men forsake us is often the very time when Christ draws near, saying, “Fear not, for I am with you–be not dismayed, for I am your God–I will strengthen you–yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah. 41:10.)” (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, John vol. 2, Banner of Truth 2012, pg. 118-119)

Call To Worship December 11 2016

Mark 9:14-29 “The contrast between these verses and those which precede them in the chapter is very striking. We pass from the mount of transfiguration to a melancholy history of the work of the devil. We come down from the vision of glory, to a conflict with Satanic possession. We change the blessed company of Moses and Elijah, for the crude communion of unbelieving Scribes. We leave the foretaste of millennial glory, and the solemn voice of God the Father testifying to God the Son, and return once more to a scene of pain, weakness, and misery–a boy in agony of body, a father in deep distress, and a little band of feeble disciples restrained by Satan’s power, and unable to give relief. The contrast, we must all feel, is very great. Yet it is but a faint emblem of the change of scene that Jesus voluntarily undertook to witness, when He first laid aside His glory and came into the world. And it is after all a vivid picture of the life of all true Christians. With them, as with their Master, work, conflict, and scenes of weakness and sorrow will always be the rule. With them too, visions of glory, foretastes of heaven, seasons on the mount, will always be the exception.” (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Mark, Banner of Truth, pg. 142.)

The Doctrine of God

“A Christian’s real development in spiritual life will always be revealed by how he or she thinks about God – how much he thinks about him, and how highly he thinks about him. For worship is, essentially the reverse of sin. Sin began (and begins) when we succumb to the temptation, ‘You shall be as gods.’ We make ourselves the center of the universe and dethrone God. By contrast, worship is giving God his true worth; it is acknowledging him to be the Lord of all things, and the Lord of everything in our lives. He is, indeed, the Most High God!” (Sinclair B. Ferguson, A Heart For God, Banner of Truth, 2015, pg. 111-112.)

The Reformation

The Reformation
As you know, Martin Luther nailed his “95 thesis” on the Wittenberg Chapel door on October 31, 1517 marking the symbolic beginning of the Reformation … we owe a great debt to the Reformers.

For many centuries the world was bound by a man-centered, godless religion. The ‘Dark Ages’ were a time of true spiritual darkness, yet God was clearly working his purposes even during that time. We believe that even then there remained a vibrant remnant of believers who faithfully kept the faith! In God’s good providence the technology was developed whereby the Bible and other God-honoring literature could be printed for the people. God used “means,” that is, He used technology (the printing press) and the desire of the reformers to create a great literacy movement that changed the world!

As men and women had the opportunity to read and study the Word for themselves they began to question the religious hierarchy of the day. The most significant questions were about the nature of salvation: “Does man initiate or earn salvation through his/her own effort? Is Jesus ‘waiting’ for us to do our part before granting us grace? Or is God truly sovereign even over our salvation?” As the people read and understood the scriptures, and as the Lord gave them spiritual understanding, they rejected the man-centered theology that had kept them captive for so long.
By the mercy of God they were no longer bound to an endless treadmill of trying to be good enough to please God and the bondage of ‘purchasing’ salvation through a system built by the traditions of men … their consciences were now held captive to the revealed and objective Word of God: the Holy Bible.

The current situation is in many ways similar – our culture has forgotten the reformers, embraced weak sentimentality, and elevated ‘experience’ above the written Word. Many find themselves in churches where the Word is neither preached nor read. They are in need of a modern reformation bringing hearts and minds under submission to the Word!
The advent of Christ was undoubtedly the most significant event of history. I believe the Reformation was the second most important event. We never want to presume upon the mercy of God – we should pray and work for this new reformation while at all times giving thanks to the Father, from whom all light proceeds.