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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Key to Christian Living

John PiperJohn Piper:

“The key to Christian living is a thirst and hunger for God. And one of the main reasons people do not understand or experience the sovereignty of grace and the way it works through the awakening of sovereign joy is that their hunger and thirst for God is so small.”

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Spiritual Disciplines

Transforming GraceJerry Bridges:

Spiritual disciplines are provided for our good, not for our bondage. They are privileges to be used, not duties to be performed. To take off on a familiar quotation from Jesus, “Spiritual disciplines were made for man, not man for spiritual disciplines” (see Mark 2:27).

We must remember that the methods of spiritual disciplines are a means to the end, not the end themselves. (Transforming Grace, pp. 127-128)

The Zealous Christian

J. C. RyleZeal may be defined as “being ardent, fervent; or exhibiting enthusiasm or strong passion.” However, modern men have attached a negative connotation to it that implies that to be zealous is to be a lunatic. According to J. C. Ryle:

“It is always good to be zealous in a good cause.” (Galatians 4:18)

There is a subject before your eyes of vast importance. I mean the subject of religious zeal.

It is a subject, like many others in religion, most sadly misunderstood. Many would be ashamed to be thought “zealous.” Many are ready to say of zealous people what Festus said of Paul, “Paul, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane!” (Acts 26:24)

But it is a subject which no reader of the Bible has any right to pass over. If we make the Bible our rule of faith and practice, we cannot turn away from it. We must look it in the face. What does the Apostle Paul say to Titus? “Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14.) What does the Lord Jesus say to the Laodicean Church? “Be zealous and repent.” (Rev.3:19)

Reader, I say plainly, I want to plead the cause of zeal in religion. I am not afraid of it. I love it. I admire it. I believe it to be a mighty blessing. I want to strike a blow at the lazy, easy, sleepy Christianity of these latter days, which can see no beauty in zeal, and only uses the word “zealot” as a word of reproach. (“Be Zealous”)

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