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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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Dorothy Sayers: The God Of Christianity Has Never Been Boring

Dorthy Sayers

Quoting mystery writer Dorothy Sayers:

“The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore—on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him “meek and mild,” and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. To those who knew him, however, he in no way suggests a milk-and-water person; they objected to him as a dangerous firebrand.

True, he was tender to the unfortunate, patient with honest inquirers, and humble before heaven; but he insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites. He referred to King Herod as “that fox”; he went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a “gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners”; he assaulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the temple; he drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations; he cured diseases by any means that came handy with a shocking casualness in the matter of other people’s pigs and property; he showed no proper deference for wealth or social position; when confronted with neat dialectical traps, he displayed a paradoxical humor that affronted serious-minded people, and he retorted by asking disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by rule of thumb. He was emphatically not a dull man in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either. But he had “a daily beauty in his life that made us ugly,” and officialdom felt that the established order of things would be more secure without him. So they did away with God in the name of peace and quietness.” (“The Greatest Drama Ever Staged”)

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What Is Jesus To You?

Octavius Winslow

Quoting Octavius Winslow:

What are you to yourself? Worthless? Vile? Empty? What is Jesus to you? Precious? Lovely? All your salvation? All your desire? What is sin to you? The most hateful thing in the world? What is holiness to you? Most lovely? Most longed for? What is the throne of grace to you? The most attractive spot? What is the cross to you? The sweetest resting place in the universe? What is God to you? Your God? Your Father? The spring of all your joys? The fountainhead of all your bliss? The center where your affections meet? Is it so? Then you are a child of God! Those low views of yourself…that brokenness, that inward mourning, that secret confession, that longing for…more spirituality, more grace, more devotedness, more love, does but prove the existence, reality, and growth of God’s work within you. Cheer up, precious soul! That soul never perished, that felt itself to be vile, and Jesus to be precious!

The Uncertain Faith

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. (Francis of Assisi)

Do you face life with an uncertain faith in Christ? As a Christian, do you ever have doubts when you are confronted by the world’s skepticism of the Holy Scriptures? Are you uncertain about putting your faith in God or if there really is a God? Do you have doubts about the Bible being the actual Word of God written down for us? Perhaps you believe there must be a God, but you are not certain that He personally cares anything about you. It is easy to doubt when you see evil men prosper and injustice done to good men. When the whole world seems to be running after their own lusts determined to fulfill their every sensuous desire – it becomes easy for anyone to doubt that the Christian way is the right way.

James spoke rightly when he said, “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (1:6) The unsettled soul has many doubts which result from a lack of communion with Christ. Do you doubt? Run toward Christ and with every step you will grow in confidence and defeat discouragement. Faith is strengthened by communion with Christ. Charles Spurgeon asks the question, “Where do you live? Many a believer lives in the ‘cottage of doubt,’ when he might live in the ‘mansion of faith.'”

Paul reminds Timothy, “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’. . . .” (1 Timothy 6:20) We must ever be on guard against the doubt which destroys faith. Jesus describes what happens to the good seeds of faith when not tended properly: “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22) These thorns of doubt are planted by Satan and grow quickly when the garden is not kept.

Therefore, guard your faith through regular communion with Christ. Pray and study that you would be full of the Scriptures. Then you will be able to fight the doubts of dark times through confidence in the Word God that He has shared with you in His light.

The Christian Man And The Carnal Man

Quoting Robert Leighton:

The Christian and the carnal man are most wonderful to each other. The one wonders to see the other walk so strictly, and deny himself to those carnal liberties that the most take…. And the Christian thinks it strange that men should be so bewitched, and still remain children in the vanity of their turmoil, wearying and humoring themselves from morning to night, running after stories and fancies, and ever busy doing nothing; wonders that the delights of earth and sin can so long entertain and please men, and persuade them to give Jesus Christ so many refusals—to turn from their life and happiness, and choose to be miserable, yea, and take much pains to make themselves miserable.

Closed-Minded Or Open-Minded?

John Calvin

John Calvin

Quoting Burk Parsons:

I am decidedly closed-minded to anything that is not biblical, and I concur with John Calvin: “Wherefore all theology, when separated from Christ, is not only vain and confused, but is also mad, deceitful, and spurious; for, though the philosophers sometimes utter excellent sayings, yet they have nothing but what is short-lived, and even mixed up with wicked and erroneous sentiments.” As the closed-minded, Christ-minded faithful we must join arms against the satanic pluralism of our day, whether it is decreed from the Vatican or broadcast from Mecca. We live and breathe for Christ alone and proclaim that there is only one way to God. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Charles H. Spurgeon On The Bible

Charles H. Spurgeon

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

“The Bible is God’s Bible; and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, “I am the book of God; man, read me. I am God’s writing; open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for he is my author, and you will see him visible and manifest everywhere.”

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