In our tv ads, it is as though the ecstasy of the spirit experienced by a St. Theresa or a St. Francis can be reduced to the gratification coming from a particular car, and the kind of love that Christ compared to His love for His church can be expressed by buying the right kind of wristwatch "for that special person in your life." . . .

Hitherto, spiritual gratification could come only via spiritual means. Thus, people were urged to choose between the things of this world and the blessings of God. Now, that duality has been overcome. Ours is an age in which spiritual blessings are being promised to those who buy material things. The spiritual is being absorbed by the physical. The fruit of the spirit, suggests the media, can be had without God and without spiritual disciplines.

-Tony Campolo in Wake Up America

You can't climb for others

You cannot pull people uphill who do not want to go; you can only point up.

-Amy Carmichael in

Learning of God

Set your affections . . .

All human beings pass away. Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose. If love is to be a blessing, not a misery, it must be for the only beloved who will never pass away.

-C. S. Lewis in The Four Loves

The truth within

The author who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance.

-Oswald Chambers in

My Utmost for His Highest

The road less traveled

Within the New Testament, there is no indication that Christians should expect to be healthy, wealthy, and successful in this present age. . . . Christ never told his disciples that they would get an Academy Award for their performances, but He did tell them to expect to have troubles.

This age is interested in success, not suffering. We can identify with James and John who wanted choice seats in the kingdom. We might even ask for reclining chairs and soft music.

-Billy Graham in

The Faithful Christian

Christ is not the answer: He provides it

A friend of mine met up with a keen Christian woman whose life was a mess. Her marriage was on the rocks, she had had a breakdown, her so-cial life was in ruins and yet when she came to ask for his help she was wearing a sweatshirt which had the slogan on it, "Christ is the answer." He took one look at it and said to her, "Jean, I think you should scrap the idea that Christ is the answer. He never said that. He said, 'I am the way.' I think that with him you must seek the answer to your problem."

-George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, in I Believe

Earthly kingdoms always perish

Several years ago the noted British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge was a guest at a breakfast in Washington, D.C. . . . When he had finished his testimony, he made a number of comments about world affairs, all of which were very pessimistic. One of the Christians present said to the speaker, "Dr. Muggeridge, you have been very pessimistic. Don't you have any reason for optimism?"

Malcolm Muggeridge replied, "My friend, I could not be more optimistic than I am, because my hope is in Jesus Christ alone." He allowed that remark to settle for a few seconds, and then he added, "Just think if the apostolic church had pinned its hope on the Roman Empire!"

-Richard Halverson in The Living Body

Holiness can't be hurried

Some years ago we often sang a hymn, "Take Time to Be Holy." I wish we sang it more in these days. It takes time to be holy; one cannot be holy in a hurry, and much of the time that it takes to be holy must go into secret prayer. Some people express surprise that professing Christians today are so little like their Lord, but when I stop to think how little time the average Christian today puts into secret prayer the thing that astonishes me is, not that we are so little like the Lord, but that we are as much like the Lord as we are.

-Reuben Archer Torrey in The Best of R. A. Torrey


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