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Posts from the ‘quotes’ Category

There is sweetness at the bottom.

Adoniram Judson, one of the first American missionaries to Burma, after the death of his wife, writing to console a sister and colaborer in the faith who just lost her husband:

You are now drinking the bitter cup whose dregs I am somewhat acquainted with…I can assure you that months and months of heartrending anguish are before you…I can only advise you to take the cup with both hands, and sit down quietly to the bitter repast which God has appointed for your sanctification…Take the bitter cup with both hands, and sit down to your repast.  You will soon learn a secret, that there is sweetness at the bottom.. You will find it the sweetest cup that you ever tasted in all your life.  You will find heaven coming near to you…

(Sharon James, My Heart in His Hands: Ann Judson of Burma, p. 199)

In Christ, there is sweetness at the bottom of every bitter cup appointed to us.

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I shall not want.

“When I taste Your goodness, I shall not want.”

(Audrey Assad)

It’s easier to say no to the leeks and meat pots of slavery
after I’ve drunk of living water and had my fill
of the bread of life.

From a place of fullness, not
a place of hunger, do You bid me say,
“I shall not want.”

Jesus is worth it.

From Nik Ripken’s The Insanity of God, pp. 286-287:

“I have even been wiling to die for Jesus,” he pleaded. “But do you know what I fear? When I go to bed at night, what keeps me awake, and what actually terrifies me, is the thought that God might ask of my wife and my children what I have already willingly given Him.”

“How can He ask it? Tell me! How could God ask that of my wife and children?”

I paused for a few moments and prayed that the Lord would guide my words as I responded … Finally I told him, “I personally cannot answer your question.  But I would ask you another question that I have had to ask myself: ‘Is Jesus worth it? Is He worth your life? Is He worth the lives of your wife and your children?’

He was undoubtedly the toughest man I ever met.  He began to sob.  He wrapped his arms around me, buried his face in my shoulder and wept …

Then he looked me in the eyes again, nodded, and declared, “Jesus is worth it.  He is worth my life, my wife’s life, and He is worth the lives of my children! …”

He is.

In fact, that’s how worth it He is.  Not that there is no cost.  I cannot think of a greater cost than my husband or sons.  But there is no cost that compares to His worth.

Jesus Christ is worthy not only of my life but all our lives.  Except the upside down thing is that He laid down His infinitely precious life for us.  So what is the temporal giving of this life?  Like Amy Carmichael said, certainly count the cost … but take your slate to the foot of the Cross and count the cost there.

Even if.

From Vaneetha Rendall Risner:

Even if.

Those two simple words have taken the fear out of life. Replacing “what if” with “even if” is one of the most liberating exchanges we can ever make. We trade our irrational fears of an uncertain future for the loving assurance of an unchanging God.We see that even if the worst happens, God will carry us. He will still be good. And he will never leave us.

From John Piper:

The greatest danger a missionary faces is not death but to distrust the mercy of God. If that danger is avoided, then all other dangers lose their sting…

Remember this Advent that Christmas is a model for missions. As I, so you. And that mission means danger. And the greatest danger is distrusting God’s mercy. Succumb to this and all is lost. Conquer here and nothing can harm you for a million ages.

Hard places.

From Marwan Aboul-Zelof, a church planter in Beirut, writing on The Gospel Coalition today:

Most of the unreached in our world remain unreached because they live in hard places: whether they’re in closed communities, hard-to-access villages, or other dangerous places. The biblical call to go to them is not void because of these challenges.

If anything, this ought to be a more urgent matter for the church. Christ calls us to take the gospel to hard places. And the gospel will always conflict and confront; the setting or location is irrelevant.

… There are so many unknowns in this part of the world, especially now. It’s quite possible we could wake up tomorrow and learn that Lebanon has been pulled into war. What’s been taking place in Syria for the past six years could be our next six years. And the cost weighs even more heavily when you have responsibility for a family.

But while the list of unknowns is much too long, we can’t live in a way that puts too much weight on temporal things. God’s promises in Christ are eternal and sure, and in Christ and his finished work we anchor our hope and trust.

… We pray and hope for peace in Lebanon, but in the meantime we have a commission from our King.

A missionary mother.

From Susanna Wesley, as quoted  by Dorothy Patterson in “The High Calling of Wife & Mother in Biblical Perspective,” Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood:

No one can, without renouncing the world, in the most literal sense, observe my method; and there are few, if any, that would entirely devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hopes to save the souls of their children, which they think may be saved without so much ado; for that was my principal intention, however unskillfully and unsuccessfully managed.

To renounce the world. To devote the prime of life to save the souls of my children.  To spend my energies there.  Not for myself but for them.  And not for them but for Him.

That is my prayer.

Be careful how you walk.

We’ve been visiting a church in Bellflower the past couple weeks and finally made it to the evening service last night, too.  I especially loved the time of sharing and corporate prayer.

The pastor gave a short exposition of Ephesians 5:15-21, and he made a particular comment about the surrounding context that I want to remember.  Not verbatim but the general idea —

“Ephesians 5:15 says look carefully then how you walk.  And in the passages following, it tells you how to walk in your home.  With husbands and wives, children, slaves.  Why do you think the focus is on the home?  Because we tend to walk the most carelessly there.”

Just because home is a place I can take off my makeup, street clothes, and formal manners doesn’t mean it’s a place where my heart can put its hair down, too.  The fight with my flesh and the careful walking of my heart (near to God) does not take a break as soon as I walk through my front door.

Fight, by God’s grace.  Be careful how I walk — only, only by God’s grace.

 

His wise, kind hand.

“Mother says we ought to study God’s Providence more than we do, since He has a meaning and a purpose in everything He does.  Sometimes I can do this and find it a source of great happiness.  Then worldly cares seem mere worldly cares, and I forget that His wise, kind hand is in every one of them.”

(Elisabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward, 274)

I’ve picked this book up again.  The first time I read it, I was a depressed, bedridden sophomore in college.  I was in bed for two days and read this book, missing all my classes.  Then I read it again as a senior, nursing a broken heart and wondering what the future held.  Then I read it again, maybe even twice, while teaching high school and/or in grad school.  Then I read it again after marrying JE, finding him to be very much like Katy’s dear Ernest.

And now — I read it as a mother of two, feeling more pressed by worldly cares than ever before.

But to remember that God’s wise, kind hand is in all of my worldly cares.  This brightens the dull task, the worry for so many loved ones, and the hidden service of being a wife, a mother, a daughter.

I’m grateful.

 

Sending roots downward.

“God never places us in any position in which we can not grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing; but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress.”

(Elizabeth Prentiss)

Imparting love of worship.

“Children can feel the difference between duty and delight. Therefore, the first and most important job of a parent is to fall in love with the worship of God. You can’t impart what you don’t possess.”

Noel Piper