“We are just as obligated to make our lives attractive and beautiful to others as we are to make them pure.” —Guy N. Woods, on 1 Pet 9.12.
“You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.” —Frederick Douglass
The author [of Hebrews] has just said: “let us pay worship to God”; he says now: “Let brotherly love remain” (13,1). Where is the relation? In reality, this very abrupt transition is certainly intended, not only to mark the literary division between the two paragraphs, but also to suggest a profound doctrine about the true way of understanding the worship to be paid to God. Do you want to pay God a worship acceptable to him? Love your brothers! Suggested here by the succession of the two themes, this unexpected connection is expressed very explicitly a little later: “Beneficence and solidarity, do not forget them, for those are the sacrifices that God accepts” (13,16). —A. Vanhoy, A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews, 403-404.
There’s more of the same to be read in the paragraph and book. Excellent material.
“A man who is intimate with God is not intimidated by man.” —Leonard Ravenhill, DCQ.
“Hopelessness and helplessness are not options for Christians who serve a God who will work his purpose for his glory.” —T.S. Ranier, “Church growth and evangelism in Acts”
Someone wrote this sad statement yesterday, “We have no Christian friends here to call on.” The situation was one of death in the family. Having friends in Christ is a blessing in so many ways. Being part of a congregation of God’s people enriches our lives here on earth and enlivens our hope for heaven. God put us in community for our present and everlasting good. In the body of Christ we serve the saints and, in our need, are supported by them when our burdens are heavy.
From CMA’s site, A.B. Simpson today:
The man who missed his opportunity and met the doom of the faithless servant was not the man with five talents, or the man with two, but the man who had only one. The people who are in danger of missing life’s great meaning are the people of ordinary capacity and opportunity who say to themselves, There is so little I can do that I will not try to do anything.
One of the finest windows in Europe was made from the remnants an apprentice boy collected from the cuttings of his master’s great work. The sweepings of the British mint are worth millions. The little pivots on which the works of a watch turn are so important that they actually are made of jewels.
God places a solemn value on a single talent. He puts a large responsibility on the humble workers and persons who would try to hide behind the insignificance of trifling opportunities. Our littleness will not excuse us in the reckoning day.
Talk not of talents; what hast thou to do?
Thou hast sufficient, whether five or two.
Talk not of talents; is thy duty done?
This brings the blessing whether ten or one.
Faithful in that which is least -Luke 16:10
Napoleon Hill wrote, “You cannot succeed in life by scattering your forces and trying to do a dozen things at the same time.” I agree with this, because it seems to be true.
Then again, there’s Ecclesiastes: “Divide your merchandise among seven or even eight investments, for you do not know what calamity may happen on earth. … Sow your seed in the morning, and do not stop working until the evening; for you do not know which activity will succeed—whether this one or that one, or whether both will prosper equally” Eccl 11.2, 6.
So which is it? Do we have two different principles at work here?
“When we trust that God chooses the part we play, then we need not worry about our obscurity and anonymity, only our obedience to play our part.” —Christine Caine
Amen. He sees us. That is enough. Do your work.
Obviously, no congregation will be made perfect, except by the blood of Jesus. Still, we have to face each other’s faults and our corporate faults each time we come together.
In her free book, Worship the First-Century Way, Katheryn Haddad seeks to revive congregations by dying to self.
Some churches are in denial about their faults and need. Humility is required to confess our faults and ask God for help in our need. The church of Jesus Christ receives the weak, forgives one another repeatedly, and loves all the saints, regardless of the progress of their journey. This is not a denial of following God’s pattern, but an embracing of it.