Believing Lies, Rejecting Truth

The following quote is from the pen of Horatius Bonar (1808 – 1889), the great Scottish preacher, poet, author and hymn writer. It talks about the nature, the true nature, of unbelief. It’s worth reading and pondering. ***** In all unbelief there are these two things–a good opinion of one’s self and a bad opinion of God. Man’s good opinion of himself makes him think it quite possible to win God’s favor by his own religious performances; and his bad …

The Gospel Without Adulteration

Here is a brief quote taken from John Newton’s A Review of Ecclesiastical History which was published in 1769. It strikes me that the words he wrote them are perfectly applicable today: Whenever and wherever the doctrines of free grace and justification by faith have prevailed in the Christian Church, and according to the degree of clearness with which they have been enforced, the practical duties of Christianity have flourished in the same proportion. Wherever they have declined, or been …

Become a Patron

Contentment

I mentioned a week ago that last week had been a long and difficult struggle to find joy. W week later I feel that God has really brought me through a tough time, but a time that was not in any way useless or wasted. This morning, when I sat down with The Valley of Vision, I came to the prayer titled “Contentment.” It ministered to me this morning. Isn’t it funny how a prayer can be such a great …

Longings After God

Through the past couple of weeks I have been fighting for joy, fighting to find joy in the journey. It has been one of those times that I’ve been longing for God but have seemingly found so little of him. And so this morning, when I opened up The Valley of Vision, as I so often do on a Sunday morning, I was encouraged by this prayer titled “Longings After God.” My dear Lord, I can but tell thee that …

Quotable

A little while ago I was sorting through my files and found a document where I had jotted down quotes from four different books I had read at just about the same time. They are vastly different books so it was kind of interesting to me to see the juxtaposition between each of the quotes. The first quote is from God’s Bestseller, a biography of William Tyndale written by Brian Moynahan. The author, comments about Thomas More’s bloodlust when considering …

Reliance

Here is another selection from Arthur Bennett’s The Valley of Vision. This old prayer confesses to God a reliance on self, and as it does so, it teaches both the folly of such reliance and the joy of relying fully on God. “When thou art angry towards me for my wrongs I try to pacify thee by abstaining from future sin.” Who can say that he has not, at one time or another, done this same thing? For those who …

Happiness

Here is another prayer from Arthur Bennett’s The Valley of Vision. This is a prayer titled simply “Happiness.” As I read the prayer I was particularly drawn to these words: “How precious is time, and how painful to see it fly with little done to good purpose! I need thy help.” How much time I waste and how painful it is to me to see if fly on by, wasted, unused, with little done to good purpose. ***** O Lord, …

Afraid? Of What?

Last week I read a short biography of John and Betty Stam, missionary martyrs to China. Stay tuned for a review. In that book, written by Vance Christie, was a poem and the story that inspired it. I thought I’d share that today. ***** The poem, entitled “Afraid?” was written by Presbyterian missionary E.H. Hamilton following the recent martyrdom of one of his colleagues, J.W. Vinson, at the hands of rebel soldiers in northern China. A small Chinese girl who …

Eternity Without a Mediator

In his little book Fear Not!, an examination of death and the afterlife from a Christian perspective, Ligon Duncan writes about the horrors of hell. Having done so, he offers a final reflection on the ultimate difference between heaven and hell. And, though I’ve read extensively, I do not recall ever hearing someone express it quite like this. These are words that are worthy of some reflection. Though he has already discussed hell, there is one more thing he wishes …

Humility in Service

It has been too long, I think, since I’ve posted a prayer from The Valley of Vision. This one, titled “Humility in Service,” seems appropriate for a Sunday morning as the day will undoubtedly bring us many opportunities to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ and many opportunities to share the Good News with those who do not yet know the Lord. Mighty God, I humble myself for faculties misused, opportunities neglected, words ill-advised, I repent of my folly …