It Is Not He That Reads Most, But He That Meditates Most

“Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest. wisest and strongest Christian.”

– Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, p.21-22

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Count It All Joy To Be Thus Tried

Although it is true that ‘whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives’–still we are not all called upon to suffer great tribulation. God appoints for each, the discipline needed to prepare him for glory. With some He deals gently, for ‘He knows how much the weak can bear.’ He sees the tenderness of their spirits, the gentleness of their nature. With others He may appear to deal more harshly–He alone knows how hard and stubborn is their will, how great their backslidings, how needful all this seeming severity. He also permits great tribulation to fall upon some, that they may be examples to His Church; examples of love, of patience, of long-suffering–and is not this an honor? Shall we not count it all joy to be thus tried? 

And has not God promised to proportion His consolations to the sufferings of His people? With what powerful comfort will such a passage as that which we are meditating upon, come home to the deeply-tried Christian–to him whose tears are wrung from him by pain of body, loss of friends, one bitter affliction after another: ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!’ (Revelation 7:17)

The anticipation of suffering is often a cause of greater anguish than suffering itself; for though we are told not to worry about anything–still, the anxious mind will often distress itself with gloomy forebodings while in this valley of tears. But in Heaven, we shall have no fear of evil–no cause for fears. God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes: the tear of sympathy, the tear of pity, the tear of separation, the tear of pain, the tear of godly sorrow for sin, the tear of disappointed hope, the tear of wounded affection–shall flow no more! ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!’ (Revelation 7:17) “

– Maria Sandberg, Glimpses of Heaven

There Is But One, Living, and True God

“There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.”

(Deut. 6:4; I Cor. 8:4, 6; I Thess. 1:9; Jer. 10:10; Job 11:7, 8, 9; Job 26:14; John 4:24; I Tim. 1:17; Deut. 4:15, 16; John 4:2 Luke 24:39; Acts 14:11, 15; James 1:17; Mal. 3:6; I Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23, 24; Ps. 90:2; I Tim. 1:17; Ps. 145:3; Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4:8; Rom. 16:27; Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 115:3; Exod. 3:14; Eph. 1:11; Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36; I John 4:8, 16; Exod. 34:6, 7; Heb. 11:6; Neh. 9:32, 33; Ps. 5:5, 6; Nah. 1:2, 3; Exod. 34:7.)

– The Westminster Assembly, Westminster Confession of Faith, p.24-26

The Problem with Images and Symbols

“The heart of the objection to pictures and images is that they inevitability conceal most, if not all, of the truth about the personal nature and character of the divine Being whom they represent.

To illustrate: Aaron made a golden calf (that is, a bull-image). It was meant as a visible symbol of Jehovah, the mighty God who had brought Israel out of Egypt. No doubt the images was thought to honor Him, as being a fitting symbol of His great strength. But it is not hard to see that such a symbol in fact insults Him: for what idea of His moral character, His righteousness, goodness, and patience, could one gather from looking at a statue of Him as a bull? Thus Aaron’s  image hid Jehovah’s glory. In a similar way, the pathos of the crucifix obscures the glory of Christ, for it hides the fact of His deity, His victory on the cross, and His present kingdom. It displays His human weakness, but it conceals His divine strength; it depicts the reality of His pain, but keeps out of our sight the reality of His joy and His power. In both these cases, the symbol is unworthy most of all because of what it fails to display. And so are all other visible representations of Deity.”

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.40-41