Friday, June 28, 2013

Hope and More Hope

“There is hope in the Gospel for any man, so long as he lives. There is infinite willingness in Christ to pardon sin. There is infinite power in the Holy Spirit to change hearts. There are many diseases of the body which are incurable. The cleverest doctors cannot heal them. But, thank God! there are no incurable diseases of soul. All manner and quantity of sins can be washed away by Christ! The hardest and most wicked of hearts can be changed.

Reader, I say again, while there is life—there is hope. The oldest, the vilest, the worst of sinners may be saved. Only let him come to Christ, confess his sin, and cry to Him for pardon—only let him cast his soul on Christ, and he shall be cured. The Holy Spirit shall be sent down on his heart, according to Christ’s promise, and he shall be changed by His Almighty power, into a new creature.”  

— J.C. Ryle

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Any Questions?

In his book Lifesigns, Henri Nouwen writes ... “A careful look at the gospels shows that
Jesus seldom accepted the questions posed to him. He exposed them as coming from the house of fear.

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? How often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever? What authority do you have for acting like this? At the resurrection, to which of those seven men she married will she be a wife, since she had been married to them all? Are you the king of the Jews? Lord, has the hour come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel? ...

“To none of these questions,” Nouwen writes, “did Jesus give a direct answer. He gently put them aside as questions emerging from false worries. They were raised out of concern for prestige, influence, power, and control. They did not belong to the house of God.  Therefore Jesus always transformed the questions by his answer. He made the question new—and only then worthy of his response.