Friday, September 5, 2014

The Way of Light - Epistle of Barnabas

"19. The Way of Light, then, is as follows; and whoever desires to make his way to the appointed place must be actively at work. Now, the Knowledge granted us to enable us to walk in this way embraces the following points: Love your Maker; reverence your Creator; glorify Him who ransomed you from death; abhor everything not pleasing to God; detest every form of hypocrisy; do not by any means neglect the commandments of the Lord. Do not carry your head high, but be ever in a humble frame of mind; do not reach out for personal glory; do not plot evil against your neighbor; do not open your heart to presumption. Do not fornicate; do not commit adultery; do not practice pederasty; do not let the Word of God escape your lips in the presence of any that are impure. Make no distinction between man and man when correcting anyone's transgression. Be gentle, be quiet; with trembling treasure the instructions you have received. Do not bear malice against your brother. Do not waver in your decision. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain. Love your neighbor more than yourself. Do not kill a fetus by abortion, or commit infanticide. Do not withdraw your hand from your son or daughter; but from their youth teach them the fear of God. Do not covet your neighbor's goods; do not be greedy. Do not be on intimate terms with the powerful, but associate with holy and lowly folk. Accept as blessings the casualties that befall you, assured that nothing happens without God. Do not be double-minded or double-tongued, for the double tongue is a deadly snare. In reverence and fear be submissive to your masters as representatives of God. Do not when embittered, give orders to your slave, male or female, for they hope in the same God; otherwise, they might lose the fear of God, who is the Master of you both. He surely did not come to call with an eye to rank or station in life; no, He comes to those whom the Spirit has prepared. Share everything with your neighbor, and do not say: "It is private property;" for if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more so in the things that perish! Do not be hasty of tongue, for the tongue is a deadly snare. As far as you can, be pure to save your soul. Do not be the one that opens his hands to receive, but shuts them when it comes to giving. Love as the pupil of your eye anyone that explains to you the Word of the Lord. Day and night remember the Day of Judgment. Seek daily the companionship of the saints. Are you proficient in speaking? Then go to comfort, and endeavor to save, an afflicted soul. Do you work with your hands? Then pay a ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, and do not give in a grumbling mood; you will find out who is your good Rewarder. Hold fast to the traditions, neither adding nor subtracting anything. Hate evil incessantly. Be just in your judgment. Do not start a schism, but pacify contending parties. Confess your sins. Do not come to prayer with a guilty conscience. Such is the Way of Light."  Epistle of Barnabas A.D. 130-131 pp. 62 & 63 (Ancient Christian Writers).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Simplicity of Life

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing let's be content with it." 1 Timothy 6: 6-8

"Although there are many prophets of old, they proclaimed but one God. The inclination to deceive and to speak falsely belongs to those who covet riches. It belongs to those who eagerly desire gains. Such an inclination was far removed from those holy men. For they did not lay up store for the future. Instead, they carried out the office entrusted to them in such a manner that they disregarded all things necessary for the maintenance of life. They did not even labor for that day's needs, being content with the unstored food that God had supplied. Not only did they not have any material gains, they even endured torments and death. For the ways of righteousness are odious to the wicked. So the prophets, who had no desire for gain, had neither the inclination nor the motive to deceive" Lactantius 240-320 A.D.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blog of Dark Day Ministries: The Biblical Model for Civil Government

This is an excellent blog post. Right on the money!



Blog of Dark Day Ministries: The Biblical Model for Civil Government: Here’s what the vast majority of Evangelical Christians think, summarised by Wayne Grudem in his book, Politics According to the Bible...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Be Consistent

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." James 3:17

"Those of us who have dedicated our lives to Christ should live our entire lives in the same serious manner in which we conduct ourselves when in the assembly. We should actually be meek, devout, and loving - not just simply seem to be. I cannot comprehend how some Christians change their conduct and manners with the place they happen to be. They make me think of sea polyps, who make themselves part of the rocks to which they adhere, even changing their colors to match those rocks. Similarly, some Christians lay aside the inspiration of the assembly after they leave it. And they become like others with whom they associate. Having paid homage to the sermon about God, they leave behind what they have heard. Once outside, they foolishly entertain themselves with profane amusements." Clement of Alexandria 150-215 A.D.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Find Yourself a Mentor

"Therefore, it is necessary for you who are pompous, powerful, and rich to find a man of God to set over yourself as a trainer and mentor. Have godly respect for someone - even if it's only for one man. Answer to someone - even if it's only to one man. Learn to listen to someone else, though there may be only one other man who speaks candidly to you. His words may be harsh, but they will bring healing. For your eyes should not continue unrestrained. It is good for them to sometimes weep and hurt. This will bring you greater health in the long run. Likewise, nothing is more detrimental to the soul than uninterrupted pleasure.

Learn to fear this godly man when he is angry. Be pained at his groaning. Respect him as you learn to put a stop to what causes his anger. Anticipate him when he is pleading against your punishment. Let him spend many sleepless nights out of concern for you, interceding with God for you, influencing the Father with the magic of his familiar prayers. For the Father does not hold out against his children when they beg for his pity. And your mentor will pray for you in a pure manner, held in high honor as an angel of God. He'll be grieved not at you, but for you. This is sincere repentance. "God is not mocked." (Gal. 6:7) Nor does He give heed to vain words. Only He can search the depths of our hearts. He hears those who are in the fire. He listens to those who pray from the whale's belly. He is near to everyone who believes, but he's far from the ungodly if they do not repent."
Clement of Alexandria

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Glorify God by Diminishing Yourself

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
In the Scriptures, the great miracle of the incarnation slips into the ordinary life of a child; the great miracle of the transfiguration fades into the demon-possessed valley below; the glory of the resurrection descends into a breakfast on the seashore. This is not an anticlimax, but a great revelation of God.
We have a tendency to look for wonder in our experience, and we mistake heroic actions for real heroes. It’s one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. If we are not looking for halos, we at least want something that will make people say, “What a wonderful man of prayer he is!” or, “What a great woman of devotion she is!” If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the lofty height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time.
We want to be able to say, “Oh, I have had a wonderful call from God!” But to do even the most humbling tasks to the glory of God takes the Almighty God Incarnate working in us. To be utterly unnoticeable requires God’s Spirit in us making us absolutely humanly His. The true test of a saint’s life is not successfulness but faithfulness on the human level of life. We tend to set up success in Christian work as our purpose, but our purpose should be to display the glory of God in human life, to live a life “hidden with Christ in God” in our everyday human conditions (Colossians 3:3). Our human relationships are the very conditions in which the ideal life of God should be exhibited.
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest from the November 16 reading