Monday, October 15, 2012

Choose to Suffer Wrong Rather than Do Wrong

"Plato once said that the wise man will always choose to suffer wrong rather than to do wrong."

(Quote in William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, 36)

"The Celestial Surgeon" by Robert Louis Stevenson

“Robert Louis Stevenson was right, when he wrote in The Celestial Surgeon:

“If I have failed more or less
In my great task of happiness;
If I have moved among my race
And shown no glorious morning face;
If beams from happy human eyes
Have moved me not; if morning skies,
Books, and my food, and summer rain
Knocked on my sullen heart in vain:
Lord, thy most pointed pleasure take
And stab my spirit broad awake;
Or, Lord, if too obdurate I,
Choose thou, before that spirit die,
A piercing pain, a killing sin,
And to my dead heart run them in!”

(Quoted in William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, 66-67)

"Listen, Lord, for thy servant is speaking"?

“Far too often men have taken their theology to the Bible instead of finding their theology in the Bible. When we read scripture we must say, not, “Listen, Lord, for thy servant is speaking,” but, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant is listening.””

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, commenting on Luke 6:1-5, 71)

Chesterton on Getting into Hot Water

"G. K. Chesteron, whose principles constantly got him into trouble, once said, "I like getting into hot water. It keeps you clean!""

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, commenting on Luke 6:20-26, 77)

Lincoln on Being Courteous to Ones Enemies

"When Abraham Lincoln was criticized for being too courteous to his enemies and reminded that it was his duty to destroy them, he gave the great answer, "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" Even if a man is utterly mistaken, we must never regard him as an enemy to be destroyed but as a strayed freiend to be recovered by love."

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, commenting on Luke 9:49-56, 130-131)

Church Membership Should Make All the Difference

“It may well be that we have done great hurt to the church by letting people think that church membership need not make so very much difference. We ought to tell them that it should make all the difference in the world. We might have fewer people; but those we had would be really pledged to Christ.”

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, commenting on Luke 9:57-62, 131)

"Lord Jesus Christ, the Head, please help us members of Your Church recover and practice meaningful church membership, not merely the institutional church but the local and universal church. Amen."

Christianity means knowing Christ

“It is possible to be too clever. It is possible to be so learned that in the end we cannot see the wood for the trees. Someone has said that the test of a really great scholar is how much he is able to forget. After all, Christianity does not mean knowing all the theories about the New Testament; still less does it mean knowing all the theologies and the Christologies. Christianity does not mean knowing about Christ, it means knowing Christ; and to do that requires not earthly wisdom but heavenly grace.”

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, commenting on Luke 10:21, 137)

Greatest Discovery: Chloroform or Christ?

“It will always remain true that a man’s greatest glory is not what he has done but what God has done for him. It might well be claimed that the discovery of the use of chloroform saved the world more pain than any other single medical discovery. Once someone asked Sir James Simpson, who pioneered its use, “What do you regard as your greatest discovery?” expecting the answer, “Chloroform.” But Simpson answered, “My greatest discovery was that Jesus Christ is my Saviour.”

Even the greatest man can say in the presence of God only,

“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy Cross I cling;
Naked, come to thee for dress;
Helpless, look to thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.”

Pride bars from heaven; humility is the passport to the presence of God.”

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, commenting on Luke 10:17-20, 136)

Religion or Reality?

“A man may be regular in his church attendance; he may be a diligent student of his Bible; he may be a generous giver to the church; but if in his heart there are thoughts of pride and of contempt, if he has no charity in his dealings with his fellow men in the life of the everyday, if he is unjust to his subordinates or dishonest to his employer, he is not a Christian man. No man is a Christian when he meticulously observes the conventions of religion and forgets the realities.”

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, commenting on Luke 11:37-44, 156)