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Entries in J.C. Ryle (14)

Sunday
Mar262017

Daily Readings - John 6:66-71

J.C. Ryle, Daily Readings
John 6:66-71

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life?" (John 6:68) 

The question with which Peter begins is just as remarkable as his confession. 'To whom shall we go?' said the noble-hearted apostle. 'Whom shall we follow? To what teacher shall we take ourselves? Where shall we find any guide to heaven to compare with thee? What shall we gain by forsaking thee?'

The question is one which every true Christian may boldly ask when urged and tempted to give up his religion and go back to the world. It is easy for those who hate religion to pick holes in our conduct, to make objections to our doctrines, to find fault with our practices. It may be hard sometimes to give them any answer. But after all, 'To whom shall we go,' if we give up our religion? Where shall we find such peace and hope and solid comfort as in serving Christ, however poorly we serve him? Can we better ourselves by turning our back on Christ and going back to our old ways? We cannot. Then let us hold on our way and persevere.

Sunday
Mar192017

Daily Readings - Matthew 7:12-14

Daily Readings - Matthew 7:12-14
J.C. Ryle

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matt 7:12)

This is the golden rule, indeed! It does not merely forbid all petty malice and revenge, all cheating and overreaching. It does much more. It settles a hundred difficult points which arise between mn, not by laying down endless rules, but by one mighty principle. It gives balance and measure by which duty is defined. What would be like others to do to us? Let us do it to them. What would we never want others to do to us? Let us not do it to them. A rules for honest use which decides many problems! 

Ryle's words, that we ponder how we want to be treated, by implication, means we should evaluate how we treat others. How are we perceived? Do we inadvertently treat others unkindly? Part of sorting through this matter is to avoid carelessness in how we treat others. And often, carelessness is a result of being too focused on ourselves and not others.

Sunday
Mar122017

Daily Readings - John 6:22-27

J.C. Ryle - Daily Readings
John 6:22-27

Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. (Matt 6:27)

How are we to labour? There is but one answer. We must labour in the use of appointed means. We must read our Bibles like men digging for hidden treasure. We must wrestly earnestly in prayer like men contending with a deadly enemy for life. We must take our whole heart to the house of God and worship and hear like those who listen to the reading of a will. We must fight daily against sin, the w orld, and the devil like those who fight for liberty and must conquer or be slaves.

Labour like this is no doubt very uncommon. In carrying it on we shall have little encouragement from man and shall often be told that we are 'extreme' and go too far. Strange and absurd as it is, the natural man is always fancying that we may take too much thought about religion and refusing to see that we are far more likely to take too much thought about the world. But whatever man might say, the soul will never get spiritual food without labour. We must 'strive,' we must 'run,' we must 'fight,' we must throw our whole heart into our soul's affairs. 

Sunday
Mar052017

Daily Readings - John 5:41-47

J.C. Ryle, Daily Readigs
John 5:41-47 

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? (John 5:44)

A deep principle is contained in this saying of our Lord's and one that deserves special attention. True faith does not depend merely on the state of man's head and understanding, but on the state of his heart. His mind may be convinced. His conscience may be pricked. But so long as there is anything the man is secretly loving more than God, there will be no true faith. The man himself may be puzzled and wonder why he does not believe. He does not see that he is like a child sitting on the lid of his box and wishing to open it, but not considering that his own weight keeps is shut. Let a man make sure that he honestly and really desires first the praise of God. It is the want of an honeest heart which makes many stick fast in their religion all their days and die at length without peace. Those who complain that they hear and approve and assent, but make no progress and cannot get any hold on Christ, should ask themselves this simple question: 'Am I honest? Am I sinere? Do I really desire first the praise of God?'

Sunday
Feb192017

Daily Readings - Mark 1:35-39

J.C. Ryle, Daily Readings
Mark 1:35-39

We have here an example of our Lord Jesus Christ's habit about private prayer (v.35). This was no isolated incident (Luke 3:21; 9:29; 6:1; Matt 14:23; Mark 14:32). In short, our Lord always prayed and did not faint. Sinless as he was, he was an example of diligent communion with his Father. His Godhead did not render him independent of the use of the means as a man. His very perfection was a perfection kept up through the execise of prayer. His nature was kept sinless in the regular use of the means of grace, and not in the neglect of them.

There is an example here that all who desire to grow in grace and walk closely with God would do well to follow. We must make time for private meditation and for being alone with God. It must not content us to pray regularly and read the Scriptures, to hear the gospel regularly and receive the Lord's Supper. All this is well, but something more is needed. We should set apart special seasons for solitary self-examination and meditation on the things of God. The hurrying, bustling time imperil our souls. The more we have to do, the more we ought to imitate our Master in prayer and private communion with God.

What shall we say to those who never pray at all? There are may such church people who rise up in the morning without prayer and lay down at night without prayer, never speaking one word to God. Are such people Christians at all? A praying Master like Jesus can have no prayerless servants. To be prayerless is to be Christless. Godless and on the road to desctruction.

What shall we say to those who pray, but give little time to their prayers? We are obliged to say that they show at present very little of the mind of Christ. Asking little, they must expect to have little. Seeking little, they cannot be surprised if they posseses little. It will always be found that when prayers are few, grace, strength, peace, and hope are small.