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Entries in J.C. Ryle (10)

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. 

Sunday
Feb122017

Daily Readings - John 4:7-15

J.C. Ryle, Daily Readings
John 4:7-15

We should mark Christ's readiness to give mercies to careless sinners. He tell the Smaritan woman that if she had asked, 'he would have given her living water.'

The infinite willingneses of Christ to receive sinners is a golden truth, which ought to be treasured up in our hearts and diligently impressed on others. The Lord Jesus is far more ready to hear than we are to pray and far more ready to give favours than we are to ak them. All day long he stretches out his hands to the disobedient and gainsaying. He has thoughts of pity and compassion towards the vilest of sinners, even when they have no thoughts of him. He stands waiting to bestow mercy and grace on the worst and most unworthy, if they will only cry to him. He will never draw back from that well-known promise: 'Ask and ye shall receive: seek and ye shall find.' The lost will discover at the last day that they had not because they asked not.

We should mark the priceless excellence of Christ's gifts when compared with the things of this world. Our Lord tells the Samaritan woman, 'He that drinketh of this water shall thirst again, but he that drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.'

The truth of the principle here laid down may be seen on every side by all who are not blinded by prejudice or love of the world. Thousands of men have every temporal good thing that heart could wish and are yet weary and dissatisfied. Riches and rank and place and power and learning and amusements are utterly unable to fill the soul. He that only drinks of these waters is sure to thirst again.

There is no heart satisfaction in this world until we believe on Christ. Jesus alone can fill up the empty places of our inward man. Jesus alone can give solid, lasting, enduriing happiness. The peace that he imparts is a fountain which, once set flowing within the soul, flows on to all eternity.

Sunday
Feb052017

Daily Readings - John 3:16-21

J.C. Ryle, Daily Readings
John 3:16-21

These verses show us the true cause of the loss of man's soul. Our Lord says to Nicodemus, "This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

The words before us form a suitable conclusion to the glorious tidings which we have just been considering. They completely clear God of injustice in the  condemnation of sinners. They show in simple and unmistakable terms that, although man's salvation is entirely of God, his ruin, if he is slost, will be entirely from himself. He will reap the fruit of his own sowing.

"God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." There is no unwillingness on God's part to receive any sinner, however great his sins. God has sent "light" into the world and if man will not come to the light the fault is entirely on man's side. His blood will be on his own head if he makes shipwreck of his soul. The blame will be on his own door if he misses heaven. His eternal misery will be the result of his own choice. His destruction will be the work of his own hand. God loved him and was willing to save him, but he loved darknesss and therefore darkness must be his everlasting portion. He wouldl not come to Christ and therefore he could not have life (John 5:40).

The truths we have been considering are peculiarly weighty and solemn. Do we live as if we believed them? Salvation by Christ's death is close to us today. Have we embraced it by faith and made it our own? Let us never rest till we know Christ as our own Saviour. Let us look to him without delay for pardon and peace, if we have never looked before. Let us go on believing on him, if we have already believed. "Whosoever" is his own gracious word -- "whosoever believeth on him, shall not perish, but have eternal life." 

Tuesday
Jan312017

Beware of slacking our hands

From J.C. Ryle, Daily Readings, January 31, morning:

Let us never despair about the cause of God's truth, however black and unfavourable its prospects might appear. At the very time when things see hopeless, God may be preparing a mighty deliverance. Let us beware of slacking our hands from any work of God because of the wickedness of the times or the number and power of our adversaries (Eccl. 11:4). Let us work on, and believe that help will come from heaven when it is most wanted.

Sunday
Jan292017

Daily Readings - Luke 2:41-52

Daily Readings, J.C. Ryle
Luke 2:41-52

There is a lesson in this passage for all married people in the conduct of Joseph and Mary. We are told that they regularly honoured God's appointed ordinances and that they honoured them together (v.41). The distance from Nazareth to Jerusalem was great. The journey, to poor people without any means of conveyance, was troublesome and fatiguing. To leave house and home for ten days or a fortnight was no slight expense. But God had given Israel a command and Joseph and Mary strictly obeyed it. And all that they did concerning the Passover they did together. When they went up to the feast they always went side by side.

So ought it to be with all Christian husbands and wives. They ought to help one another in spiritual things and to encourage one another in the service of God. Marriage, unquestionably, is not a sacrament, as the Roman church vainly asserts. But marriage is a state of life which has the greatest effect on the souls of those who enter it. It helps them upwards or downwards. It leads them nearer to heaven or nearer to hell. We all depend much on the company we keep. Our characters are insensibly moulded by those with whom we pass our time. To none does this apply so much as to married people. Husbands and wives are continually doing good or harm to one another's souls.

Let all who are married, or think of being married, ponder these things well. Let them take example from the conduct of Mary and Joseph, and resolve to do likewise. Let them pray together, and read the Bible together, go to the house of God together and talk to one another about spiritual matters. Above all, let them beware of throwing obstacles and discouragements in one another's way about the means of grace. Blessed are those who say to their partners as Leah and Rachel did to Jacob in Genesis 31:16.