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Entries in J.C. Ryle (28)


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.


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. 


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?'


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. 


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.