Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Beating Temptation to the Punch

"Consider what ways, what companies, what opportunities, what studies, what businesses, what conditions, have at any time given, or do usually give, advantages to thy distempers; and set thyself heedfully against them all.  Men will do this with respect to their bodily infirmities and distempers:  the seasons, the diet, the air that have proved offensive shall be avoided.  Are the things of the soul of less importance?"  John Owen, The Mortification of Sin

We put a lot of emphasis on bodily health - we avoid second hand smoke and eating too much refined sugar and saturated fat.  Are we as diligent in avoiding the things that pollute and damage our spiritual life?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thomas a Kempis on Temptation

Do you ever get weary of temptation?  Feel like it never lets up?  You're not alone.  Many great saints through history confess the same experience!  Consider the Apostle Paul in Romans 7, or Thomas a Kempis in the quote below.  But take heart - the fact that you are troubled and bothered by temptation is evidence that the Spirit of God is at work within!
"This is that which oftentimes strikes me down, and confounds me in Thy sight, that I am so subject to fall, and weak in resisting my passions.  And although I do not altogether consent, yet their continued assaulting is troublesome and grievous unto me; and it is exceedingly weary to live thus daily in conflict." 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Essence of Idolatry

"[I]n the case of God, we distort our knowledge of Him by replacing Him with an image that we create ourselves.  This is the essence of idolatry: replacing the reality with a counterfeit.  We distort the truth of God and reshape our understanding of Him according to our own preferences, leaving us with a God who is anything but holy."

~ R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

True Religion

May I pay regard to my principles as well as my conduct, my motives as well as my actions.

Help me never to mistake the excitement of my passions for the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 

never to judge my religion by occasional impressions and impulses, 

but by my constant and prevailing disposition.

~Excerpted from The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions