Here is another “Quint of Quotes,” or five somewhat related sayings, from my collection. These follow up yesterday’s Sunday Share from Kevin DeYoung, where he wrote that even Jesus “did not try to do it all. And yet, he did everything God asked him to do.” I hope you find them interesting and thought-provoking. Enjoy!
“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best” – Henry Van Dyke
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
“It is not your business to succeed, but to do right. When you have done so the rest lies with God.” – C. S. Lewis
“All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them.” – James Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something” – Max Lucado
Here is another “Quint of Quotes” from my collection. Five quotes somewhat related to each other, but not exactly in agreement. I just began reading a book I got for Christmas, Faithful Presence by Bill Haslam, which opens by describing how polarized and angry America has become. In this environment, he asks the question: “do [Christians] just give up on the public square as a place to solve problems?” These quotes aren’t an answer to that question, but I hope you find them interesting and thought-provoking. Enjoy!
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles, Greek statesman
“Only those will permit their patriotism to falsify history whose patriotism depends on history…A man who loves France for being military will palliate the army of 1870. But a man who loves France for being France will improve the army of 1870…The more transcendental is your patriotism, the more practical are your politics.” – G.K. Chesterton
“The less prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we should conduct our own affairs” – Warren Buffett
“I once carried on a brief correspondence with a man who objected to my interpretation of Romans 13. He said that all government was of the Devil and that Christians must not bow to the authority of ‘the powers that be.’ I pointed out to him that even his use of the United States mail service was an acceptance of governmental authority. The money he spent buying the paper and stamps also came from the ‘powers that be.’ For that matter, the very freedom he had to express himself was a right guaranteed by—the government!” – Warren Wiersbe
“When we are wrong, make us willing to change. And when we are right, make us easy to live with.” – Peter Marshal
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” – 2 Peter 1:3-4
We do not, and cannot, depend on our own merit to convince God to love us, therefore: “This consolation I would wish all Christians in their prayers: the testimony of a good conscience to assure them of God’s promises. But to obtain what they ask must only depend upon him, all opinion and thought of our own justice being laid aside.” – John Knox
Today in prayer, seek His power in His promises. He wants us to have “all things that pertain to life and godliness” and He is faithful.
Post inspired by McKim, Donald K. Everyday Prayer with the Reformers (2020). P. 115.
Since 1942, the United States have celebrated a holiday for Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of every November. For Christians the holiday is a time to remember the source of their blessings, regardless of how large or small those blessings seem. In Ecclesiastes 5:18-19, the Preacher recommends celebrating and enjoying our material things, and recognizing God as the Giver of them all, including the work needed to produce and prepare them:
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.”
However, as the Preacher wrote, even those with good jobs and plentiful possessions may find it difficult to truly enjoy them. It is “good and fitting”, but it is also “the gift of God” to find joy in the now instead of chasing things we don’t already have. It does not come naturally.
For many, time and events make each Thanksgiving different. The company around the table may have changed. The meal may be different. The means of providing the meal may be different. The familiarity of tradition may have been shaken by the pandemic and other circumstances. Much has changed, and much will change.
Therefore, focus on the Giver behind the gifts you have, and seek contentment with thankfulness that He has provided everything you need. For now, and in eternity. You are in good company.