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Showing posts from March, 2009

Temptation

On the night of His betrayal, our Lord gave the apostles very important instruction regarding temptation. He told them, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." We need to take time to meditate on these words. Let us ask ourselves, "Am I concerned about temptation?" We are concerned about mistakes. We are concerned about those things that we might do that may be embarrassing. We are concerned about habits that may not be socially acceptable. We are concerned about doing something that may get us in trouble with our employers, the leaders of the church, or the law of the land. But is this concern rooted in our faith or in our fear of people's opinions or our own discomfort? We should have a healthy fear of temptation because we should be afraid to sin. Are you afraid to sin? Do you fear sin? Or are there perhaps some sins you fear, while there are others you sort of live with? How often do you reflec

Samuel Johnson on the Fear of Death

We spoke of death. Mr. Johnson gave us a short discourse worth any sermon, saying that the reflections of some men as to dying easily were idle talk, were partial views. I mentioned Hawthornden's Cypress Grove , where it is said that the world is just a show; and how unreasonable is it for a man to wish to continue in the show-room after he has seen it. Let him go cheerfully out and give place to other spectators. "Yes," said Mr. Johnson. "If he's sure he's to be well after he goes out of it. But if he is to grow blind after he goes out of the show-room and never to see anything again; or if he does not know whither he is to go next, a man will not go cheerfully out of a showroom. No wise man will be contented to die if he thinks he is to go into a state of punishment. Nay, no wise man will be contented to die if he thinks he is to fall into annihilation. For however bad any man's existence may be, every man would rather have it than not exist at all. No

Embracing the Cross

Thomas a'Kempis This morning I shared some passages from The Imitation of Christ with the CCS faculty. They were from the last chapter in Book II, "The Royal Way of the Cross." The first paragraph hits you like a brick! That seemeth a hard saying to many, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross and follow Me. But it will be much harder to hear that last sentence, Depart from me, ye wicked, into eternal fire. Immediately we are straightened out and ready to take up the cross! There are three points I especially emphasized. 1) No matter how we may try to plan difficulty and challenge out of our schedules, the Lord will not let us escape them. A'Kempis: Dispose and order all things according to thine own will and judgment, and thou shalt ever find something to suffer either willingly or unwillingly, and thus thou shalt ever find thy cross. For thou shalt either feel pain of body, or tribulation of spirit within thy soul. Th