No time like the present

Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now—always.

—Albert Schweitzer in Out of My Life and Thought

“Offerings” are not returnable

A sacrifice is an offering placed before the Lord so that he can make something of it. Once offered it is in God’s hand to do with what he will. It is no longer in your hands to improve a little more.… His will is to work with offerings, not your perfections or your press clippings. Just leave it. You have lived your day; now leave it on the altar, an offering.

—Eugene Peterson in Answering God

No heavy blows

God strikes with his finger, and not with all his arm.

—George Herbert in Jacula Prudentum

Temporary scaffolding

I look upon foreign missionaries as the scaffolding around a rising building. The sooner it can be dispensed with, the better; or rather, the sooner it can be transferred to other places, to serve the same temporary use, the better.

—Hudson Taylor, quoted in World Vision magazine

When the Great Physician is the only healer

The disease of an evil conscience is beyond the practice of all physicians of all the countries in the world.

—William Ewart Gladstone in a speech at Plumstead in 1878

Easy criticism

The business of finding fault is very easy, and that of doing better very difficult.

—Francis de Sales in Spiritual Maxims

God of the details

If only we could get hold of the life-changing fact that there are no little things with God! Your seemingly small trouble is of eternal importance to Him this moment. He has some lovely lesson in it for you. A lesson, which if well learned now, will affect you eternally. If you and I refuse to learn it now, He still cares. The next time we “fall to the ground” He will still be there.

—Eugenia Price in Share My Pleasant Stones

Walking our talk

We can prove our faith by our commitment to it and in no other way. Any belief that does not command the one who holds it is not a real belief—it is only a pseudo-belief. It might shock some of us profoundly if we were suddenly brought face-to-face with our beliefs and forced to test them in the fires of practical living.

A. W. Tozer in This World Playground or Battleground

Of specks and beams

Gladly we desire to make other men perfect but we will not amend our own fault.

—Thomas à Kempis in The Imitation of Christ

A genuine love

A young woman in England many years ago always wore a golden locket that she would not allow anyone to open or look into, and everyone thought there must be some romance connected with that locket and that in that locket must be the picture of the one she loved. The young woman died at an early age, and after her death the locket was opened, everyone wondering whose face he would find within. And in the locket was found simply a little slip of paper with these words written upon it, “Whom having not seen, I love.” Her Lord Jesus was the only lover she knew and the only lover she longed for.

R. A. Torrey in a sermon, “How to Be Saved” (The Best of R. A. Torrey, comp. by George T. B. Davis)

All but faith is empty

Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.

—Reinhold Niebuhr in The Irony of American History

Fire on the cross

The cross is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that illumineth all the world. The flame is love.

—Thomas Traherne in Centuries of Meditations

Holiness above all

A true love to God must begin with a delight in his holiness, and not with a delight in any other attribute; for no other attribute is truly lovely without this.

—Jonathan Edwards in A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections: Works (Vol. V)

Don’t blow your own horn

Make sure it is God’s trumpet you are blowing—if it is only yours, it won’t wake the dead; it will simply disturb the neighbors.

Maj. W. Ian Thomas, quoted in Content (Feb. 1991)

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