Tag Archives: j.c. ryle

Daily Bread

J.C. Ryle

“Make it a part of every day’s business to read and meditate on some portion of God’s Word. Private means of grace are just as needful every day for our souls–as food and clothing are for our bodies. Yesterday’s food will not feed the laborer today; and today’s food will not feed the laborer tomorrow. Do as the Israelites did in the wilderness. Gather your manna fresh every morning. Choose your own seasons and hours. Do not scramble over and hurry your reading. Give your Bible the best, and not the worst part of your time! But whatever plan you pursue, let it be a rule of your life to visit the throne of grace and God’s Word every day.”

– J.C. Ryle, from Practical Religion

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The Day of Battle

“Let us however remember, that if we are to use the Bible as our Lord did, we must know it well, and be acquainted with its contents. We must read it diligently, humbly, perseveringly, prayerfully, or we shall never find its texts coming to our aid in the time of need. To use the sword of the Spirit effectually, we must be familiar with it, and have it often in our hands. There is no royal road to the knowledge of the Bible. It does not come to man by intuition. The book must be studied, pondered, prayed over, searched into, and not left always lying on a shelf, or carelessly looked at now and then. It is the students of the Bible, and they alone, who will find it a weapon ready in hand in the day of battle.”

– J.C. Ryle, from Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Mark

Judas and Nicodemus

“In everything there must be a beginning. It is not those who make the most flaming profession of religion at first, who endure the longest and prove the most steadfast. Judas Iscariot was an apostle when Nicodemus was just groping his way slowly into full light. Yet afterwards, when Nicodemus was boldly helping to bury his crucified Savior, Judas Iscariot had betrayed Him, and hanged himself! This is a fact which ought not to be forgotten.”

– J.C. Ryle, from Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John

No Fruit ?

“Finally, is not every fruitless professor of Christianity in dreadful danger of becoming a withered fig-tree? There can be no doubt of it. So long as a man is content with the leaves of religion–with a name to live while he is dead, and a form of godliness without the power–so long his soul is in great peril. So long as he is satisfied with going to church or chapel, and receiving the Lord’s Supper, and being called a Christian, while his heart is not changed, and his sins not forsaken–so long he is daily provoking God to cut him off without remedy. Fruit, fruit–the fruit of the Spirit, is the only sure proof that we are savingly united to Christ, and in the way to heaven. May this sink down into our hearts, and never be forgotten!”

– J.C. Ryle, from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew

How Goes The Battle ?

“Victory is the only satisfactory evidence that you have a saving religion. You like good sermons perhaps. You respect the Bible, and read it occasionally. You say your prayers night and morning. You have family prayers, and give to religious societies. I thank God for this. It is all very good.

But how goes the battle?

How does the great conflict go on all this time?

Are you overcoming the love of the world and the fear of man?

Are you overcoming the passions, tempers and lusts of your own heart?

Are you resisting the devil and making him flee from you?

How is it in this matter?

You must either rule or serve sin and the devil and the world. There is no middle course. You must either conquer or be lost.”

– J.C. Ryle, from his book Holiness

The Old Paths

“I frankly confess I prefer the old paths. I think it wiser and safer to press on all converted people the possibility of continual growth in grace, and the absolute necessity of going forward, increasing more and more, and in every year dedicating and consecrating themselves more, in spirit, soul, and body to Christ. By all means let us teach that there is more holiness to be attained, and more of heaven to be enjoyed upon earth then most believers now experience.

“But I decline to tell any converted man that he needs a second conversion, and that he may some day or other pass by one enormous step into a state of entire consecration. I decline to teach it, because I think the tendency of the doctrine is thoroughly mischievous, depressing the humble-minded and meek, and puffing up the shallow, the ignorant, and the self-conceited, to a most dangerous extent.”

– J.C. Ryle, from the book Holiness

Lingering With Lot

“As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.'” – Genesis 19:15 (ESV)

A few days ago, I started what will now be my 4th journey through the Bible. I’ve done it differently each time, and this year I’m planning on alternating Old Testament and New Testament books (Genesis, then Mark, then Exodus, etc.), while reading a Proverb or Psalm every morning as well. I find that I focus better when I’m concentrating on just one book at a time, although I see the value in plans that have you in different areas of Scripture every day.

This morning I read Genesis 17-19 and Proverbs 5. The chapters in Genesis cover God’s covenant with Abraham and His promise of a son in Isaac to Abraham and Sarah. We also see the depravity in Sodom and Abraham’s plea with God to spare its residents. There was one verse that grabbed me from Genesis 19 in regards to Lot’s conduct as the situation in Sodom unravels:

“But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.” – Gen. 19:16 (ESV)

Lot and his wife apparently shared the same misgivings, as she turned back herself and turned into a pillar of salt. But that word “lingered” in the above verse got to me. How often does that describe my own condition ! We all have our pet sins and things that we just know are contrary to God’s Word…yet we let them linger in our lives, maybe as some kind of safety net, afraid to cast them away for good. We’re also told in the above verse in regards to Lot that the Lord was “merciful to him”. We should never lose sight of that. God is in fact patient with us, but the opportunity for mercy will not last forever. Paul asks us in Romans, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Rom 2:4, ESV). We should rejoice in the fact that, in Jesus, we are set “outside the city” of sin and thank God for His mercy towards us.

This was my prayer this morning after reading Genesis 17-19:

“Heavenly Father, remind me again today that nothing is too hard for you (Gen 18:14). You can make old women conceive who are barren, and you can work in sinners like myself to change them into the likeness of Your Son. Thank you for your covenant and your faithfulness. Help me not to linger at the impending doom as Lot did. Keep me in the way of Your Word and remember its warnings, as well as its promises. The vileness of sin is on full display here in Genesis 19. I am sorry for the sin I engage in daily Father. Help me to turn from it today and not look back, as Lot’s wife did.

I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”