The CCEL Times 7.11 (November 1, 2012)
In This Issue:
From the Director
One of the key criteria I use for judging whether a book seems to me to be filled with the Spirit is whether it is filled with love. Does it radiate love for God and others? Does it stoke the fires of my own love? The greatest classics do. And one book in particular comes to my mind when I think along those lines, a book that is one of my all-time favorites, Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love. Reading and meditating on this book has inflamed my heart. If you choose to read it, be prepared to take your time and meditate on it.
"God's Deepest Purposes for the Human Family"
God calls us to love all the members of Christ's family, but because of sin we often encounter obstacles. Duane Kelderman writes that, "This article identifies and responds to three common misunderstandings of the Bible's teaching on the unity and diversity of the human family and offers a biblical perspective to help the church in this important area of discipleship." After reading this article, feel free to join the discussion and provide any thoughts you have have on this topic.
What We're Reading
Discourse concerning Evangelical Love, Church Peace, and Unity
Evangelical Love, Church Peace and Unity was written at a time when John Owen found it necessary to speak of a sinful decay of love among professors of the gospel in this nation. It deals with the importance of these virtues at all levels of church life. Owen believed the Church needed more love, because without it, more and more arguments and schisms would occur and unity would be dissolved. Schisms were almost impossible to overcome, Owen said, because neither side was willing to sacrifice its pride. Disunity in the church also created more dissenters and nonconformists. The lessons Owen teaches here also need to be heard in the modern church, and this book will offer several strategies for remedying broken churches today.
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Featured Hymn"What Wondrous Love Is This?"
The author of this text remains anonymous, but it’s known as a traditional American folk song, first published in 1811. The text has remained basically untouched since it was first made popular by the Sacred Harp shape singers in 1844. Some hymnals leave out the stanza: “When I was sinking down,” and others include a verse that repeats the first verse with the last two lines “That Christ should lay aside his crown for my soul –What wondrous love is this, O my soul!”
"Audio CD Clearance Sale"
CCEL has a collection of four audio CDs that were recorded about five years ago. The titles include The Confessions of St. Augustine, A Short and Easy Method of Prayer, The Epistle of Barnabas, and
“He that loveth not knoweth not God.” I John 4:8
The distinguishing mark of a Christian is his confidence in the love of Christ, and the yielding of his affections to Christ in return. First, faith sets her seal upon the man by enabling the soul to say with the apostle, “Christ loved me and gave himself for me.” Then love gives the countersign, and stamps upon the heart gratitude and love to Jesus in return. “We love him because he first loved us.” In those grand old ages, which are the heroic period of the Christian religion, this double mark was clearly to be seen in all believers in Jesus; they were men who knew the love of Christ, and rested upon it as a man leaneth upon a staff whose trustiness he has tried. The love which they felt towards the Lord was not a quiet emotion which they hid within themselves in the secret chamber of their souls, and which they only spake of in their private assemblies when they met on the first day of the week, and sang hymns in honour of Christ Jesus the crucified, but it was a passion with them of such a vehement and all-consuming energy, that it was visible in all their actions, spoke in their common talk, and looked out of their eyes even in their commonest glances. Love to Jesus was a flame which fed upon the core and heart of their being; and, therefore, from its own force burned its way into the outer man, and shone there. Zeal for the glory of King Jesus was the seal and mark of all genuine Christians. Because of their dependence upon Christ’s love they dared much, and because of their love to Christ they did much, and it is the same now. The children of God are ruled in their inmost powers by love—the love of Christ constraineth them; they rejoice that divine love is set upon them, they feel it shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them, and then by force of gratitude they love the Saviour with a pure heart, fervently. My reader, do you love him? Ere you sleep give an honest answer to a weighty question!Read this meditation at CCEL