As I have much respect for those who came before me, and relish the wisdom and insight, which by the inspiration of the Holy Sprit they were able to relate, I will be publishing intermitent posts entitled 'the wisdom of others', consisting of short paragraphs, sentences, or entire thoughts, that I feel are spiritually nourishing and relevant.
Today's thoughts come from John Charles Ryle, the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool.
Although most of these thoughts were written between 1856-1859, their actuality is undeniable.
"The love of money is one of the greatest snares to a man's soul. The history of the Church abounds in illustrations of this truth. For money Joseph was sold by his brethren. For money Samson was betrayed to the Philistines. For money Gehazi deceived Naaman, and lied to Elisha. For money the Son of God was delivered into the hands of wicked men.
Let us all be on guard against the love of money. The world is full of it in our days. The plague is abroad.
Thousands who would abhor the idea of worshiping idols are not ashamed to make an idol of money. We are all liable to the infection from the least to the greatest.
We may love money without having it, just as we may have money without loving it.
It is an evil that works very deceitfully. It carries us captive before we are aware of our chains.
Once let it get the mastery, and it will harden, paralyze, scorch, freeze, blight, and wither our souls. It overthrew an apostle of Christ. Let us take heed that it does not overthrow us.
One leak may sink a ship, and one un-mortified sin may ruin a soul.
We ought frequently to call to mind the solemn words, 'What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul?' 'We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.' Our daily prayer should be, 'Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me.'
Our constant aim should be to be rich in grace.
Those who 'will be rich' in worldly possessions often find at last that they have made the worst of bargains. Like Esau, they have bartered an eternal portion for a little temporary gratification. Like Judas Iscariot, they have sold themselves to everlasting perdition!" - 1856
"From no quarter has Christianity received such damage as it has from the hands of its own teachers! On no point have its teachers erred so much, and so often, as in the matter of worldliness and luxury of life.
They have often destroyed, by their very lives, the whole work of their lips. They have given occasion to the enemies of religion to say, that they love ease, and money, and worldly things, far more than souls.
From such ministers may we pray daily that the Church may be delivered! They are a living stumbling block in the way to heaven. They are helpers to the cause of the devil, and not of God. The preacher whose affections are set on money, dress, feasting, and pleasure seeking, has clearly mistaken his vocation. He has forgotten his Master's instructions." -1858
"High offices in the church do not preserve the holders of them from great blindness and sin. The first step in putting Christ to death, was taken by the religious teaches of the Jewish nation. The very men who ought to have welcomed the Messiah, were the men who conspired to kill Him. The very pastors who ought to have rejoiced at the appearing of the Lamb of God, had the chief hand in slaying Him! These were the very men who crucified the Lord of glory! With all their boasted knowledge, they were far more ignorant than the few Galilean fishermen who followed Christ!
Let us beware of attaching an excessive importance to ministers of religion because of their office. Ordination and office confer no exemption from error.
The greatest heresies have been sown, and the greatest practical abuses introduced into the church, by ordained men!
We must test all teachers by the unerring rule of the Word of God. It matters little who says a thing in religion. But it matters greatly what it is that is said.
Is it Scriptural?
Is it true?
This is the only question.
The lengths to which men may go in religion, and yet be without grace, is far greater than we suppose." - 1858
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.