Category Archives: Quotations

Who is First?

“Rewards in God’s kingdom are not based on earthly standards such as rank, priority, or duration of time served, personal merit, or sacrifice (cf. Matt. 20:1-16), but on commitment to Jesus and following Him faithfully.”

John D. Grassmick, “Mark” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, USA: SP Publications, 1983, p. 152.

Well meant but wrong

How many times have you heard someone excuse bad behavior because the person had good motivation or a good heart. Do good motives and heart excuse bad behavior? Jesus didn’t think so. In Mark 8:31-33, He announced to His disciples His coming suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection. Peter was appalled at these statements and was quick to pull Jesus aside and rebuke Him for saying such things. Did Jesus calmly note Peter’s good intentions? No, Jesus would have none of it. He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan!” So much for good intentions.

“Peter did it all with the best intentions! He meant well. His motives were pure. But zeal and earnestness are no excuse for error.”

J. C. Ryle1

The next time I hear someone use the excuse of good intentions, I will try to be gracious. But I will also remember how Jesus’ responded to Peter. Good motives are no excuse for sinful behavior.

1 Ryle, J. C. , Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Volume One, Matthew — Mark, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977, 167-68.

Not ashamed to confess Christ

“We are not to be ashamed to confess Christ before men, and to let others know what He had done for our souls. If we have found peace through His blood, and been renewed by His Spirit, we must not shrink from avowing it, on every proper occasion. It is not necessary to blow a trumpet in the streets and force our experience on every body’s notice. All that is required is a willingness to acknowledge Christ as our Master, without flinching from the ridicule or persecution which by so doing we may bring on ourselves. More than this is not required; but less than this ought not to content us. If we are ashamed of Jesus before men, He will one day be ashamed of us before His Father and the angels.”

J. C. Ryle, Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Volume One, Matthew–Mark, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977, p. 101-02.

Serve the Lord with gladness

While studying Psalm 100 for Sunday morning, I came across these thoughts about serving the Lord with gladness.

“But in Hebrew as in English, service is indivisible; it is a word which leaves no gap or choice between worship and work. (We find this confirmed, incidentally, in practice, in that praise and prayer go stale in isolation, and activity goes sterile.)” –Derek Kidner

His point is that serving the Lord with gladness is the only way it properly works. If we are trying to serve the Lord without joy, it will become a tedious activity. But if we try to find joy apart from serving the Lord, we will find emptiness. By God’s design, we must mingle joyfulness and action to truly serve the Lord.

In other words, “We enter God’s temple not because of duty but because we love him; remembering all his goodness to us, we enter his presence with praise and pleasure.” –W. A. Shelton.

Giving to the Lord

Giving to the work of the Lord is not something that I like to talk about. Many have been turned off by churches asking for donations. However, as I studied Exodus 35 today, and read about the voluntary giving of God’s people, I came across these words directed toward Christians.

“However dear may have been their earthly treasures to their hearts, yet the love of Christ will relax their tenacious grasp upon them, and they will be willing, at the call of duty to part with that which they most value, and deem it a privilege to give up their all to him who has bought them with his blood. …

Well may it shame the world and the church that a concern for trifles crowds out these great objects from their minds; that their own petty interests take precedence of the infinite and eternal interests of God and his kingdom.”

Convicting words.

George Bush, Exodus Vol. 2, Minneapolis: James & Klock, 1852, reprint 1976, p. 271.

McGee on Liberalism Creeping into our Churches

“Liberalism has crept into our churches and we have allowed it to stay there unchecked. I can remember when I came before a church court to be examined for the ministry. A young fellow from a liberal seminary was also there to be examined. I have never seen anyone who knew so little theology and Bible as this boy, and what he did know he had all mixed up. It was clear that he had little knowledge and no faith. He could never even explain the great doctrines of the faith. In fact, one man very patiently said to him, ‘Well if you don’t believe it, at least you ought to know what you don’t believe!’ But he didn’t. Then one old man who knew this boy’s father, said, ‘This boy’s father was a great preacher in the past. He was sound in the faith and I know that one day this boy will come around and will get straightened out.’ It was not unanimous but the council accepted him. It made me sick at heart to be brought in at the same time with a fellow who did not believe anything at all.

The way this council handled the situation is not the way Moses would have handled it! He would not have drawn a sword and slain the fellow, but he would not have accepted him as a preacher. He would have given that boy a Bible and told him to go to Bible school, learn a little Bible, and then come back and he could be examined again and see if he was fit for the ministry. Because of similar actions by other councils, liberalism has come into the organized church and has taken over. You cannot compromise with sin.”

Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol 1., Genesis through Deuteronomy, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981, p. 302.

What is the Best Bible commentary?

“Discernment is important in the study of the Word of God. … Often the question is asked of ministers, What is the best commentary on the Bible? This question would be open to much debate. But if the question Who is the best teacher of the Bible? is asked, there is one clear answer—the Holy Spirit.”

Pneumatology, Understanding and Living by the Holy Spirit, Adult Leader’s Guide, Arlington Heights IL: Regular Baptist Press, 2017, p. 45.

God’s faithfulness

Commenting on 1 Thessalonians 5:24, D. Edmond Hiebert says,

“God is faithful, to be trusted, reliable concerning all that He has said. … He never lies in making a promise and never begins a work without carrying it out to completion.”

The Thessalonian Epistles, p. 254.

That ought to encourage every believer. God will be with us to sanctify and preserve us. Why? He will do it because He is faithful to those He has called.

Are you for Free Speech?

Freedom of speech is something we value highly in the US. The first constitutional amendment ensures that among other things, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Why is this important? It is important because the citizens of this great country need to be able to voice their opinions without fear of the government throwing them in jail when their opinion is not in vogue.

Other countries have also seen the value of freedom of speech. During World War 2, Prime Minister Winston Churchill brought up the subject of free speech while addressing some thorny issues and the possibility of differing views within the government.

Party government is not obnoxious to democracy. Indeed Parliamentary democracy has flourished under party government. That is to say, it has flourished so long as there is full freedom of speech, free elections and free institutions. So we must beware of a tyranny of opinion which tries to make only one side of a question the one which may be heard. Everyone is in favour of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.

COALMINING SITUATION (Hansard, 13 October 1943) (

This is both a good and difficult statement. It is good because we want to speak our opinions without repercussion. It is difficult because not all opinions are equally valid, and some could also be harmful. We actually don’t want some people to speak their mind. But… consider a few thoughts.

  1. Freedom of speech applies to Christians proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but also to those who oppose that message or have corrupted it.
  2. Freedom of speech applies to those who are against _________ as well as those who celebrate it.
  3. Freedom of speech applies to those who promote godly behavior, but also to those who promote what God hates.

While it would be nice if people would always govern their thinking by what God says in the Bible, that isn’t usually the case. People have differing views on what they saw happen at a car accident, so it is probable they will have differing views about everything else as well.

As a Christian, I want my beliefs to line up with the Bible. This is important because the Bible reveals what God (our Creator) desires and says is best for us. However, not many people will share that perspective. Their opinions about life, religion, politics, sports, entertainment, marriage, and a whole lot of things may be completely different than what God says.

As a Christian, I value the freedom of speech because I want others to know the Lord. If I am unable to speak freely, the gospel will be hard to share. But that has to go both ways. If I want the freedom to speak the truth to other people, I need to allow them the same right. They can disagree. But without the freedom to have a conversation (or debate) it will be very difficult to have a meaningful discussion.

A couple thoughts:

  1. Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Both aspects are important. The truth is important to proclaim but the way it is presented is also important. Are you speaking out of duty or because you love the person? It should be evident. For further discussion, consider this article.
  2. Realize that it takes time for people to be convinced. Paul took the time to reason with and persuade the people he was talking to (Acts 19:8-10). Most people don’t believe something the first time they hear it. Neither do you. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, take the time to explain what the Bible says and why it is relevant to each person.
  3. Know when to stop talking. There are times when continuing a conversation may be a waste of time (Prov. 26:4-5). It is hard to know when to keep talking to an argumentative or foolish person. But there are definitely times when you should walk away because further speech is not profitable. In these cases, be sure to ask the Lord for wisdom.