Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Correlation of Happiness and Holiness

How is it, people often ask, that so many professing believers have so little happiness in their religion? How is it that so many know little of joy and peace in believing, and go mourning and heavy-hearted towards heaven?

The answer to these questions is a sorrowful one, but it must be given. Few believers attend as strictly as they should to Christ’s practical sayings and words. There is far too much loose and careless obedience to Christ’s commandments. There is far too much forgetfulness, that while good works cannot justify us, they are not to be despised. Let these things sink down into our hearts. If we want to be eminently happy, we must strive to be eminently holy.
~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, September 20, 2021

Guard Against Pride

“Let us watch against pride in every shape – pride of intellect, pride of wealth, pride of our own goodness. Nothing is so likely to keep a man out of heaven, and prevent him from seeing Christ, as pride. So long as we think we are something we shall never be saved. Let us pray for and cultivate humility; let us seek to know ourselves correctly, and to find out our place in the sight of a holy God.”

Friday, September 17, 2021

Beware of the Love of Money

 Let us beware of the love of money. It is possible to use it well, and do good with it. But for each one who makes a right use of money, there are thousands who make a wrong use of it, and do harm both to themselves and others.

Let the worldly man, if he will, make an idol of money, and count him happiest who has most of it. But let the Christian, who professes to have “treasure in heaven,” set his face like a flint against the spirit of the world in this matter. Let him not worship gold. He is not the best man in God’s eyes who has most money, but he who has most grace.
~ J.C. Ryle
Daily Readings From All Four Gospels: For Morning and Evening, [Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 1998], September 14th, Morning.



Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Correlation of Happiness and Holiness

 How is it, people often ask, that so many professing believers have so little happiness in their religion? How is it that so many know little of joy and peace in believing, and go mourning and heavy-hearted towards heaven?

The answer to these questions is a sorrowful one, but it must be given. Few believers attend as strictly as they should to Christ’s practical sayings and words. There is far too much loose and careless obedience to Christ’s commandments. There is far too much forgetfulness, that while good works cannot justify us, they are not to be despised. Let these things sink down into our hearts. If we want to be eminently happy, we must strive to be eminently holy.
~ J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Humbly Reading Your Bible

 He that desires to read his Bible with profit, must first ask the Lord Jesus to open the eyes of his understanding by the Holy Spirit. Human commentaries are useful in their way.

The help of good and learned men is not to be despised. But there is no commentary to be compared with the teaching of Christ. A humble and prayerful spirit will find a thousand things in the Bible, which the proud, self-conceited student will utterly fail to discern.
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Correlation of Happiness and Holiness

How is it, people often ask, that so many professing believers have so little happiness in their religion? How is it that so many know little of joy and peace in believing, and go mourning and heavy-hearted towards heaven?

The answer to these questions is a sorrowful one, but it must be given. Few believers attend as strictly as they should to Christ’s practical sayings and words. There is far too much loose and careless obedience to Christ’s commandments. There is far too much forgetfulness, that while good works cannot justify us, they are not to be despised. Let these things sink down into our hearts. If we want to be eminently happy, we must strive to be eminently holy.
~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, August 30, 2021

Tell Them About Christ

“Do you ever try to do good to others? If you do, remember to tell them about Christ. Tell the young, tell the poor, tell the aged, tell the ignorant, tell the sick, tell the dying – tell them all about Christ.

Tell them of His power, and tell them of His love; tell them of His doings, and tell them of His feelings.
“Tell them what He has done for the chief of sinners; tell them what He is willing to do until the last day of time; tell it to them over and over again. Never be tired of speaking of Christ. Say to them broadly and fully, freely and unconditionally, unreservedly and undoubtingly, ‘Come unto Christ, as the penitent thief did; come unto Christ, and you shall be saved.’”
~ J.C. Ryle

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Thankful For Mercy

Oh, you that have passed from death to life, you have reason indeed to be thankful! Remember what you once were by nature—dead. Think what you are now by grace—alive.

Look at the dry bones thrown up from the graves. Such were you; and who has made you to differ? Go and fall low before the footstool of your God. Bless Him for His grace, His free distinguishing grace. Say to Him often, “Who am I, Lord, that you have brought me to this time? Why me? Why have you been merciful towards me?”
~ J.C. Ryle
Old Paths, “Alive or Dead”, [Carlisle, PA:  Banner of Truth, 1999], 133, 134.




Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Crown of Glory for the Persecuted

 Let us gather comfort from these comfortable promises for all true-hearted servants of Christ. Persecuted, vexed, and mocked, as they are now, they shall find at length they are on the victorious side.

Beset, perplexed, tried, as they sometimes are, they shall never find themselves entirely forsaken. Though cast down, they shall not be destroyed. Let them possess their souls in patience. The end of all that they see going on around them is certain, fixed, and sure. The kingdoms of this world shall yet become the kingdoms of their God and of his Christ. And when the scoffers and ungodly, who so often insulted them, are put to shame, believers shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.
~ J.C. Ryle

Friday, August 27, 2021

Glory Only in the Cross of Christ

 Let us look well to our own hearts. We live in a day when false doctrines about Christ’s death abound on every side. Let us see that Christ crucified is really the foundation of our own hopes, and that Christ’s atoning death for sin is indeed the whole life of our souls. Let us beware of adding to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, as the Roman Catholic does. Its value was infinite. It admits of no addition.

Let us beware of taking away from Christ’s sacrifice, as the Socinian [denial of Christ’s divinity] does. To suppose that the Son of God only died to leave us an example of self-denial, is to contradict a hundred plain texts of Scripture. Let us walk in the old paths. Let us say with Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal 6:14)
~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Inward Peace

 “To be without Christ is to be without peace. Every man has a conscience within him, which must be satisfied before he can be truly happy. So long as this conscience is asleep or half dead, so long, no doubt, he gets along pretty well.


But as soon as a man’s conscience wakes up, and he begins to think of past sins, and present failings, and future judgment, at once he finds out that he needs something to give him inward rest.

But what can do it? Repenting, and praying, and Bible-reading, and church-going, and sacrament-receiving, and self-mortification may be tried, and tried in vain.

They never yet took off the burden from any one’s conscience.

And yet peace must be had! There is only one thing that can give peace to the conscience, and that is the blood of Jesus Christ sprinkled on it.

A clear understanding that Christ’s death was an actual payment of our debt to God, and that the merit of that death is made over to man when he believes, is the grand secret of inward peace.

It meets every craving of conscience. It answers every accusation. It calms every fear. It is written, ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.’
‘He is our peace.’ ‘Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (John 16:33Ephesians 2:14Romans 5:1.)

We have peace through the blood of His cross: peace like a deep mine,—peace like an ever flowing stream.”

–J.C. Ryle, 
Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 364–365.



Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Follow Christ’s Example: Speak of Hell

Settle it firmly in your mind that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has spoken most plainly about the reality and eternity of hell.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus contains things which should make men tremble. But it does not stand alone. No lips have used so many words to express the awfulness of hell, as the lips of Him who spoke as never man spoke, and who said, “The word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me” (John 14:24).

Hell, hell fire, the damnation of hell, eternal damnation, the resurrection of damnation, everlasting fire, the place of torment, destruction, outer darkness, the worm that never dies, the fire that is not quenched, the place of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, everlasting punishment—these are the words which the Lord Jesus Christ Himself employs. Away with the miserable nonsense which people talk in this day, who tell us that the ministers of the gospel should never speak of hell! They only show their own ignorance, or their own dishonesty, when they talk in such a manner. No person can honestly read the four Gospels and fail to see that they who would follow the example of Christ must speak of hell.
~ J.C. Ryle
Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, “A Woman to be Remembered”, [Moscow, ID: Charles Nolan Publishing, 2001], 209, 210.



Monday, August 23, 2021

Choose Your Company Wisely

 Nothing perhaps affects man’s character more than the company he keeps. We catch the ways and tone of those we live and talk with, and unhappily get harm far more easily than good. Disease is infectious, but health is not.

Now if a professing Christian deliberately chooses to be intimate with those who are not friends of God and who cling to the world, his soul is sure to take harm. It is hard enough to serve Christ under any circumstances in such a world as this. But it is doubly hard to do it if we are friends of the thoughtless and ungodly. Mistakes in friendship or marriage engagements are the whole reason why some have entirely ceased to grow. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." "The friendship of the world is enmity with God" (1 Corinthians 15:33James 4:4).

~ J.C. Ryle



Sunday, August 22, 2021

Influenced By the Holy Spirit

“Be filled with the Spirit. Seek to be more and more under His blessed influence. Strive to have every thought, word, action, and habit brought under the obedience to the leading of the Holy Ghost.

Grieve Him not by inconsistencies and conformity to the world. Quench Him not by trifling with little infirmities and small besetting sins. Seek rather to have Him ruling and reigning more completely over you every week that you live.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Old Paths, “The Holy Ghost”, 289.



Saturday, August 21, 2021

Trusting the Process of Christ

 “If you profess to be a child of God, leave to the Lord Jesus to sanctify you in His own way.

Rest satisfied that He never makes any mistakes. Be sure that He does all things well. The winds may howl around you, and the waters swell. But fear not, ‘He is leading you by the right way, that He may bring you to a city of habitation.’ ” (Psalm 107:7)
~ J.C. Ryle
Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, “The Ruler of the Waves”, [Moscow, ID: Charles Nolan Publishing, 2001], 237.



Friday, August 20, 2021

5 Gospel Warnings From J.C. Ryle

 1. Substitute anything for Christ, and the Gospel is totally spoiled!

2. Add anything to Christ, and the Gospel ceases to be a pure Gospel!
3. Put anything between a person and Christ, and that person will neglect Christ for that very thing!
4. Spoil the proportions of Christ’s Gospel, and you spoil its effectiveness!
5. Evangelical religion must be the Gospel, the whole Gospel and nothing but the Gospel!
~ J.C. Ryle

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Best Safeguard Against False Teaching

 What is the best safe-guard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm. 119:105.) The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear.

They would have us believe that “they are not learned, and do not pretend to have decided opinions.” The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.
~ J.C. Ryle



Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Look Away From Self and Towards Christ

Look not to yourselves! You are by nature wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked; you cannot make atonement for your past transgressions, you cannot wipe out a single page on that long black list.

And when the King shall ask you for your wedding garment you will be speechless. Look simply unto Jesus, and then the weight shall fall from off your shoulders, the course shall be clear and plain, and you shall run the race which is set before you.
~ J.C. Ryle

Hold Your Possessions Loosely

Are you prosperous in the world? Have death, sickness, disappointment, poverty and family troubles passed over your door up to this time and not come in? Are you secretly saying to yourself, “Nothing can hurt me much.

I shall die quietly in my bed and see no sorrow.” Take care. You are not yet in harbor. A sudden storm of unexpected trouble may make you change your note. Set not your affection on things below. Hold them with a very loose hand and be ready to surrender them at a moment’s notice. Use your prosperity well while you have it; but lean not all your weight on it, lest it break suddenly and pierce your hand.
~ J.C. Ryle


Monday, February 15, 2021

Pray For Your Pastor

Do we desire to help forward the cause of pure and undefiled religion in the world? Then let us never forget to pray for ministers, and especially for young men about to enter the ministry.

The progress of the Gospel, under God, will always depend much on the character and conduct of those who profess to preach it. An unconverted minister can never be expected to do good to souls. He cannot teach properly what he does not feel experimentally. From such men let us pray daily that the Church may be delivered. Converted ministers are God’s special gift. Man cannot create them. If we would have good ministers, we must remember our Lord’s example, and pray for them. Their work is heavy. Their responsibility is enormous. Their strength is small. Let us see that we support them, and hold up their hands by our prayers.
~ J.C. Ryle

9 Lessons From God Concerning Sickness

Sickness is meant…

1. To make us think, to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body – an immortal soul, a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery – and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.
2. To teach us that there is a world beyond the grave, and that the world we now live in is only a training place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.
3. To make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God?
4. To make us see the emptiness of the world and its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.
5. To send us to our Bibles. That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.
6. To make us pray. Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.
7. To make us repent and break off our sins. If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us “hear the rod.”
8. To draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men’s eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, “Simply to Your cross I cling,” as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many – they have found Christ in the sick room.
9. To make us feeling and sympathizing towards others. By nature we are all far below our blessed Master’s example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves – and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.
Summary: Beware of fretting, murmuring, complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise – a good and not an evil – a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a “need be” in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere.

~ J.C. Ryle

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Look Away From Self and Towards Christ

Look not to yourselves! You are by nature wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked; you cannot make atonement for your past transgressions, you cannot wipe out a single page on that long black list.

And when the King shall ask you for your wedding garment you will be speechless. Look simply unto Jesus, and then the weight shall fall from off your shoulders, the course shall be clear and plain, and you shall run the race which is set before you.
~ J.C. Ryle


Hold Your Possessions Loosely

Are you prosperous in the world? Have death, sickness, disappointment, poverty and family troubles passed over your door up to this time and not come in? Are you secretly saying to yourself, “Nothing can hurt me much.

I shall die quietly in my bed and see no sorrow.” Take care. You are not yet in harbor. A sudden storm of unexpected trouble may make you change your note. Set not your affection on things below. Hold them with a very loose hand and be ready to surrender them at a moment’s notice. Use your prosperity well while you have it; but lean not all your weight on it, lest it break suddenly and pierce your hand.
~ J.C. Ryle


Friday, February 12, 2021

Don’t Add Anything to the Bible

Let us beware of attempting to add anything to the word of God, as necessary to salvation. It provokes God to give us over to judicial blindness. It is as good as saying that His Bible is not perfect, and that we know better than He does what is necessary for man’s salvation.

It is just as easy to destroy the authority of God’s word by addition as by subtraction, by burying it under man’s inventions as by denying its truth. The whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, must be our rule of faith nothing added and nothing taken away.
~ J.C. Ryle


God’s View of Man

Young men, God does not show favoritism or respects the honors bestowed by men. He rewards no man’s heritage, or wealth, or rank, or position. He does not see with man’s eyes.

The poorest saint that ever died in a ghetto is nobler in His sight than the richest sinner that ever died in a palace. God does not look at riches, titles, education, beauty, or anything of the kind. There is only one thing that God does look at, and that is the immortal soul. He measures all men by one standard, one measure, one test, one criterion, and that is the state of their souls.
~ J.C. Ryle


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