The Materialistic Mind

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (b. 29 May 1874 – d....

G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton believed that materialism caused human beings to lose contact with their own common sense and everyday experience as material and spiritual beings. He saw materialism as a species of madness. A madman may think himself a goat, although the differences between a man and a goat are obvious. The materialist trys to reduce all human thought to chemical reactions in the brain. This does not explain, however, man’s keen desire to understand the meaning and purpose of life beyond fulfilling his basic needs. A man’s life cannot be reduced to a few simple causes and effects. According to Dr. Benjamin Wiker:

We have a strange prejudice nowadays—perhaps it is really a superstition—that truth is a function of time, i.e., that being later in time and truer are more or less identical, as if the best way to avoid error is to hold off being born as long as possible. . . .

Both insanity and materialism suffer a fateful contraction of reality, and both share “the strongest and most unmistakable mark of madness,” to wit, the “combination between a logical completeness and a spiritual contraction.” That combination is a perfect expression of many of the most eminent of our modern secular theories: their rejection of God and the soul allows them to posit that everything can be reduced to a few simple, physical causes.

Against this, Chesterton wisely declared that, “As an explanation of the world, materialism has a sort of insane simplicity. It has just the quality of a madman’s argument; we have at once the sense of it covering everything and the sense of it leaving everything out”. . . .

The key to living sanely, Chesterton says, is to realize that we live in a world that is larger than our grasp, a far grander cosmos than we can ever fully understand, one given to us by a God who is wiser and far more benevolent than we can comprehend. Against the notion that we understand everything, if we are honest, we find that our everyday lives are shot full of mystery. . . . For Chesterton, we must humbly and gratefully take things as we find them and accept the mysteries as gifts from God, rather than try to deny them by some entirely lucid but simplistic theory.

Read more here. . . .

The Joy Of The Lord

Matthew Henry

Quoting Matthew Henry:

“The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.”

The Will To Win

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.”

The Voice Of The Shepherd

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

From the writings of J. C. Ryle:

Are you indeed Christ’s sheep? Then beware of ever trusting to yourselves; nothing offends the Good Shepherd more than to see the members of His flock, forgetting that in Him alone is all their safety, and glorying in their own attainments and performances. Think not of your weak endeavors; think not to say, “I do very little, and therefore have very little hope—by-and-by I trust I shall do much, and then I shall have much hope”; your best performances and attempts towards heaven are in themselves but broken reeds, and can bear no weight; they are precious as evidences of spiritual life—but they cannot justify. Think only of your Savior Jesus Christ, trust Him entirely, love Him affectionately, look to Him continually. As long as you lean on Him you are strong and none can touch you. Without Him and in your own might, you are weak and unstable as water.

Are you indeed Christ’s sheep? Then beware of wandering from the pasture He has provided. The devil and the old Adam would often persuade you there is no need for this diligence in using means of grace: “Surely,” they will say, “you are not such a babe but you can leave these fields for a short season; surely you need not keep so closely in your Shepherd’s sight.” Christian, take heed and beware of the charmer, charm he ever so wisely. Diligent private prayer, diligent Scripture searching, diligent gospel hearing—these are the pastures in which Jesus feeds His flock, and if you turn aside, if you become slack in using them, be sure your soul will soon starve for lack of its accustomed nourishment, and you will return to the fold weak and lame and lean and diseased.

Is Your’s A Hateful Or Grateful Thanksgiving?

Adrian Rogers

Adrian Rogers

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men and let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 107:21:22)

Quoting Adrian Rogers:

Now, it has been said that talk is cheap. We thank the Lord and we say Lord, we’re so thankful, we’re so grateful for all that you’ve done for us. Well, do you know what we need to do? We need to turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-living. That is, to offer to God the sacrifices of thanksgiving.

Now, if we’re thankful it really ought to show in our lives, and by the way, I don’t believe that there’s any other sin quite like the sin of ingratitude. Shakespeare said, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.” Those of you who have loved and labored and invested much in the health and lives of your children know how grieved you are when your children do not seem to appreciate or to be thankful for the sacrifices that parents have made. Mothers who have gone down in the valley of the shadow of death to bring these precious children into this world and dads who have labored long and hard, what a sacrifice. And I think Shakespeare was right. The poet Milton, the blind poet, he said that a person with an ungrateful spirit only has one vice, he said because all of the rest of his vices are virtues compared to ingratitude. Every other sin is a virtue compared to the sin of ingratitude.

How terrible not to be grateful to God, and yet in America all around we can find those who are grumbly hateful rather than humbly grateful.

Which are you on this Thanksgiving Day?

Thanksgiving Thoughts

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life… a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry

Pilgrim Thanksgiving

of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year – and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God. ~Ray Stannard Baker

O Lord my Savior and my Master, I, Thine unprofitable servant, with fear and trembling give thanks unto Thy loving goodness for all Thy benefits which Thou hast poured so abundantly upon me, Thy servant. I fall down in adoration before Thee and offer Thee, O god, my praises; with fervor I cry to Thee: O God, deliver me henceforth from all adversities and mercifully fulfill in me such of my desires as may be expedient for me. Hear me, I entreat Thee, and have mercy, for Thou art the Hope of all the ends of the earth, and unto Thee, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed glory, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. (Source Unknown)

My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being, bless His holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all His blessings. It is He who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills, Who redeems your life from the grave, who crowns you with love and compassion, Who fills your life with good things, renewing your youth like an eagle’s. The Lord does deeds of justice, gives judgment for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses and His deeds to Israel’s sons. The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy. His wrath will come to an end; He will not be angry forever. He does not treat us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our faults. For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is His love for those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our sins. As a father has compassion on his sons the Lord has pity on those who fear Him. For He knows of what we are made, He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flowers like the flower of the field; The wind blows and he is gone and his place never sees him again. But the love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold Him in fear; His justice reaches out to children’s children when they keep His covenant in truth, when they keep His will in their mind. The Lord has set His sway in heaven, and His kingdom is ruling over all. Give thanks to the Lord, all His angels, mighty in power, fulfilling His word, who heed the voice of His word. Give thanks to the Lord, all His hosts, His servants who do His will. Give thanks to the Lord, all His works, in every place where He rules. My soul, give thanks to the Lord. (Source Unknown)

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone. Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer/Book of Divine Worship)

Our Work Is Sacred

Martin Luther

Quoting Martin Luther:

“What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow.”

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