Saturday, April 18, 2009

I’ve been reading in a book titled “Learning In Christ’s School” by a Puritan named Ralph Venning. 1621-1674. The premise is there are four basic stages in a Christians life; Babes, Children, Young Men, Fathers. He makes a pretty clear case from scripture and has some insightful and encouraging thoughts. The context of this quote is that we are all at some stage of the four categories, and even if we bolt out of repentance and are soon a Father, or whether we are a babe all of our Christian life, we should find contentment.

“Let everyone be thankful and bless God for what he has attained, be it more or less.
Are any of you cedars in Lebanon when others are but shrubs as the hyssop on the wall, or as the lilies of the valley? Are any of you, like Saul, taller than your brethren by head and shoulders? Are you crowned with the grey hairs of wisdom and righteousness? Have you overcome the wicked one? Have you lain in the Father’s bosom? Give God the glory, who gave you the grace.
Are others of you recently come in, or of but little and low stature? Are you only babes in Christ? Yet despise not the day of small things. Let none of his mercies or consolations be small to you, who are less than the least of them all. It is great mercy to be one of Christ’s, even one of his little ones.
Our Lord Jesus chose twelve to be with him as his family, of whom three were admitted to be his confidants, Peter, James and John; and of these three, John was the darling. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved with a particular love and was admitted to lie in his bosom. Now if you are not a John, thank him if you are a Peter or James; if not of them, thank him that you are one of the twelve (but not Judas); if not one of the twelve, then one of the seventy, for he afterward enlarged the number, to do him any service abroad. Bless him that you are a member of his body, though an ear or a foot; that you are a star in his firmament, though not of the first magnitude, but the very least of all.”

I began looking for a picture for this post and ran across a babe in Christ being baptised, then another and before long I welled up as I entered the moment.
So I couldn't decide which one to pick, so enjoy them all.
Photos from the internet, and Catholic baptism by Mark Skalinski.


Mel said...

Hi Fred,

I read this before I went to bed last night and have been meditating on it today. When I was thinking about this, God kept bringing to my mind the passage of scripture where Jesus tells his disciples that if He wanted John to live until His second coming, what was that to them? They followed Him (not John.) It seems to me that competition and selfish striving is completely contrary to the message of the Kingdom.

The sentiments are echoed in the words to one of my favorite hymns, "The Master has Come." Have you ever heard it? I bet you'd enjoy the words.

Many blessings to you, dear Fred!

Yours in Christ,

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
No, that hymn is a stranger to me, now you have me curious.
You are so right, competition and selfish striving are so contrary, his conclusion - "Give God the glory, who gave you the grace", should be the antidote but we like position, even in spiritual things, oh we are a strange creature!
Many blessings Mel,

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Very informative and inspiring post. I understand from this post that Christ loves us irrespective of what we are. We may be an important part of His body or an unimportant part. Yet He gives us the same love.

Best wishes :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
I think you put into words exactly what the author wanted to say.
Inspiring indeed.