Ambrose of Milan: Affection of the Heart

“God demands the affection of the heart, which is in our own power … For what would the giving of one’s whole property benefit without charity? There are some who aim at the credit of generosity for pride alone, because they wish thereby to gain the good opinion of the multitude for leaving nothing to themselves; but whilst they are …

Letter from Jerome to Abigaus: Where to put your wages

“Do not put your wages into a bag with holes, but you lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in …

Gregory of Nazianzus: Engage in the work of your salvation

“How absurd it would be to grasp at money and throw away health; and to be lavish of the cleansing of the body, but economical over the cleansing of the soul; and to seek for freedom from earthly slavery, but not to care about heavenly freedom; and to make every effort to be splendidly housed and dressed, but to have …

Augustine of Hippo: Earthly experiences are gifts

I returned late last night from three days of fly fishing with my son, Sammy, in Puget Sound, WA. The trip was an unforgettable gift from God! One of my highlights was the way Sammy and I often celebrated “God’s extravagance” and creativity when catching a beautiful Coastal Cutthroat Trout. With Augustine, we believe that gifts not received rightly can …

John Chrysostom: Faithful stewardship

He received the epithet “chrysostomos” (translated from the Greek as “golden mouthed”) because he was an eloquent communicator. He was one of the four doctors of the Eastern Church. Chrysostom states plainly that we must not “lay claim” to anything we possess for ourselves but rather administer all we possess according to God’s purposes. When we handle God’s resources in this way, …

Arnobius of Sicca: Be generous to your enemies

“Christ performed all those miracles which He wrought without any aid from external things, without the observance of any ceremonial, without any definite mode of procedure, but solely by the inherent might of His authority; and as was the proper duty of the true God, as was consistent with His nature, as was worthy of Him, in the generosity of …

Clement of Alexandria: Truly rich

On The Pædagogus, or The Instructor (c. 198), Philip Schaff notes in Apostolic Fathers that Clement addresses it “to those who have been rescued from the darkness and pollutions of heathenism, and is an exhibition of Christian morals and manners — a guide for the formation and development of Christian character, and for living a Christian life.” With the clarity …

Clement of Rome: Hasten with all energy and readiness

“What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work. For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For …

Kevin Watson: Moving closer or missing opportunities

“Ultimately, we cannot stand still or tread water in the Christian life. We are either moving closer toward God and learning to better love our neighbor, or we are missing opportunities to further express our love for God and neighbor and gradually moving away from God. This book champions a conversation-driven versus content-driven small group format (much like The Alpha …

A Time of Rest – Matthew 14:13

Jesus separated himself from the demands and hardships His ministry put upon Him. He knew when His body needed rest, that He needed to spend time with His Father to recharge and hear anew the work that would be His on the morrow. We are encouraged to enter into ‘His rest,’ but our nature is to plow ahead and work …