When John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407) was brought before the empress Eudoxia, she threatened him with banishment if he insisted on his Christian independence as a preacher… “You cannot banish me, for this world is my Father’s house.” “But I will kill you,” said the empress. “No, you cannot, for my life is hid with Christ in God,” said John. “I will take away your treasures.” “No, you cannot, for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there.” “But I will drive you away from your friends and you will have no one left.” “No, you cannot, for I have a Friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me. I defy you, for there is nothing you can do to harm me.”
Faith in the Sovereignty of God:
“Faith endures ‘as seeing him who is invisible’ (Heb. 11:27); endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from his hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings–whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr’s stake–we shall be enabled to say, ‘The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places’ (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.” A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, 10 (Banner of Truth, 2009).
Lordship of Christ:
Sovereign Lordship of Christ: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” — Abraham Kuyper
Clarity in your thoughts breeds passion in your affections: “…Light in the understanding breedeth heat of love in the affections. Claritas in intellectu parit ardorem in affectu. In what measure the sanctified understanding seeth a thing to be true, or good, in that measure the will embraces it. Weak light breeds weak inclinations; a strong light, strong inclinations…” — Richard Sibbes, The Works, Vol. I, p. 59.
“Show me a man’s closest companions and I can make a fairly accurate guess as to what sort of man he is, as well as what sort of man he is likely to become. You see, people tend to rub off on each other — ‘as iron sharpens iron.'” -Howard Hendricks in As Iron Sharpens Iron
Exactness: “I have a conviction that no sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as a crystal. I find the getting of that sentence is the hardest, the most exacting, and the most fruitful labour in my study. To compel oneself to fashion that sentence, to dismiss every word that is vague, ragged, ambiguous, to think oneself through to a form of words which defines the theme with scrupulous exactness—this is surely one of the most vital and essential factors in the making of a sermon: and I do not think any sermon ought to be preached or even written, until that sentence has emerged, clear and lucid as a cloudless moon.” — J. H. Jowett, The Preacher: His Life and Work (Harper & Bros, 1912), p.133.
Avoiding the temptation to be witty with the gospel: “A crucified style best suits the preachers of a crucified Christ… Prudence will choose words that are solid, rather than florid… Words are but servants to matter. An iron key, fitted to the wards of the lock, is more useful than a golden one that will not open the door to the treasures… Prudence will cast away a thousand fine words for the one that is apt to penetrate the conscience and reach the heart.” — John Flavel, The Works of John Flavel, Vol. VI, p. 572.
Self Esteem: “The hard truth is that pride is the worst sin of all. While the culture we live in renames pride “self-esteem” and labels it a virtue rather than a vice, pride is what got Satan kicked out of heaven and can also keep us from heaven if we fail to repent and believe the Gospel.” — Mark Driscoll, Death by Love, p. 99.