image map Home Favorites Reading About Contact

No cold water, please

~ Thoughts from The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
Christ will not quench the smoking flax
5. The spirit of mercy should move us

Step away from the bucket of cold water.
As long as there is a spark of faith, keep it lit. bucket_of_water

1. Because that spark originated in heaven—it is from his Spirit.
2. Because he wants it preserved to shine in dark places.

As Christ was tender to the weak in body, wasn’t he even more tender to the weak in spirit? (such as, his tenderness with Peter after he denied him; giving Thomas the proof he asked for; …) So are we to be.

Bear with the weak (Romans 15:1). But don’t leave them there.

The church suffers much from weak ones, therefore we may assert our liberty to deal with them, though mildly, yet oftentimes directly.

The scope of true love is to make the party better, which concealment oftentimes hinders.

Help the weak grow stronger. Like a fragile glass, if handled properly, they will then last a long time and become useful to the church.

Be merciful as you teach truths. Don’t distract or tire others with them. And don’t intellectualize. Religion is not to be “only a matter of cleverness, in tying and untying of knots.”

The brains of men inclining that way are hotter usually than their hearts.

Let mercy move you to edify others. Don’t kill a fly on the forehead with a mallet.

The Holy Ghost is content to dwell in smoky, offensive souls. Oh, that that Spirit would breathe into our spirits the same merciful disposition!

Live to give no offense.
Live to take none.

We endure the bitterness of wormwood, and other distasteful plants and herbs, only because we have some experience of some wholesome quality in them; and why should we reject men of useful parts and graces, only for some harshness of disposition, which, as it is offensive to us, so it grieves themselves?

* * *

6. Marks of the smoking flax
7. Help for the weak

This is Week 3 of Tim Challie’s “Reading Classics Together.”
Download The Bruised Reed free online from, or grab a hardcopy, and read along with us.

Comments from reading group
Previous chapters


Dianna said...

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing about this book. I just finished ordering it. My daughter-in-law has also read the book and liked it.

deekdubberly said...

Hi Lisa. Wasn't chapter 5 just fantastic?

You pointed out that we must 'be merciful as we teach truths.' As a preacher, this was what stood out most in these chapters. It really got me thinking and evaluating myself.

This book continues to be a great help in my life. It seems as though it is in yours as well.

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Audrey said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on these chapters. I take comfort that even if I throw cold water on a small spark, God will not let it go out. So thankful for His sovereignty in the lives of His children. Thanks for posting this.

Lisa notes... said...

How wonderful that your d-i-l has already read this book, and now you're getting it. May you have some wonderful conversations together over it.

Yes, chapter 5 stood out to me, too. And yes, it has already been helpful in my life as well. I love the timeless nature of the truths that Sibbes is sharing about God's mercy.

Nice perspective. God is hotter and stronger than any cold water we can throw and he can keep the flames lit as he chooses. I am thankful also for his sovereignty.

Jude St.John said...


this is golden:

Live to give no offense.
Live to take none.

That, put into practice, would remove a lot of relational problems.

I'm enjoying the style of your posts; the interaction with the text is enjoyable to read.


Kevin Sorensen said...


Love the bucket of cold water idea. That had not crossed my mind. That's part of the joy that comes when a group reads a book together: various ideas come floating out of the variety and God uses them to encourage us and spur us onward. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Amen! I wept last night at the thought of Christ's overwhelming patience and gentleness with me. I then immediately thought about my own impatience and harshness with other. Like Isaiah seeing the Lord in the temple, his first thought was his own unclean lips. May we continue to see God in His Word (and through others like Sibbes) and be laid low. For then, we can love the lowly.

Becky@ Daily On My Way To Heaven said...

Dear Lisa,

I am back from a trip and I am just reading your thoughts on these chapters. It encourages me the way you point out things so clearly. "The bucket of water"...yes, I must keep it away.

Have a week full of sparks.


Related Posts with Thumbnails