Be Cautious of Grace Denial

“Beloved, mistake not the nature and the evidence of growth in sanctification. In all your self-denial in this great work, be cautious of grace denial. You will need much holy wisdom here, lest you overlook the work of the Spirit within you.

You have thought, it may be, of the glory that Christ receives from brilliant genius, and profound talent, and splendid gifts, and glowing zeal, and costly sacrifices, and extensive usefulness.

But have you ever thought of the glory, the far greater, richer glory, that flows to Him from the contrite spirit, the broken heart, the lowly mind, the humble walk, the tear of godly repentance that falls when seen by no human eye, the sigh of godly sorrow that is breathed when heard by no human ear, the sin abhorrence, the self loathing, the deep sense of vileness, and poverty, and infirmity that takes you to Jesus with the prayer: ‘Lord, here I am; I have brought to You my rebellious will, my wandering heart, my worldly affections, my peculiar infirmity, my besetting and constantly overpowering sin. Receive me graciously, put forth the mighty power of Your grace in my soul, and subdue all, and rule all, and subjugate all to Yourself! Will it not be for Your glory, the glory of Your great name if this strong corruption were subdued by Your grace, if this powerful sin were nailed to Your cross, if this temper so volatile, if this heart so impure, if these affections so truant, if this mind so dark, if these desires so earthly, if these pursuits so carnal, if these aims so selfish, were all entirely renewed by Your Spirit, sanctified by Your grace, and made each to reflect Your image? Yes, Lord, it would be for Your glory, through time and through eternity!’ “

– Octavius Winslow, Morning Thoughts

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Dive and Dive Again into the Riches of His Grace

“The riches of God’s grace!” (Ephesians 1:7)

“The incomparable riches of His grace!” (Ephesians 2:7)

“The unsearchable riches of Christ!” (Ephesians 3:8)

“Millions of dazzling pearls and gems lie hidden in the deep recesses of the ocean caves.

In the same way, unfathomable oceans of grace are in Christ for His redeemed people. Dive and dive again–you will never come to the bottom of these depths! One gem from that ocean, is worth all the pebbles from earthly streams!”

“I pray that out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being!” (Ephesians 3:16)

“And my God will supply all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 4:19)

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Beloved, What Is Heaven?

“Beloved, what is Heaven? What is the final glory of the saints? It is the best place, the richest inheritance provided by the Father for the people ransomed and redeemed by the precious blood of His dear Son! And when we enter there, we shall enter as children welcomed to a Father’s home! It will be the best that God can give us! He will bestow upon us, who deserved the least–the best in His power to bestow: the best Savior, the best robe, the best banquet, the best inheritance. In Heaven, there will be nothing more to taint, nothing more to sully, nothing more to embitter, nothing more to wound, no serpent to beguile, no Eve to ensnare, no spoiler to destroy, no sin to defile, no adversity to sadden, no misunderstanding to alienate, no tongue to defame, no suspicion to chill, no tear, no sickness, no death, no parting. It will be the best part of the pure, radiant, glorified universe which God will assign to His redeemed people!Let the prospect cheer, sanctify, and comfort you! It will not be long that you are to labor and battle here on earth. It is but a little while that you are to occupy your present sphere of conflict, of trial, and of sorrow. The time is coming–oh, how fast it speeds! Soon the Lord Jesus Christ will bring you home to Heaven!”

Octavius Winslow

He Died For Me

“We praise God that we are not required to earn what Christ has done for us, for we never could do so. We receive His death by simple faith alone. Jesus never demands that we earn what He did for us. But the Bible does tell us to live ‘in a manner worthy of the Lord’ (Col. 1:10). So we can turn to His wooden cross every day and pray, ‘If, with all Your glory, You, the Son of God, died for me, then I can live for You.’ We live not merely for a principle and not even for a great cause. We live for a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. He died not merely for a principle or even for the greatest of causes. He died for us. So every Christian can say, ‘I live for Him, because He died for me.’ He died for me.”

– Richard Phillips, What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?

See the Evil Effects of Sin

“See the evil effects of sin!

Sin has degraded us of our honor. God made us in His own image–but sin has debased us. Sin has plucked off our coat of innocence, and now it has debased us, and turned our glory into shame.

Sin disquiets the peace of the soul. ‘But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.’ (Isaiah 57:20-21). Whatever defiles, disturbs. As poison corrupts the blood–so sin corrupts the soul. Sin breeds a trembling at the heart; it creates fears, and there is “torment in fear.” Sin makes sad convulsions in the conscience. Judas was so terrified with guilt and horror, that he hanged himself to quiet his conscience. In order to ease his conscience–he threw himself into Hell.

Sin produces all temporal evil. It is the Trojan Horse, which has sword, and famine and pestilence, in its belly. Sin is a coal, which not only blackens–but burns! Sin creates all our troubles; it puts gravel into our bread, and wormwood in our cup. Sin rots the name, consumes the estate, and buries loved ones.

Sin unrepented of, brings final damnation. The canker which breeds in the rose is the cause of its perishing; just so–the corruptions which breed in men’s souls are the cause of their damning. Sin’s pleasure will turn to sorrow at last; like the book the prophet ate–sin is sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. Sin brings the wrath of God–and what tears can quench that fire?”

– Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity

Study the Scripture

“Study the Scripture. It is a copy of God’s will. Be Scripture-men, Bible-Christians. Search the Scripture as for a vein of gold. This blessed Book will fill your head with knowledge, and your heart with grace!

There is majesty sparkling in every line of Scripture.

There is a melody in Scripture. This is that blessed harp which drives away sadness of spirit. How sweetly does this harp of Scripture sound, what heavenly music does it make in the ears of a distressed sinner, especially when the finger of God’s Spirit touches this instrument!

There is divinity in Scripture. It contains the marrow and quintessence of true religion. It is a rock of diamonds–and a manual of piety. The lips of Scripture have grace poured into them. The Scripture speaks of faith, self-denial, and all the graces which, as a chain of pearls, adorns a Christian.

Oh, then, search the Scripture! Had I the tongue of angels, I could not sufficiently set forth the excellency of Scripture. It is a spiritual telescope, in which we behold God’s glory! It is the tree of life, the oracle of wisdom, the rule of godliness, the heavenly seed of which the new creature is formed. 

‘The two Testaments,’ says one, ‘are the two breasts which every Christian must suck, that he may get spiritual nourishment.’ These holy leaves of Scripture are for the healing of our souls. 

The Scripture is profitable for all things. If we are downcast–here is spiced wine that cheers the heavy heart. If we are pursued by Satan–here is the sword of the Spirit to resist him. If we are diseased with sin’s leprosy–here are the waters of the sanctuary, both to cleanse and cure. Oh, then, search the Scriptures! 

Read the Bible with reverence. Think, in every line you read–that God is speaking to you. The ark wherein the Word was put was overlaid with pure gold, and was carried on bars, that the Levites might not touch it (Exodus 25:14). Why was this–but to give reverence to the Word? 

Read with seriousness. It is matter of life and death; by this Word you must be tried and judged. 

Read the Word with affection. Get your hearts quickened with the Word. Labor that the Word may not only be a lamp to direct–but a fire to warm. Read the Scripture, not only as a history–but as a love-letter sent to you from God, which may affect your hearts. Pray that the same Spirit who wrote the Word, may assist you in reading it; that God’s Spirit would show you the wonderful things of His law, so that the Word will become effectual.”

– Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity