God Gives Us All We Have

“One of the things that betrays our fallen condition is the concept of the self-made man, one who takes credit for the bounty of his goods and forgets the Source of all his provisions. We must remember that God gives us all we have in the ultimate sense.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.35

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The Top Priority for the Christian

“Looking at the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we can see that this is the first priority of which Jesus spoke. His initial request was that the name of God be hallowed. It is the Greek word hagios, which is literally translated ‘holy.’ The top priority for the Christian is to see that God’s name is kept holy, for it is holy. If that were the only prayer request the Christian community ever made, and if believers made it earnestly and regularly, I suspect the revival we pray for and the reformation we so earnestly desire would be accomplished in no time. Everything–our work, our ministry, and all aspects of our daily lives–would be affected.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.28

Never Make the Fatal Mistake of Nadab and Abihu

“God demands to be treated as holy, for He is holy. He is jealous for His honor. He does not plead for respect in this passage [Leviticus 10:1-3]. Rather, it is a statement of fact: ‘I will be treated as holy.’ We must never make the fatal mistake of Nadab and Abihu and approach the sovereign God in a flippantly casual attitude.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.27-28

God’s Sovereignty Should Provoke Us to Thanksgiving

“There is a certain sense in which God’s sovereignty should influence our attitude toward prayer, at least with respect to adoration. If anything, our understanding of God’s sovereignty should provoke us to an intense prayer life of thanksgiving. Because of such knowledge, we should see that every benefit, every good and perfect gift, is an expression of the abundance of His grace. The more we understand God’s sovereignty, the more our prayers will be filled with thanksgiving.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.12

His Knowledge Enhances the Beauty of My Praise

“There is something erroneous in the question, ‘If God knows everything, why pray?’ The questions assumes that prayer is one-dimensional and is defined simply as supplication or intercession. On the contrary, prayer is multi-dimensional. God’s sovereignty casts no shadow over the prayer of adoration. God’s foreknowledge or determinate counsel does not negate the prayer of praise. The only thing it should do is give us greater reason for expressing our adoration for God who is. If God knows what I’m going to say before I say it, His knowledge, rather than limiting my prayer, enhances the beauty of my praise.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.11

The Inexpressible Comfort of the Throne of Grace

‘Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!’ (Hebrews 4:16)

“Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of the throne of grace! It is the only verdant, refreshing spot, in this earth’s wide wilderness.

To have the sensible presence of God, the heart of a loving Father to confide in, who is able to do all and more than we require; to have Him always near, His hand ever stretched out to us–oh, the comfort!

This is my sweetest spot and chief comfort in this polluted world, where I carry all my cares and troubles, and am ever sure to receive a welcome in the face of a reconciled Father.

Oh, the loving heart of Christ! Although He knows our ten thousand infirmities, He does not turn a deaf ear to our poor supplications–but with His own blood, blots out all their imperfections!”

– Mary Winslow

No Spiritual Gains Without Pains

“Sanctification depends greatly on a diligent use of scriptural means. The ‘means of grace’ are such as Bible reading, private prayer, and regularly worshiping God in Church, wherein one hears the Word taught and participates in the Lord’s Supper. I lay it down as a simple matter of fact that no one who is careless about such things must ever expect to make much progress in sanctification. I can find no record of any eminent saint who ever neglected them. They are appointed channels through which the Holy Spirit conveys fresh supplies of grace to the soul and strengthens the work which He has begun in the inward man. Let men call this legal doctrine if they please, but I will never shrink from declaring my belief that there are no “spiritual gains without pains.” Our God is a God who works by means, and He will never bless the soul of that man who pretends to be so high and spiritual that he can get on without them.”

– J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p.25