Make It Your Business to Study Christ

My desires to you are–That you would make it your business to study Christ, his Word, your own hearts, Satan’s plots, and eternity–more than ever. That you would endeavor more to be inwardly sincere than outwardly glorious; to live, than to have a mere name to live. That you would labor with all your might to be thankful under mercies, and faithful in your places, and humble under divine appearances, and fruitful under precious ordinances. That as your means and mercies are greater than others–so your account before God may not prove a worse than others. That you would pray for me, who am not worthy to be named among the saints, that I may be a precious instrument in the hand of Christ to bring in many souls unto him, and to build up those who are brought in, in their most holy faith; and “that utterance may be given to me, that I may make known all the will of God” (Eph. 6:19); that I may be sincere, faithful, frequent, fervent and constant in the work of the Lord, and that my labor be not in vain in the Lord; that my labors may be accepted in the Lord and his saints, and I may daily see the travail of my soul.

Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

It Pleases the Almighty Generally to Work through Prayer

It pleases the Almighty generally to work through prayer, as it is prayer that gives God, who is jealous of his honour, all the glory. When blessings come in answer to prayer, the praise is more generally ascribed to him, to whom alone all praise belongs. The time is hastening on, when one vast song shall fill the earth “from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth;” when shall be heard, “as it were the voice of mighty thunderings, saving, Allelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth; let us be glad, and rejoice and give honour to him.” And, doubtless, when, through the prayers of many, this happy period arrives, the burden of the song will be, “Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous works; and blessed be his glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.”

Edward Bickersteth, A Treatise on Prayer

Standing Daily in Grace

The grace of salvation is the same grace by which we live the Christian life.  Paul said in Romans 5.2, ‘We have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.’ (emphasis added).  We are not only justified by grace through faith, we stand every day in this same grace…. [We must] be so gripped by the magnificence and boundless generosity of God’s grace that we respond out of gratitude rather than out of a sense of duty.

original emphasis, Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1991), 75.

Grace Meets Us in New and More Abundant Measures

We often feel as if grace had done its utmost when it has carried us safely through the desert, and set us down at the gate of the kingdom. We feel as if, when grace has landed us there, it has done all for us that we are to expect.

But God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. He does exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think. It is just when we reach the threshold of the prepared heavenly city, that grace meets us in new and more abundant measures, presenting us with the recompense of the reward.

The love that shall meet us then to bid us welcome to the many mansions, shall be love beyond what we were here able to comprehend; for then shall we fully realize, as if for the first time, the meaning of these words, ‘The love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord;’ and then shall we have that prayer of Christ fulfilled in us, ‘That the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’

It was grace which on earth said to us, ‘Come unto Me, and I will give you rest;’ and it will be grace, in all its exceeding riches, that will hereafter say to us, ‘Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’

Horatius Bonar, “The God of Grace”

HT: Of First Importance

The Cross Does Not Solve the Problem of Suffering

We have to learn to climb the hill called Calvary, and from that vantage point survey all life’s tragedy. The cross does not solve the problem of suffering, but it applies the essential perspective from which to look at it. Since God has demonstrated His holy love and loving justice in a historical event (the cross), no other historical event (whether personal or global) can override or disprove it. This must really be why the scroll (the book of history and destiny) is now in the hands of the slain Lamb, and why only He is worthy to break it seals, reveal its contents and control the flow of nature.

John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 320.