O precious saint! Three questions call for your answer: What were you? 2. What are you? 3. What shall you be? 1. What were you? Dead in your transgressions and sins, a rebel to your God, a prodigal to your Father, a slave to your lust, the devil’s captive, on the highway to Hell! 2. What are you? Redeemed by Christ, a royal child of God, the spouse of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the heir of a priceless eternal inheritance! 3. What shall you be? A glorious saint, a companion of angels, a triumphant victor, a crowned king, an attendant on the Lamb, a participant in those soul-ravishing and ineffable excellencies that are in God! You shall behold the King of Glory face to face–and enjoy immediate communion with Jesus Christ! Nay more, you are made one with Him: clothed with His excellencies, enthroned with His glories, crowned with His eternity, and filled with His felicity! “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9. O stand amazed at His free grace–and render all the glory to God! (Thomas Sherman, “Divine Breathings” or, “A Pious Soul Thirsting after Christ”)
Miscellaneous Pithy Gems:
Affliction is good, but not pleasant. Sin is pleasant, but not good.
We are not sinners because we sin–we sin because we are sinners.
We fear man so much, because we fear God so little.
It is only the fear of God, that can deliver us from the fear of man.
Grace is God giving us what we do not deserve–Heaven.
Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve–Hell.
We are: Sinners by nature. Sinners by birth. Sinners by choice.
Our sins will not keep us from Heaven, but our righteousness will!
“Nevertheless I am continually with You! You hold me by my right hand.” Psalm 73:23. This is the utterance of a faith which triumphs over contradictory circumstances and contradictory experiences. Believer in Jesus, bear in mind that this “nevertheless” stands firm for you also, whatever may be the “although” of adverse circumstances and experiences you put before it. Because of the covenant faithfulness of Him in whose hand of grace and love you are, you can truly say: “Although I am weak and helpless, nevertheless I am continually with You.” “Although I am vile and undeserving, nevertheless I am continually with You.” “Although I am so foolish and prone to wander, nevertheless I am continually with You.” “Although trials and afflictions beset me, nevertheless I am continually with You.” “Although all forsake me, nevertheless I am continually with You.” “Although I cannot realize Your presence, nevertheless I am continually with You.” Thus, whatever may be your “although,” let the nevertheless” of your faith always triumph, for the grasp of Christ’s hand never slackens, the power of Christ’s arm never fails, the love of Christ’s heart never changes. (Thomas Moor, “Counsels and Thoughts for the Spiritual Life of Believers” 1882)
The Christian life is one of continual conflict from its commencement to its close. There is no hope whatever that it can be otherwise. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and never can be anything else but flesh. It continually wars against the spirit–so that oftentimes, as the Apostle says, “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” This was Paul’s own experience to the end of life, for never did he find any good thing in himself, that is, in his flesh. The flesh never changes for the better. Our only expectation and our encouragement is that through the grace of our Lord Jesus, with watchfulness and prayerfulness, it will be kept under control, and that the spiritual nature will increase in vigor daily. The consciousness of all our infirmities, our inward lusts, and our utter helplessness–but makes the Lord Jesus more precious! The very lusts we abhor, do serve our best interests when they cause us to look more to Him. Thus they are among the all things that work for our good, by keeping us in our proper place and exalting the Lord. (Thomas Moor, “Counsels and Thoughts for the Spiritual Life of Believers” 1881)
“The LORD’s portion is His people!” Deuteronomy 32:9. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:24. The above two passages of Scripture ought never to be separated. God and my soul possess each other.
God finds his portion in His people–and His people find their portion in God! This God is mine, in all His glorious perfection!
His heart is mine, for He loves me. His ear is mine, for I may pour into it all my tales of sorrow, and all my songs of joy. His eyes are mine, for they watch me from morning until night. His hand is mine, for it is stretched out to uphold me. Oh, He is a God of infinite glory! Abased in the very dust, and half bewildered by the thought, I yet dare to look up and say, “This God is my God forever and ever! He will be my guide even unto death!” (Archibald Brown, “This God Is Our God!” 1896)
Luke 2:10–14 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
“O, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34. O, give thanks to the Lord, Christian, for He has not dealt with you after your sins, nor rewarded you according to your iniquities! He has pardoned your sins, justified your soul, renewed your nature, and given you a title to everlasting life! He has thus prevented your eternal ruin, borne with your faults and follies, supplied all your needs, guided your steps, and promised to conduct you to glory! His mercy has been ever great toward you! “O, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever!” Psalm 107:1. (James Smith, “Sunny Subjects for All Seasons” 1858)