OUR WEAKNESSES

“We are ready to turn into any house, stay and play with everything in our way, and sit down on every green bank, and much ado there is to get us home” Richard Baxter (ref#225, May 21st). Note: CHRIST does not just sit on His throne.

“[T]o keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited” (2 Cor 12:7 ESV).

“Paul’s earthy weakness, not his revelations, are to be the platform for demonstrating the Lord’s power and grace” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2238).

“[D]o not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse no barn, and yet God feeds them. O you of little faith! [D]o not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried” (Luke 12:22-24, 28-29 ESV).

“Be strong and courageous” (Josh 1:6 ESV).

“Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.

When I am weak then am I strong,

Grace is my shield and Christ my song” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 4th AM).

“A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 4th AM).

“Purity is mastery over the inferior appetites” J.I. Packer (ref#321, p10).

“Most men study rather how to pass away their time than to redeem it” Thomas Case (ref#225, Dec 12th).

“Weak, unskillful, and unfaithful, as I am in practice, the Lord has been pleased to give me some idea of what a Christian ought to be, and of what is actually attainable in the present life” John Newton (ref#322, p135).

“Our native strength is but another term for utter weakness.” Octavius Winslow

OBEDIENCE

“When Simon and Andrew heard the call of Jesus, they obeyed at once without question. If we would always, promptly and with resolute zeal, put into practice what we hear on the spot or at the first suitable occasion, our attention to the means of grace could not fail to enrich us spiritually. He will not lose his loaf who has taken care to eat it immediately” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 20th PM).

“[B]e doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22 ESV).

“Good actions are designed by the counsel and resolution of the spirit, but performed by the ministry of the flesh. Every grace expresses itself in visible actions by the body. In the sorrows of repentance it supplies tears, in fasting its appetites are restrained, in thanksgivings, the tongue breaks forth in the joyful praises of God. All the victories over sensible pleasure and pain are obtained by the soul in conjunction with the body” William Bates (ref#225, Apr 9th).

“[T]he desire of the righteous ends only in good” (Prov 11:23 ESV).

“[A]s grace prevails, self is renounced. We feel that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price; and that it is our duty, our honour, and our happiness, to be the servants of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To devote soul and body, every talent, power, and faculty, to the service of his cause and will, to find our own pleasure in performing his” John Newton (ref#322, p138).

“You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day” (2 Chron 6:15 ESV).

“Human obedience to God’s commands is the means of ratifying or accepting God’s promises, as well as a condition for experiencing the reality of the promises in the present. God himself provides the grace for his people to obey” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p749).

“Obedience that is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looks at the heart, and if He sees that we serve Him from force, and not because we love Him, He will reject our offering” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 9th PM).

“[W]hen the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy. [T]hat those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works” (Titus 3:4-5,8 ESV).

“The joy of Jesus was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself. The thing that will hinder joy is the irritation of thinking out circumstances. Stop being self-conscious and live the life hid with Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 31st).

LET US PRESS ON TO KNOW THE LORD

“When have you been the most fruitless? Has it not been when you have lived farthest from the Lord Jesus Christ. Has it not been when your graces have engrossed your attention instead of your Lord, when you have forgotten where your strength dwells” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 13th AM)?

“You cannot, without incurring guilt, neglect private prayer, meditation, and self-examination, or public ordinances such as the ministry of the Word, the services of the Church, the assemblies of the saints. Neglect of these, however slight, entails a severe loss to your soul. It is in the way of diligent, prayerful waiting upon the means that the Christian goes ‘from strength to strength.’ Search, oh search, for this living grace. No man shall wait upon the Lord in vain” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Feb 3rd).

“It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him. We would far rather work for God than believe in Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 1st).

“We must bend our every effort to this goal: that we should not let ourselves be overwhelmed by careless or faintheartedness. [W]e have to wage war against an infinite number of enemies” Doug Newton (ref#166, p71).

“The Christian should be of a courageous spirit, by enduring trials in a heroic manner. If he is fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonor his God. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic that soon spreads among the Lord’s flock. One downcast believer makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up, Satan will be too much for you” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 11th PM).

“[F]ear of weakness amounts to God-forgetfulness” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, July 6th).

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32 ESV).

“[L]et us know; let us press on to know the LORD, his going out is sure as the dawn, he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hos 6:3 ESV).

LOOK TO THE LORD ALONE

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight” (Ps 19:14 ESV).

“Blessed is the man whom you discipline” (Ps 94:12 ESV).

“I trust in you, O LORD, I say ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand” (Ps 31:14 ESV).

“Hold me up that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually” (Ps 119:117 ESV)!

“In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear” (Ps 40:6 ESV).

“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name” (Ps 86:11 ESV).

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart I will be found by you, declares the LORD” (Jer 29:11-14 ESV).

“Remember that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD. With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:5-8 ESV).

“The Christian is independent of man, even in temporal things. For his continued maintenance, he looks to the Lord his God, and to Him alone” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Aug 13th AM).

“To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet 4:11 ESV).

PUTTING ON THE NEW SELF

“We will take everything that happens as happening to Him, whether it be praise or blame, persecution or commendation” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Feb 4th).

“Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood that flows in the head flows in the hand, and the same life that quickens Christ quickens His people, for ‘Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God’ (Col 3:3). As if this were not enough, we are married to Christ. He has betrothed us unto Himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 16th AM).

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Pet 1:3-4 ESV).

“To live a holy life is to live a life in conformity to the moral precepts of the Bible and in contrast to the sinful ways of the world. It is to live a life characterized by the ‘[putting] off of your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires and [putting] on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:22, 24)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p16).

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” (Rom 12:1 ESV).

By calling it a living sacrifice we are to be continually sacrificed to the Lord so that our former life will be destroyed in us. [O]ur work is pleasing and acceptable to God when we devote ourselves to purity and holiness” John Calvin (ref#164, Aug 6th).

“But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life” (Jude 1:20-21 MSG)!

“[What] pleases him is not our work for him but our need of him” John Piper (ref#220, p215-216).

“The good news of salvation is that as believers in Jesus Christ, and by God’s grace, we are no longer sinners in Adam, we are now righteous in Christ” Denny Johnson (ref#385).

GOD’S LOVE TO ME

“[T]he highest and most ravishing pleasures, the most solid and substantial delights that human nature is capable of, are those which arise from the endearments of a well-placed and successful affection” Henry Scougal (ref#321, p73).

“You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises, Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is a bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without permission or hindrance. There is not a promise in the Word that will be withheld. This is your Father’s love-token. You are free to it at all times” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 19th AM).

“His love to us is a free love. It is also sovereign love. It proceeds from Himself alone. It is a love fixed on us. It is a love of complacency and delight. It is an immutable and an everlasting love. It was in God’s heart towards us before the world was. It will never cease being in His heart towards us throughout the ages of eternity, the blessings of which we are to enjoy in communion with Him now and forever” Samuel Eyles Pierce (ref#257, p38).

“[W]e will never have [our] will truly free until it is bound in the golden fetters of His sweet love” Charles Spurgeon (ref#320, p26).

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1 NKJV)!

“[L]et your minds be engaged about the Father’s love to us: on the greatness of it, the eternity of it, the fixation of it, the immensity of it, the blessings contained in it, the continuation of it; on what we shall forever and ever enjoy as the objects and subjects of it, what hath been already bestowed on us, what we have enjoyed and do enjoy out of and from this infinite ocean” Samuel Eyles Pierce (ref#257, p38).

“[L]et us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb 10:22 ESV).

SHATTERED PRIDE

“As we grow in the Christian life we face increasing danger of spiritual pride” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p72).

“To humble the pride of the flesh, God determined to take away from men any reason for confidence or boasting” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 9th).

“It is a very common for God’s people, after they have enjoyed a great deliverance, to find a little trouble too much for them. It is as if the Lord must teach us our littleness, our nothingness, in order to keep us within bounds” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 21st PM).

“Thank God if you are going through a drying-up experience! The sign that God is at work in us is that He corrupts confidence in the natural virtues. It is the saddest thing to see people in the service of God depending on what they have by the accident of heredity” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 30th).

“Weakness is not the big danger to be avoided. What you need to avoid is your delusions of strength” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 17th).

“Idlers may indulge a fond conceit of their abilities, because they are untried; but the earnest worker soon learns his own weakness. If you seek humility, try hard work. If you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Mar 2nd PM).

“To be truly in Christ is to stand accepted in His righteousness, to be justified by Him freely from all things; it is to be brought to the knowledge of our own vileness, insufficiency, and guilt; to be made to cast aside all self-dependence and works of human merit, and to come as the thief on the cross came, without any confidence in anything of self, but as a poor, helpless, ruined, condemned sinner, whose hope of pardon and acceptance is only through the free mercy of God in Christ Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 1st).

“[W]e must die if we are ever going to live. So grace is out to kill us. But in presiding over our deaths, grace gives us life” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Oct 19th).

“[T]rust the Lord, surrender, and go habitually trusting through all the changes, knowing that his love, purpose, and promise are unchangeable” John Newton (ref#322, p191).

WHAT GOD DOES TOWARD OUR SANCTIFICATION

“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple” (1 Cor 3:16-17 MSG).

“Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by was of Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:28-31 MSG).

“It is utterly impossible that God should deny his love to a soul wholly devoted to him; and which desires nothing so much as to serve and please him; he cannot disdain his own image, nor that heart in which it is engraven: love is all the tribute which we can pay him, and it is the sacrifice which he will not despise” Henry Scougal (ref#321, p76).

“Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 4th AM).

“God will empty out all that you have before He will put His own into you. He will first clean out your granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water, but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength that He Himself imparts” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 4th AM).

“Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 4th AM).  Note to me: Embark on something GOD blesses and is way too big for me.

“Our natural affections are not wholly to be extirpated and destroyed, but only to be moderated and over-ruled by a superior and more excellent principle” Henry Scougal (ref#321, p50).

“May God himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thes 5:23-24 ESV).

“[E]veryone who hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:3 ESV).

THE SPIRIT’S HELP IN SANCTIFICATION

“For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph 2:18-22 ESV).

“God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thes 2:13 ESV).

“[T]he Pentecostal gift of the Spirit is the gift of a God-possessed personality. The gift turns ordinary persons into extraordinary personalities” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p87).

“We are encompassed with innumerable sinful infirmities; we have a law in our members warring against the law of our mind, and bringing us into captivity to the law of sin in our members. We are constantly assailed by Satan, and as constantly liable to yield. Oh, with what power and constant acting of faith should we throw ourselves on the Spirit! How ceaselessly should we pray to Him with all supplication, imploring His guiding, teaching, sealing, and comforting grace to help us in every time of need” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Apr 12th).

“He put His own nature into us. [I]t is acting and manifesting and expressing itself by the Holy Ghost (Rom 5:5)” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p17).

“[A]s the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a diviner sense made in the image of the Most High and are partakers of the divine nature” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 16th AM)

SANCTIFICATION IS:

“Christ takes us out of the devil’s clutches and puts us into His own kingdom, and the devil cannot touch us. That is what was happening upon the cross. The devil thought he was defeating Christ, but Christ was reconciling us to God, defeating the devil and delivering us out of his clutches. He does it be paying the penalty and putting us right with God. The power of God comes into us, and we are born again, receiving new natures and becoming new people. The Holy Spirit is put within us, and Christ’s presence is ever at hand to help us. [The enemy] can frighten us perhaps, he can shout at us, but he cannot touch us. He thought he was finishing Christ. He was really bringing about his own defeat. Christ has conquered him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 13th).

“He has bestowed His love upon us, implanted Himself, infused or injected His love within us” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p16-17).

“Sanctification is not an experience—it is a condition. It is my relationship to God: I am ‘changed into the same image [of Jesus Christ] from glory to glory.’ Sanctification involves experiences and is helped by them, but in itself it is not an experience. Sanctification is that process of growth and development that starts the moment we are saved, the moment we are justified, the moment we are regenerated’ Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 28th).

“Sanctification is that condition in which the sin principle is dealt with. Justification does not deal with the sin principle within us; it deals with the sins that we have committed. But after our sins have been forgiven, and sin and guilt have been removed from us, the sin principle will remain within us, and what the New Testament means by this doctrine of sanctification is the process whereby the very principle and the activity of sin within us is being taken out of us and removed” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 29th).

“Sanctification begins in regeneration. The Spirit of God infuses into man that new living principle by which he becomes ‘a new creature’ (2 Cor 5:17) in Christ Jesus. This work, which begins in the new birth, is carried on in two ways: through mortification, whereby the lusts of the flesh are subdued and kept under; and through vivification, by which the life that God has put within us is made to be a ‘well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:14)” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, July 4th AM).

“[T]he LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself” (1 Sam 12:22 ESV).