VALLEYS AND MOUNTAINTOPS

“[P]ut me to the test, say the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Mal 3:10 ESV).

“Endeavor to enrich and enlarge your mind with more spiritual understanding of the personal glory, love, and fullness of Christ. All declension of soul arises from things contrary to the nature of indwelling grace gaining admittance to the mind. The world—its pleasures, vanities, cares, and various temptations—enters the mind, often disguised in the shape of lawful undertakings and duties, and draws the mind away from God and the affections away from Christ. It weakens and deadens faith, love, and every grace of the indwelling Spirit. But when the mind is preoccupied by Christ, filled with meditations on His glory, grace, and love, no room is left for the entrance of external allurements; the world, other people, and the fascinations of sin are shut out, and the soul holds a constant and undisturbed fellowship with God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jul 22nd).

“Be careful to keep your old receipts which you have had from God for the pardon of your sins. There are some display days, and Jubilee-like festivals, when God comes forth clothed with the robes of His mercy, and holds forth the scepter of His grace more familiarly to His children than ordinary. [T]hen the firmament is clear, not a cloud to be seen to darken the Christian’s comfort. Love and joy are the soul’s repast and pastime, while this feast lasts.

“Now when God withdraws, and this cheer is taken off, Satan’s work is how he may deface and wear off the remembrance of this testimony which is so important for a believer’s spiritual standing. Satan wants to deprive him of this evidence, so that when he accuses him again the believer will have nothing with which to defend himself.

“It will benefit you, therefore, to lay them up safely: such a testimony may serve to non-suit your accuser many years hence. One affirmative from God’s mouth for your pardoned state, carries more weight (though of old date) than a thousand negatives from Satan’s” William Gurnall (ref#225, Dec 14th).

“I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them” (Isa 42:16 ESV).

“God knows His grace in us, and will own it, when we doubt of it or deny it” Richard Baxter (ref#225, Dec 14th).

HOLINESS

“God demands more than that we acknowledge His holiness. He says to us, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ God rightfully demands perfect holiness in all of His moral creatures. It cannot be otherwise. He cannot possibly ignore or approve of any evil committed” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p26).

“God, being God, cannot simply forgive sin. Now the common idea about God, the one that we have instinctively is that when we admit we have sinned, all that is necessary is that we should come to God, say we are very sorry, and God will forgive us. But according to the Bible that is impossible. God, because He is God, cannot just forgive sin like that. If God could have forgiven sin just by saying, ‘I forgive,’ He would have done so, and Christ would never have been sent into this world. The work that was given to Him to do was given to the Lord Jesus Christ because without it God cannot forgive sin. He must not only justify the ungodly—He must remain just. The way of salvation must be consistent with the character of God. He cannot deny Himself; He cannot change Himself; He is unchangeable. He is absolutely righteous and holy and just. He cannot remain that and simply forgive sin” Martyn Lloyd Jones (ref#189, Feb 17th).

“[W]ithout holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14 NIV).

“The work of Christ was essential because of the character of God, and it was essential because of man being in sin; something had to be done to render man fit for God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 17th).

“Pray not only against the power of sin, but for the power of holiness also. A wicked heart may pray against his sins, not out of any inward enmity to them, or love to holiness, but because they are troublesome guests to his conscience. His zeal is false that seems hot against sin, but is cold to holiness” William Gurnall (ref#225, Aug 26th).

“[S]inful habits make us feel guilty and defeated. The absence of Christlike character usually doesn’t have a similar effect on us, so there is less motivation to seek change in our lives. We need to work at ensuring that our commitment to holiness is a commitment to God, not to our own self-esteem. When we sin we are more vexed at the lowering of our self-esteem than we are grieved at God’s dishonor” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p149).

“God, being God, cannot simply forgive sin” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Feb 17th).

SATAN’S HATRED

“Satan, is ever awake and walking his rounds, seeking whom he may surprise. And if Satan be always awake, it is dangerous for the Christina at any time to be spiritually asleep; that is, secure and careless. The saint’s sleeping time is Satan’s tempting time” William Gurnall (ref#378, p26).

“Satan is full of envy and enmity, and that makes him very studious to suit his snares and plots to the tempers, constitutions, fancies and callings of men, so that he may make them as miserable as himself”Thomas Brooks (ref#379, p31).

“He hates the Lord’s people, grudges them all their privileges and all their comforts, and will do what he can to disquiet them because he cannot prevail against them” John Newton (ref#376, p18).

“Satan and his horde of devils are highly skilled in the art of temptation, and they excel at persuading believers to sin, and then accusing the same believers before God, mercilessly tormenting their consciences. It is a hideous process with profound consequences” Jeff Pollard (ref#372).

“Though sin wars, it shall not reign; and though it breaks our peace, it cannot separate from his love” John Newton (ref#322, p132).