THE GRACE OF GOD

“The God of all grace…” —1 Peter 5:10

“By the Grace of God I am what I am.” This is the believer’s eternal confession. Grace found him a rebel—it leaves him a son. Grace found him wandering at the gates of hell—it leaves him at the gates of heaven. Grace devised the scheme of Redemption. Justice never would; Reason never could. And it is Grace which carries out that scheme. No sinner would ever have sought his God but “by grace.” The thickets of Eden would have proved Adam’s grave had not grace called him out. Saul would have lived and died the haughty self-righteous persecutor, had not grace laid him low. The thief on the cross would have continued breathing out his blasphemies, had not grace arrested his tongue and tuned it for glory. “Out of the knottiest timber,” says Rutherford, “He can make vessels of mercy for service in the high palace of glory!”

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NONE OF YOUR TRIALS

“Certain of my brothers are frequently in trouble. Their whole life is a floundering out of one slough of despond into another. You have had many losses in business—nothing but losses, perhaps. You have had many crosses, disappointments, bereavements— nothing prospers with you. Well, brother, there is this consolation—you are one of a very large family, for many of God’s people pass though just such tribulation… Christ has said, “In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” It is no sign, beloved, that you are not a child of God because you feel the rod—it is rather a token of your being one of the adopted, because you are made to pass under the rod… remember that none of your trials can prove you to be a lost man.”

CHARLES SPURGEON, THE BELIEVER SINKING IN THE MIRE.

IF I HAVE NOT LOVE

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-13