“I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.”
~ John 14:18
If at any time a soul be brought into a state of orphanage, and seem to itself separated from all grace and power and hope; let it lay hold of this word. It may have been fitting that it should have a taste of the misery of being without Christ, under a sense of the need of Christ; but a taste suffices: ” I will come unto you,” says Jesus.
~ George Bowen, Daily Meditations
The cross of Jesus displays the most awful exhibition of God’s hatred of sin and at the same time the most august manifestation of His readiness to pardon it. Pardon, full and free, is written out in every drop of blood that is seen, is proclaimed in every groan that is heard, and shines in the very prodigy of mercy that closes the solemn scene upon the cross. O blessed door of return, open and never shut, to the wanderer from God! How glorious, how free, how accessible! Here the sinful, the vile, the guilty, the unworthy, the poor, the penniless, may come. Here too the weary spirit may bring its burden, the broken spirit its sorrow, the guilty spirit its sin, the backsliding spirit its wandering. All are welcome here.
~ Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
Jesus Christ is the center of everything, and the object of everything and he that does not know Him knows nothing of nature and nothing of himself.
~ Blaise Pascal (1623-1682)
“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
~ 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV)
“There is a peculiar beauty in the Apostle’s expression, not only to preach Christ, but Christ crucified. There were a thousand excellencies in Christ Paul had learnt, and on which he had often dwelt, with holy rapture. But the cross included all. There Paul fixed his eye, his heart, his whole soul. And, what he felt so truly blessed, to himself, he longed to communicate to all the Lord’s people. Christ crucified, was peculiarly suited, to poor sinful men. It was worthy of all acceptation! Reader! how little do those men know of the plague of their own heart, who preach aught beside!”
~ Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary
“For the LORD’s portion is His people…”
~ Deuteronomy 32:9 (NKJV)
It is amazing to think of all the things God could delight in, He is abundantly pleased to delight in His people. The Creator of heaven and earth has no greater love, joy or delight than to pour out His care and affection over the people whom He has chosen for Himself. This concern is seen in no fuller glory than when God’s own beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died that sacrificial death that allows us the high privilege, that allows us, those who come by faith, to become the Lord’s portion.
“You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God a bull or sheep which has any blemish or defect, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
~ Deuteronomy 17:1 (NKJV)
Why did the Lord God command Israel to only offer a sacrifice free from blemish or defect? Was God just be trivial and trying to make worship unnecessarily difficult for His people to perform? Of course not! The mandate to bring no blemished or defective animal before the Lord was to teach Israel a vital spiritual lesson – that God is most holy, perfect and pure -and therefore cannot accept anything less than perfection for Himself. Anything less is an affront to the nature and character of a righteous God.
Yet we know that these mere animals possess no real moral character and only symbolize and point to the one true sinless sacrifice that can claim moral purity and perfection – Christ Himself. Jesus alone fulfilled the Old Testament obligation and command to offer only that which was free of defect or blemish. He offered Himself in place of sinful imperfect man who are riddled with blemish and defect. Christ offered Himself that we, those who come to Him by His mercy and by our faith, are graciously no longer an abomination to the Lord.
True Christianity is not merely the believing a certain set of dry abstract propositions: it is to live in daily personal communication with an actual living person – Jesus the Son of God.
~ J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)