echoes of thought in love with God through Christ crucified

It may not satisfy the temporary needs at the time, but it will satisfy something bigger, grander and more eternal. That biblically defined purpose is that we might worship God and enjoy Him forever. Apart from that, man has no other purpose; and short of that, man wanders in a spiritual disorientation taking him further from finding his created purpose.

—A. W. Tozer
The Purpose of Man, 28

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. — 1 Thess 5:18

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. — Romans 1:21

Our thankfulness is no benefit to God, yet he is pleased with it, as it showeth our honesty and ingenuity. And to us Christians, the very life and soul of our religion is thankfulness; therefore, God will have us continually exercised in it: “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks unto his name” (Heb 13:15).

As our understanding was given us to think of God, and know him; so our speech was given us to speak of God, and praise him. We praise God for all his works, we give him thanks for such as are beneficial to us. In praise, we ascribe all honour, excellency, and perfection unto him. In giving thanks, we express what he hath done for ourselves or others. Now this must be done continually, for God is continually beneficial unto us, by daily mercies giving us new matter of praise and thanksgiving. Besides, there are some mercies so great, that they should never be forgotten.

—Thomas Manton
The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, 3:108.

[The godly man] will be thankful in adversity as well as prosperity … A gracious soul is thankful and rejoices that he is drawn nearer to God, even though it is by the cords of affliction. When it goes well with him, he praises God’s mercy; when it goes badly with him, he magnifies God’s justice. When God has a rod in his hand, a godly man will have a psalm in his mouth. The devil’s striking of Job was like striking on a musical instrument; Job sounded forth praise: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

—Thomas Watson
The Godly Man’s Picture, IV.17, 502.

There are two ways of beholding the glory of Christ

The one is by faith, in this world,—which is “the evidence of things not seen;” the other is by sight, or immediate vision in eternity, “We walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). We do so whilst we are in this world, “whilst we are present in the body, and absent from the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8). But we shall live and walk by sight hereafter. And it is the Lord Christ and his glory which are the immediate object both of this faith and sight For we here “behold him darkly in a glass” (that is, by faith); “but we shall see him face to face” (by immediate vision). “Now we know him in part; but then we shall know him as we are known” (1 Cor 13:12).

What is the difference between these two ways of beholding the glory of Christ?

It is the second way—namely, by vision in the light of glory—that is principally included in that prayer of our blessed Saviour, that his disciples may be where he is, to behold his glory (John 17:24). But I shall not confine my inquiry thereunto; nor doth our Lord Jesus exclude from his desire that sight of his glory which we have by faith in this world, but prays for the perfection of it in heaven.

It is therefore the first way in which we must labor:

1. No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter, who doth not in some measure behold it by faith here in this world. Grace is a necessary preparation for glory, and faith for sight.

2. The beholding of Christ in glory is that which in itself is too high, illustrious, and marvellous for us in our present condition. It hath a splendour and glory too great for our present spiritual visible [visive] faculty; as the direct, immediate sight of the sun darkens our sight, and doth not relieve or strengthen it at all.

3. Herein, then, our present edification is principally concerned; for in this present beholding of the glory of Christ, the life and power of faith are most eminently acted. And from this exercise of faith doth love unto Christ principally, if not solely, arise and spring. If, therefore, we desire to have faith in its vigour or love in its power, giving rest, complacency, and satisfaction unto our own souls, we are to seek for them in the diligent discharge of this duty;—elsewhere they will not be found.

Herein would I live;—herein would I live;—hereon would I dwell in my thoughts and affections, to the withering and consumption of all the painted beauties of this world, unto the crucifying all things here below, until they become unto me a dead and deformed thing, no way meet for affectionate embraces.

—John Owen
Adapted from The Works of John Owen, 1:288-291.

He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God. He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him.

—Thomas Manton
Quoted by A. W. Pink, The Nature of God, 69.

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