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echoes of thought in love with God through Christ crucified

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The love of God does not find
but creates that which is pleasing to it.

The love of God which lives in man loves sinners, evil persons, fools, and weaklings in order to make them righteous, good, wise, and strong. Rather than seeking its own good, the love of God flows forth and bestows good. Therefore sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.

—Martin Luther
Works, 31:57.

 

For a man to have his will, and whatsoever he desires, what a happiness is that! If his soul be set upon holy things, he shall have what he desires, the Lord will not be wanting: Prov. 10:24, ‘The fear of the wicked, it shall come come upon him; but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.’ The desires of the righteous are suitable to the constitution and frame of their heart. He will grant the desires of their souls, Ps. 10:17. A man that makes God his heart’s delight shall have his heart’s desire: Ps. 37:4, ‘Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desire of thy heart;’ his business is to maintain communion with God, and his desires will not miscarry.

—Thomas Manton
Works, 6:431.

Let us beware of resting satisfied with head knowledge. It is an excellent thing when rightly used. But a person may have much of it, and still perish everlastingly. What is the state of our hearts? This is the great question.

—J. C. Ryle
Matthew, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 8.

Time is very short, which is another thing that renders it very precious: the scarcity of any commodity occasions men to set an higher value upon it, especially if it be a thing that is necessary to be had and that they can’t do without, or be that which their interest much depends upon. … When bread is very scarce, they that have bread have but a little of it. They will be more choice of it, and will set an higher value upon it, because bread is what they must have or perish.

So time is the more to be prized by men, because an whole eternity depends upon it; and yet we have but a little of it. When a few days are gone, then we must go where we shall not return (Job 16:22). Our “days are swifter than a post. They are passed away as the swift ships, and as the eagle that hasteth to the prey” (Job 9:25–26). Our life, what is it? “It is but a vapor, that continues a little while, and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). ‘Tis but a moment to eternity, and bears no proportion to it.

Time is so short, and the work is so great that we have to do in it, that we have none of it to spare. The work that we have to do to prepare for eternity must be done in time, or it never can be done; and ’tis found to be a work of great difficulty and labor.
We read of silver being so plenty in Solomon’s time that it was as the stones of the street: it was nothing accounted of; they had more of it than they needed, or knew what to do with. But this is not the case with us with respect to time. And ’tis but a little time that God hath allotted to us, a short space that is soon all of it gone.

If a man loses any of that that he has but little of, and yet is absolutely necessary to him, his loss is the greater. [It is] as if he has but a little food wherewith [to] support his life: if he loses some of it, his loss is greater than if had an abundance. So we ought to prize our time the more highly, and to be careful that we don’t lose any of it, because it is so short, and yet what is so necessary to us.

—Jonathan Edwards
Sermons and Discourses, 1734-1738, WJE (Yale University Press, 2001), 248–249.

I can truly say, I dearly love the people of Christ, for the image of Christ that I see stamped upon them. … I can say that I dearly love those that have the Lord for their portion. I can truly say, that the poorest and the most neglected, and the most despised saint in the world, is more precious in my eye, and more dear to my soul, than the greatest and the richest sinner in the world (cf. Psalm 16:3).

—Thomas Brooks
Works, 79–80.

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