Tag Archives: Joy

“God’s purpose” by Wilhelmus à Brakel

“Consider for a moment from whom your life, breath, and whatever you possess proceed– the air which you breathe; the sun, moon, and stars which illuminate and delight you; the heavens which cover you; the earth on which you walk; the food and drink you partake of; and the animals which you use.

Does all this proceed from you? Are you worthy of them? Is not all this the Lord’s? Is it not He who, each day again, grants you His goodness in spite of your unworthiness and sinfulness? Yes, children of God, is it not the Lord who has granted you that precious Savior, who grants you the Holy Spirit, who graces you with spiritual light and life, and who has prepared eternal glory for you?

Everything will return from whence it proceeded. Therefore let your heart, while conscious of your insignificance and reflecting upon the inestimable value of the blessings and goodness of the Lord, also bring all this to Him, and with a heart filled with love and adoration cry out, ‘For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Him be glory forever. Amen’ (Rom. 11:36).

Consider the purpose for which God has placed you upon the earth. Is it only to labor and to rest, to eat and to drink, and to return again to nothing after many troubles and activities? Tell me, why are you here? Is it to know, acknowledge, and glorify your Maker?

And, children of God, to what end has He regenerated you and placed you in His church? Did He do so without purpose? Is it merely to lead you by that way to heaven? No, but it is that you would glorify Him upon earth.

Observe this in the following passages: ‘This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise’ (Isa. 43:21); ‘…that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified’ (Isa. 61:3); ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light’ (1 Pet. 2:9).

You would not have been born, you would not live, and you would not receive and have what you enjoy, if this were not the purpose. If this is the purpose, what else is there to do for you but this?

God has, to some degree, been pleased to place His interests and honor into your hand, and has appointed you to be the heralds of His Name. Ought you then not to see to it how you preserve this precious gift entrusted to you, and how you answer to God’s purpose and engage inestimable activity?

Well, arise therefore, and engage in it with delight.”

–Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume 3, Ed. Joel Beeke, Trans. Bartel Elshout (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 1700/1994), 3: 256-257.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Glory of Christ, Jesus Christ, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Wilhelmus à Brakel

“You shall not wait in vain” by John Newton

“Though our sins have been deep-dyed, like scarlet and crimson, enormous as mountains, and countless as the sands, the sum total is, but, Sin has abounded. But where sin hath abounded, grace has much more abounded.

After all, I know the Lord keeps the key of comfort in His own hands, yet He has commanded us to attempt comforting one another. I should rejoice to be His instrument of administering comfort to you.

I shall hope to hear from you soon, and that you will then be able to inform me He has restored to you the joys of His salvation. But if not yet, wait for Him, and you shall not wait in vain.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 288.

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“Unspeakable joy” by John Newton

“You have sown in tears, but the harvest will be unspeakable joy.

I wish the knowledge I have received of your illness may be sanctified to quicken me in my work and warfare, that I may abound in the Lord’s service while it is the day, for the night cometh.

Perhaps I may not see you in this world, but I hope to meet you at last, and join with you in the song before the throne, ‘To Him who loved us and washed us from our sin in His blood.’

I commend you to His care and keeping.

I remain,

Your affectionate friend and brother,

John Newton”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 196.

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“Promises and pardons in His hands” by John Newton

“The time is short, eternity at the door. If there was no other evil in these vain amusements other than the loss of precious time (but, alas! their name is legion), then we have not leisure in our circumstances to regard them.

And, blessed be God! We need them not. The Gospel opens a source of purer, sweeter, and more substantial pleasures.

We are invited to communion with God. We are called to share in the theme of angels, the songs of heaven, and the wonders of redeeming love are laid open to our view.

The Lord Himself is waiting to be gracious, waiting with promises and pardons in His hands. Well then may we bid adieu to the perishing pleasures of sin.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 148-149.

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“The gospel is the food of faith” by Herman Bavinck

“The new life in Christ, just like all natural life, must be nourished and strengthened. This is possible only in communion with Christ in the Holy Spirit and through the word of Scripture. Enlightened by the Spirit, believers gain a new knowledge of faith.

The gospel is the food of faith and must be known to be nourishment. Salvation that is not known and enjoyed is no salvation. God saves by causing Himself to be known and enjoyed in Christ.

Biblically speaking, faith is trust-filled surrender to God and His word of promise. In the New Testament, this trust involves acceptance of the apostolic witness concerning Christ and personal trust in Christ as Savior and risen, exalted Lord.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Ed. John Bolt and Trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 96.

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“This God is your God” by Jonathan Edwards

“This God, to whom there is none in heaven to be compared, nor any among the sons of the mighty to be likened– this God who is from everlasting to everlasting, an infinitely powerful, wise, holy, and lovely being, who is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, is your God.

He is reconciled to you and has become your friend. There is a friendship between you and the Almighty. You have become acquainted with Him, and He has made known Himself to you, and communicates Himself to you, converses with you as a friend, dwells with you, and in you, by His Holy Spirit.

Yea, He has taken you into a nearer relation to Him: He has become your Father, and owns you for His child, and doth by you, and will do by you, as a child.

He cares for you, and will see that you are provided for, and will see that you never shall want anything that will be useful to you. He has made you one of His heirs, and a co-heir with His Son, and will bestow an inheritance upon you, as it is bestowed upon a child of the King of Kings.

You are now in some measure sanctified, and have the image of God upon your souls, but hereafter, when God shall receive you, His dear child, into His arms, and shall admit you to the perfect enjoyment of Him as your portion, you will be entirely transformed into His likeness, for you shall see Him as He is.

The consideration of having such a glorious God for your God, your friend, your Father, and your portion, and that you shall eternally enjoy Him as such, is enough to make you despise all worldly afflictions and adversities, and even death itself, and to trample them under your feet.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “God’s Excellencies” in Sermons and Discourses, 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1992), 435. You can read this sermon on Psalm 89:6 in its entirety here. Edwards was only nineteen years old when preached this sermon.

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“Hammer your way through a continued argument” by C.S. Lewis

“I should rather like to attend your Greek class, for it is a perpetual puzzle to me how New Testament Greek got the reputation of being easy. St Luke I find particularly difficult.

As regards matter– leaving the question of language– you will be glad to hear that I am at last beginning to get some small understanding of St Paul: hitherto an author quite opaque to me.

I am speaking now, of course, of the general drift of whole epistles: short passages, treated devotionally, are of course another matter. And yet the distinction is not, for me, quite a happy one.

Devotion is best raised when we intend something else. At least that is my experience.

Sit down to meditate devotionally on a single verse, and nothing happens. Hammer your way through a continued argument, just as you would in a profane writer, and the heart will sometimes sing unbidden.”

–C.S. Lewis, “To Dom Bede Griffiths” (April 4, 1934) in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Books, Broadcasts, and the War 1931-1949, Volume 2, Ed. Walter Hooper (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 136.

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