Tag Archives: divine grace

Alistair Begg – The Benefit of Trials

 

My grace is sufficient for you.   2 Corinthians 12:9

 

If none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has nowhere to lay his head who still can say, “I will trust in the Lord,” or when we see the pauper starving on bread and water who still glories in Jesus, when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction and yet having faith in Christ–oh, what honor it reflects on the Gospel.

God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring–that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace.

There is a lighthouse out at sea: It is a calm night–I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm. The tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit’s work: If it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we would not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we would not know how firm and secure it was. The masterworks of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties steadfast, unmovable– Calm mid the bewildering cry, Confident of victory. The one who would glorify his God must be prepared to meet with many trials. No one can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts are many.

If, then, yours is a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will be better able to display the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it–hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now should be trusted to the end.

Today’s Bible Reading

The family reading plan for March 4, 2015
* Exodus 15
Luke 18

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Charles Stanley – Grace on Display

Read | 1 Timothy 1:12-17

Paul described himself as the worst of sinners, and yet someone to whom the Lord had expressed His favor and love (1 Tim. 1:16). Because of divine grace, the apostle became spiritually alive and a member of God’s family. He had a new purpose for living—one that would glorify his heavenly Father and help build His kingdom. From that day forward, Paul’s attitudes and behavior were dramatically different.

Through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, Paul’s character was increasingly marked by gratitude and compassion. His writings consistently expressed appreciation for God’s blessings and urged others to be grateful as well. His words also reveal humility. A highly educated and influential man, he now counted all his credentials as “loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus [his] Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

After Paul met the Savior, his actions also changed dramatically. He cared deeply about those who were still separated from God, and he fervently desired to help Christians grow in their faith. For the rest of his life, he served the Lord by sharing the gospel, encouraging fellow believers, and meeting the needs of others. He accepted that suffering for the cause of Christ was part of this new life.

As we read about the apostle’s life, we see grace on display. He was used as God’s ambassador to the Gentiles. Through him, biblical truths were recorded for future generations. The Holy Spirit seeks to transform our lives, just as He did Paul’s. Are you allowing grace to work within you?

Alistair Begg – More Grace Brings More Joy

Alistair Begg

. . . Salt without prescribing how much.

Ezra 7:22

Salt was used in every offering made by fire to the Lord, and with its preserving and purifying properties it was the grateful emblem of divine grace in the soul. It is worthy of our careful attention that when Artaxerxes gave salt to Ezra the priest, he set no limit to the quantity, and we may be quite certain that when the King of kings distributes grace among His royal priesthood, the supply is not cut short by Him.

In ourselves we are often in short supply, but never in the Lord. He who chooses to gather much manna will find that he may have as much as he desires. There is no famine in Jerusalem that causes the citizens to eat their bread by weight and drink their water by measure.

Some things in the economy of grace are measured; for instance our vinegar and gall are given us with such exactness that we never have a single drop too much; but the salt of grace is not restricted in its provision. “Ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”1

Parents need to lock up the fruit cupboard and the candy jars, but there is no need to keep the salt-box under lock and key, for few children will eat too greedily from that.

A man may have too much money or too much honor, but he cannot have too much grace. When Jeshurun grew fat, he forsook God, but there is no fear of a man’s becoming too full of grace: A plethora of grace is impossible. More wealth brings more care, but more grace brings more joy. Increased wisdom is increased sorrow, but an abundance of the Spirit is fullness of joy.

Believer, go to the throne for a large supply of heavenly salt. It will season your afflictions, which are unsavory without salt; it will preserve your heart, which grows corrupt if salt is absent; and it will kill your sins even as salt kills reptiles. You need much; seek much and have much.

1 John 15:7

 

Alistair Begg – Even the Outcasts

 

Behold, I am of small account. Job 40:4

Here is a cheering word for you, poor lost sinner! You think you shouldn’t come to God because you are of small account.

Now, there is not a saint alive on earth who has not felt this way. If Job and Isaiah and Paul were all obliged to say, “I am of small account,” then, sinner, will you be ashamed to join in the same confession? If divine grace does not eradicate all sin from the believer, how do you hope to do it yourself? And if God loves His people while they are of small account, do you think your condition will prevent Him from loving you?

Believe on Jesus, you outcast of the world’s society! Jesus calls you, and just as you are.

Not the righteous, not the righteous;

Sinners, Jesus came to call.

Declare, even now, “You have died for sinners. I am a sinner, Lord Jesus; sprinkle Your blood on me.” If you will confess your sin, you will find pardon. If now, with all your heart, you will say, “I am unclean, wash me,” you will be washed now. If the Holy Spirit enables you to cry from your heart

Just as I am, without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bid me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

you will rise from reading this morning’s portion with all your sins pardoned; and though you woke this morning with every sin that man has ever committed on your head, you will rest tonight accepted in the Beloved. Although you were once degraded with the rags of sin, you will be adorned with a robe of righteousness and appear as white as the angels are.

For “now,” mark it, “Now is the favorable time.”1 If you “trust him who justifies the ungodly,”2 you are saved. May the Holy Spirit give you saving faith in Him who receives those who are of small account.

1 – 2 Corinthians 6:2

2 – Romans 4:5