"You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you.
He wants you as you are; he does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; he wants you alone… .
You can hide nothing from God.
The mask you wear before men will do you no good before him.
He wants to see you as you are, he wants to be gracious to you.”
Let us all seek to “abide in Christ” more thoroughly than we have hitherto. Christ is the true spring of life in every believer’s soul, the head on which every member depends, the corner stone of all real sanctification. Whenever I see a child of God becoming less holy than he was, I know the secret of it — he is clinging less firmly to Christ than he did. Our root must be right, if our fruit is to abound.
Brethren, let us strive after close union and communion with Christ. Let us go to Him oftener, speak with Him more frequently, trust Him more wholly, look to Him more constantly, lean upon Him more entirely. This is the way to go through the wilderness without fainting, and to run the race set before us with patience. Let us live the life of faith in the Son of God. He is the vine, and we are the branches; let all our strength be drawn from Him — separate from Him we can do nothing. He is the Sun of righteousness — let us seek our comfort in Him, and not in our own frames and feelings.
To the Great I AM:
I need healing,
Good Physician, come and manifest Your power.
I need faith,
You who have given it to me,
maintain, strengthen, increase it.
Center it upon the Savior’s work,
upon the majesty of the Father,
upon the operations of the Spirit.
Work it in me now that I may never doubt You
as the truthful, mighty, faithful God.
Then I can bring my heart to You
full of love, gratitude, hope, joy.
May I lay at Your feet these fruits grown in Your garden,
love You with a passion that can never cool,
believe in You with a confidence that never staggers,
hope in You with an expectation that can never be dim,
delight in You with a rejoicing that cannot be stifled,
glorify You with the highest of my powers,
burning, blazing, glowing, radiating, as from Your own glory.
If we have resisted the missionary dimension of the church’s life, or dismissed it as if it were dispensable, or patronized it reluctantly with a few perfunctory prayers and grudging coins, or become preoccupied with our own narrow-minded, parochial concerns, we need to repent, that is, change our mind and attitude.
Do we profess to believe in God? He’s a missionary God.
Do we say we are committed to Christ? He’s a missionary Christ.
Do we claim to be filled with the Spirit? He’s a missionary Spirit.
Do we delight in belonging to the church? It’s a missionary society.
Do we hope to go heaven when we die? It’s a heaven filled with the fruits of the missionary enterprise.
It is not possible to avoid these things.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.
As this year ends, the question I am asking is: Where was God when so many good things happened this past year?
How can God be a God of justice,
yet allow so much good to happen to people who dishonor him
by disbelieving in him,
or giving lip service to his existence, or paying no more attention to him than the carpet in their den,
or rejecting the kingship of his Son, or scorning his word,
or preferring a hundred pleasures before him?
How can God be righteous
and do so much good to us
who are so unrighteous?
—John Piper, Where was God in all the Goodness of 2012?