Forgiveness is Costly

“At every point in the Bible, the writers are at pains to stress that God’s grace and forgiveness, while free to the recipient, are always costly for the giver. From the earliest parts of the Bible, it was understood that God could not forgive without sacrifice. No one who is seriously wronged can “just forgive” the perpetrator. If you have been robbed of money, opportunity, or happiness, you can either make the wrongdoer pay it back or you can forgive. But when you forgive, that means you absorb the loss and the debt. You bear it yourself. All forgiveness, then, is costly.

Keller, Timothy (2009-10-20). Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (Kindle Locations 1117-1121). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.


Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle

“Tomorrow is the devil’s day, but today is God’s. Satan does not care how spiritual your intentions are, or how holy your resolutions, if only they are determined to be done tomorrow.”  Kindle location 78

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). Habits are like stones rolling down hill–the further they roll, the faster and more ungovernable is their course. Habits, like trees, are strengthened by age. A boy may bend an oak when it is a sapling–a hundred men cannot root it up, when it is a full grown tree. A child can wade over the Thames River at its fountain-head–the largest ship in the world can float in it when it gets near the sea. So it is with habits: the older the stronger–the longer they have held possession, the harder they will be to cast out. They grow with our growth, and strengthen with our strength. Custom is the nurse of sin. Every fresh act of sin lessens fear and remorse, hardens our hearts, blunts the edge of our conscience, and increases our evil inclination.” Kindle location 134

“Habits of good or evil are daily strengthening in your hearts. Every day you are either getting nearer to God, or further off. Every year that you continue unrepentant, the wall of division between you and heaven becomes higher and thicker, and the gulf to be crossed deeper and broader.”  Kindle location 143

Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle

God’s Intervention

“You cannot explain that except in terms of God’s intervention. Only God could have done that.”

“What have I seen God do that only He can do?”

Experiencing God (15th Anniversary Edition) by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King, Chapter 4 Being God’s Servant; © 2004 by Broadman & Holman Publishers All rights reserved.  Study questions © 1998 by Broadman & Holman Publishers

The ultimate purpose of God’s law is not to give us a staircase to climb to heaven

“The ultimate purpose of God’s law is not to give us a staircase to climb to heaven. Scripture is clear that the law itself can never make us righteous or earn favor with God. The law, rather, exposes our sin and shows us our need for grace. Human beings seem hard-wired to trust in their own performance as the basis of their acceptance with God. We may do this by trying to keep the Ten Commandments or live by the Sermon on the Mount. But while it is true that God’s law reflects his divine character and sets the bar by which we are judged, Scripture teaches that it is impossible to achieve a right standing with God through obedience (Gal. 3:21). This simply isn’t the purpose of God’s law. The attempt to gain God’s acceptance through law-keeping or performance is legalism. But the law was given to show us that we cannot satisfy God by what we do. In effect, the law gives us something tangible to bang our stubborn heads against until we throw up our hands and say, “I can’t do this. I can’t satisfy God’s requirements of me. This is impossible! I need someone else to do it. I despair of my own strength. Help me.” The law, therefore, is like an X-Ray machine: useful for diagnosis, but not for cure; able to reveal a fracture, but not to reset a bone. The law shows us that we fall short, but cannot change our status in any way. It makes us conscious of sin, but has no power to rescue from sin’s curse and control. This is the significance of Paul’s statement in Romans 3:
‘We know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.’ —Romans 3:19–20

Exerted from Christ Formed in You:  The Power of The Gospel for Personal Change by Brian Hedges (Kindle edition location 950-980)