"By the grace of God I am what I am!"
1 Corinthians 15:10
(Letters of John Newton)
As believers, we are often affected with a sense of God's distinguishing mercy to us. We are debtors, great debtors to the sovereign grace of God, which alone makes us to differ from the perishing world around us!
Yet it does not yet appear what we shall be. We cannot form a just conception of the misery from which we are redeemed, much less of the price paid for our redemption! How little do we know of the Redeemer's surpassing excellency, and of the unutterable agonies He endured, when His soul was made an offering for sin, and it pleased the Father to bruise Him — that by His stripes we might be healed! These things will strike us in quite another manner — when we view them from the light of eternity!
May the cheering contemplation of the glorious hope set before us — support and animate us to improve our short interval on earth, and fill us with a holy ambition of shining as lights in this evil world, to the praise and glory of His grace — who has called us out of darkness, into His glorious light!
Encompassed as we are with snares, temptations, and infirmities, it is possible (by His promised assistance) to live in some good measure above the world — above the influence of its cares, its smiles, or its frowns. Our citizenship is in heaven — we are not at home — but only reside here on earth for a season, to fulfill our appointed service. The Lord, whom we serve, has promised that He will guide us by His wisdom, strengthen us by His power, and comfort us with the light of His countenance, which is better than life. Every temporal blessing we receive from Him, is a token of His favor, and a pledge of that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which He has reserved for us in heaven. Oh! to hear Him say at last, "Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!" will be rich amends for all that we can lose, suffer, or endure, for His sake!
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9